Right Said Fred's Richmond Recap

Richmond, VA Show 7/29/2006 Recap Pt.1

Medicated Goo

Follow me
It's good for you
That good old fashioned medicated goo
Ooo-oo, ain't it good for you
My own
Recipe'll see you through

-Traffic/Last Exit/1969

Heh, Taylor Hicks grants yet another one of Fred’s wishes. I’ve been waiting for him, in the press or in song, to give a nod to a terrific blue-eyed soul singer, Steve Winwood. As has been his practice, he inserted lyrics from another song into his performance of ‘Living for the City’ on Saturday night: Traffic’s ‘Medicated Goo.’ Yet another change from Pittsburgh. Very cool, and thank you.

I’m one of the few who didn’t care for Taylor’s version of ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ and I’ve seen him perform it at other venues. I didn’t mind it being dropped here but I think his set is now too short. Only a part of ‘Jailhouse Rock’ is sung, and you can’t really hear it because of the pandemonium. You can’t see him unless you’re on the upper levels. That leaves four solos and one full-group song, less stage time than the other guys. I’m just sayin’.

Not the very best set performance I’ve seen from Taylor, although he was enthusiastic and came across happy as hell. He was quite out of breath between songs, which is not typical. Word is he is not fully recovered from a respiratory illness and the heat and stagnant air in the arena had to have weighed on him, Alabama boy or not. He wisely left the jacket from my favorite silk suit of his behind, wearing the matching gray trousers with those damn sneakers. He dances best with smooth soles, uh-huh.

May I mention the insane, oppressive heat at the Richmond Coliseum? Every performer was sweating visibly to some degree – except Kellie Pickler, wrapped in a tight satin corset, leather jacket, tight black denim and tall leather boots looking fresh and dry, go figure. By intermission it was sheer misery. The bathrooms were filthy and the mirrors completely fogged over from the heat and humidity. There were too few concession stands and the vending machines were all locked up. After 15 minutes in line my choice of stand ran out of soda and water, offering to sell a cup of ice for $1.00. It was a great crowd and they deserved much better service. That’s my rant and I’m sticking to it.

I was one of those who actually went to the Pittsburgh Idol show just to see Katharine McPhee’s first tour performance. I actually paid for that ticket and so I was not pleased that she wasn’t there, but not as upset as many of the people around me. Richmond was my first tour exposure to McPheever. I did not catch it.

Someone may want to remind Katharine what a jumbotron is. The first thing I saw was that huge center screen in close up on her unrestrained cleavage. The most she could have been wearing were those little devices that…well, nevermind. She wore the same white jersey dress that videos show she wore the previous night, a wardrobe choice that is wrong on oh so many levels. The heat, humidity, and that ol’ jumbotron were not at all kind to the BigSexyHair spokesperson.

I was not entertained in the least by Katharine McPhee. I can say that about only one other performer that night. She was nervous, awkward, stiff, and surprisingly lacking in rhythm, just as I found her to be throughout the competition. She was holding back in a big way when singing. She’s unquestionably beautiful, but that does not entertain me. The Richmond audience was very gracious to her and she was generally well received. She appeared after the girl-group medley.

The Richmond audience is apparently just as easily fooled as all the folks at the Verizon Center, because when the music stopped and the singing stopped and the ‘Rainbow’ lyric reached a familiar end point the Richmond folks, just like those in D.C., began applauding. But the song was not over, and she resumed singing. A similar situation happens when Ace Young performs…but the difference is that the audience is in on it, they know very well the song is not done, he’s fishing for applause, milking it, teasing them.

Katharine had very little sense of where she was supposed to be on the stage for the one and only group number she participates in. She demonstrated that she thought it amusing, Katharine fans may well find it charming, but fans of the other nine performers on stage with her may find her confusion distracting.

Katharine said “My first southern state.” Katharine said “It’s hot in here.” Katharine said “I missed a couple of weeks of the tour.”

As Meatloaf said, two out of three ain’t bad.

Richmond Recap Pt.2

This was Elliott Yamin’s night, and neither he nor the local audience disappointed. The hometown audience response for him was off the charts and I have to conclude it drove him to deliver what was the best I’ve heard from him on this tour. Particularly his performance of ‘Trouble’: I didn’t think he’d ever top his rendition of that song from the show, but he took it to another level Saturday night. It was electric, and he seemed to know it. I was worrying a bit at this show, because he sweat a river during his solos and never drank any water until ‘Patience.’

Did I mention the crazy heat at the poorly managed Richmond Coliseum?

Chris, dude, no one is going to break out a lighter. Please stop asking. F-I-R-E-C-O-D-E. Maybe he can’t bring himself to say ‘glow sticks.’ The tour has strengthened his voice. Clear, powerful, more flexible. Screaming is a choice now, not a necessity. He’s lightening up a bit on stage, but is still incredibly literal in his delivery of a cover.

I’ve found Bucky and Kellie to be the most inconsistent performers on the tour. In Pittsburgh Bucky found his groove (no, really) with respect to his stage movement and connecting with the audience, only to lose his place in a song. In Richmond he was way off his game in every respect. Some nights his vocals are clear, and on others he tends to mumble. Kellie can be distracted and too often come across as if she’s phoning in her performance, as she did in Pittsburgh. Then in Richmond she is engaged, animated and connecting to her vocals, but loses her place in the duet which throws off Bucky. The very tight and talented band adjusts to where they are, only to have them fall off the track again.

Paris Beyonce Hilton Bennet’s t-shirt says “That’s Hot.” Right, Said Fred, it’s damn hot in here Paris. She tells me I’ve been officially princessed. I though I was just dizzy from the heat. Have I mentioned the insufferable heat in the incompetently managed Richmond Coliseum?

‘Champions’ finishes and there’s nothing new – it’s never about the performance, this is THE supreme photo op for the audience. ‘Living in America’ usually starts immediately…there seems to be a delay…noticeable if you’ve been to more than one of these things… band starting…still a problem?...ah, here comes Katharine…heh, actually forgot about her…okay, I hear Taylor’s voice, here he comes… I’m #1 and No I’m #1 standing on the upper platform together…Excuse me?….(RightSaidFred whacks Idol Virgin friend in chest with back of left hand)….Did you SEE that?

“Promiscuous girl – you’re teasin’ me.” I need to believe that Taylor Hicks really doesn’t want me to know that he pays the extra bucks for Polo briefs.

Taylor mistook Katharine for someone familiar with the song and choreography. Katharine mistook Taylor for the center stage pole at Scores. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.