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American Idol

American Idol Season 8 Tour – Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh-Idols

Pictured above, American Idol 8 winner Kris Allen leads the Top 10 in a finale performance of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Behind him (L-R) are Scott MacIntyre, Lil Rounds, Michael Sarver, Danny Gokey, runner-up Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Megan Joy, Anoop Desai, and Matt Giraud.

I guess you could say I’m a pretty big American Idol fan.  I have now been to four of the eight seasons’ tours.  Season 2, 4, 5, and 8.  This group was simply too good to pass up.  I can easily see about five of these Idols getting signed and putting out quite a good CD.

And another thing I’d like to point out: These singers sound much better in person.  They honestly do.  I expected some of the bottom of the pack to be just mediocre, but they were actually quite good.  I’ll kind of do a mini-review of each performer here, like I’d do if the show were on:

Michael – I’ve got to say he was really much better in person than I remember him from the show.  He had a good command of the stage and was vocally pretty strong. He did a surprisingly good job of opening the show and getting the crowd pumped up.

Megan – You know, the thing about Megan – she’s got one style and she does it well.  Beyond that, she’s out of her element.  But what she sang on the tour pretty much fit her.  She seems more in her element when she sings “Put Your Records On” than with “Tears Dry on Their Own.”

Scott – Scott never ceases to amaze me.  He’s best when he’s sitting at the piano belting out a song.  He reminds me of a good 80’s pop singer.  I actually have always though Scott would make a better songwriter/arranger than a singer, but after hearing him on the tour, I think he could make a compelling CD.

Lil – Got to say right away, my favorite song from Lil was “Single Ladies.”  I like the energy she brought to the song and I liked the arrangement and all the video effects going on at the point.  Very good performance.  Tina really liked her outfits and her shoes.

Anoop – I tend to like Anoop on his upbeat songs more than his ballads.  I liked his version of “My Prerogative” best.  He’s very talented, he’s got a great voice and showed some personality on tour.  He’s one of the ones I could see with a future CD.

Matt – Another one who really surprised me on the tour.  I don’t remember liking him nearly as much while watching the show.  He really showed some talent busting out the piano.  One highlight of the tour is watching Matt and Scott with a little “dueling piano” performance during “Tell Her About It.”  He also was able to get the crowd pumped with a little swing of “The Terrible Towel.”

Allison – Finally, we’re getting to the meat and potatoes of the evening.  Starting with Allison there is a whole new electricity in the arena.  I think “So What” was probably her strongest song (other than “Slow Ride” with Adam.  That’s a whole ‘nother level…).  She’s definitely got the whole package to be a successful star, possibly up there with Kelly Clarkson.

Danny – Okay, first off I need to say that Danny’s last solo song, “My Wish,” was probably my favorite performance of the whole night.  I just thought he delivered that song perfectly.  If it was available for purchase right now, I’d get it.  Very touching song and it goes right with how I see Danny as a person and as a performer.  That’s the road he needs to go down.  Almost a pop/country singer.  His other songs (“Maria, Maria”, “PYT”) were both strong, but not as good as “My Wish.”

Adam – For me, it seemed like Adam was the star of the show tonight.  He had the loudest screams, the best introduction, and was certainly the most entertaining (overall) of the night.  The crowd really was as loud as I’d ever heard it at any Idol concert I’ve been to.  Sometimes I think the fans of the runner-up are more vocal simply because they feel compelled to show extra support for their contestant.  “Mad World” was one of the best songs on the tour.  It just fits him right and when he slows it down, he’s just right on.  And, as I’ve already mentioned, his duet with Allison on “Slow Ride” is just great.

Kris – And of course the show builds up toward the appearance of the winner, which is made all the more interesting considering that Adam’s introduction is so “in your face” and Kris’ is more laid back.  Again, just the difference in their styles.  Kris is very good at what he does, and his performance of “Heartless” will not disappoint any of his fans.  And when Kris starts into “Hey Jude” the whole audience gets involved by digging out the cell phones and lighters (some with cell phones with lighter apps on them) and the whole arena begins to sway back and forth.

And the whole evening is brought to a close by a little bit of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”  Very good close to the show.  I actually could have used more group numbers.  In the past I thought there were too many, this year not enough.

I thoroughly enjoyed the concert this year.  The Idols did not disappoint.

Computing

Looking forward to Zune HD… and more!

This was a funny little video for a Friday:

I wish Microsoft would be a little less secretive about the upcoming Zune HD.  I’d like to know if it’s going to have enough storage to effectively replace my Zune 80.  I’d also like to know if I need to prepare to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford the device.

Event, Friends

That certain Shmoozability…

Presenting the Lincoln High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Louis Oliverio.

This is one for the time capsule, for sure.

I had been looking for this video for a while now, hoping to convert it to DVD before it was too late.  The video is now 17 years old, and I didn’t figure it would hold out much longer…

The quality is a little rough in spots (hey, it’s an old tape!) but it’s certainly viewable.  Again, there is about a thirty second intro that normally shows up on TV as a DVD menu, but viewing it over the Internet, well it’s just pretty.  And static.  The buttons don’t really do anything here.

The original editing for this video was done on a Commodore Amiga 2000 home computer.  All the graphics and effects fit in a mere 20MB (that’s megabytes) of space and that’s not mentioning the fact that the Amiga OS was also installed on the hard drive.  It’s amazing what tight code and a streamlined computer can do…

Anyway, enjoy this look back at a bunch of high school kids having a good time making music together, before mash-ups and YouTube were even thought about.