Carie B's LA Recap

So, we’re some of the first folks in line when we arrive at Staple’s at 5:20. I had been downtown already for another show and didn’t realize the doors wouldn’t even open until 6, so lots of standing around and hearing Had a Bad Day and I Made it Through the Rain over and over and over. When we got inside, I made a bee line to the adult beverage vendor and then we ordered individual pizzas which we had to eat standing up – no seats in the entire lobby area. Bought a couple of Chris pins and a $20 program and we went and sat down. We had decent seats – in the first section off the floor, a little more than halfway around the building from the stage. You could see everything, but we still had binoculars. The crowd around us was every type of person you could imagine – but one group that stood out to me was how many couples in their 50’s and older were there together and without kids in tow. Taylor fans? Hard to tell…My 8 year olds liked the Pop Tarts and were screaming loudly. Like I’m going to buy Mint Chocolate Chip Pop Tarts for my kids for breakfast. The show started a little after 7:20. People started cheering when these shadowy figures first appeared on stage which we then realized was the band.

Mandisa looked beautiful in a red silk cami and black capris but way too much glitter makeup. She sounded a little shaky on I’m Every Woman but then really brought it at the end. I’m thinking *I love this Cheesy Show*. She had the audience sing parts and at the end said “you L.A. girls can really sing”. Then she dedicated If I were Your Woman to the men, and her third song, the duet with Ace to God and the young people in the audience. She and Ace sounded great together. At this point I look around and realize the arena is completely full – not an empty seat to be found.

Ace – They showed his chest thumping on the jumbotron. The girls squealed. You could tell he had on a Lakers shirt which turned out to be a Lamar Odon (#7) jersey. After singing Father Figure (really well), he drops to his knees and everyone goes nuts again. I think *I didn’t realize Ace looks like.David Krumholtz from that show NUMB3RS*. I’m liking Ace. Way more than I did on the show. My kids said the same thing. He turned around and put on his beanie and talked to the audience about L.A. being home for the past 4 years and he had a lot of family members in the audience. Took his shirt off and guess what the crowd did…Then he did the Maroon 5 song and my 14 y.o. daughter was loving it. I like this guy live. A. Lot. He threw his beanie and his sweaty jersey into the audience. Kewl!

Lisa looked really sparkly and pretty but again all the glitter makeup. Signed Sealed Delivered was just okay. She is talented but I don’t get any connection to her. She’s better when she sits down and does Your Song while playing Piano (more like the Moulin Rouge version which I loved) more than Elton’s. Then she brings out her bf, Paris.

Paris had her long extensions going and looked really pretty. Paris and Lisa’s duet was just alright with me. Then she did Midnight Train to Georgia but her vocals suffered from way too much running around the stage and into the audience. She was at her best for me on the Beyonce song. I made fun of her 5 seconds of booty shaking on the show, but when does a whole song if it, it’s pretty amazing. She’s a combination of Janet Jackson and Beyonce and it’s very entertaining. I’m liking Paris live a lot at this point.

Bucky made my sons’ face light up with delight when he showed up and sang Superstition. He did the signature Bucky moves with the boot slide, the Bucky “squat” and some head banging with the band. His voice sounds good and he looks so much “cleaner” than when we first saw him on AI. Out came his cowboy hat and he enlisted the audience to “light up” whatever they had and sway to Drift Away which we all complied with. People sang loud with Bucky. I’m liking me some Bucky right now too. What is happening to me? Kellie comes out and they duet on Better Shape Up, but it’s Bucky who shines on this number. Kellie. Not. So. Much.

Pickler had curly hair extensions going with black jeans and leather jacket. I kept thinking how much better Olivia Newton John’s voice was on the last song. She did I’m the Only One and it was just okay. I think she might have been having an off night vocally and she didn’t seem super energized either. Ended her set with Walking After Midnight which I heard mostly from the lobby as I got up to use the restroom and purchase another adult beverage. Maybe I didn’t have the right chemical balance going.

Intermission is over and the band is playing the Idol theme but it’s more rocked up. It seems everyone knows Chris is next and the excitement is percolating.

Chris comes out on stage and the crowd goes absolutely crazy. I can feel my chair moving and I’m screaming as loud as anyone else if not louder. He rocks Whole Lotta Love and at one point I realize I have a tear in my eye finally hearing my favorite Idol live. I had waited so long for this, and I couldn’t believe I was watching him perform in person. He sounded terrific and the crowd agreed. I was a little distracted by the scantily clad girl dancing on the jumbotron behind him. Didn’t really get that – should have been flames or something. Hee! He moved around a lot and connected with a lot of people in the front. He got everybody singing with him on Dead or Alive and he was awesome as he began Savin Me and Elliott appeared to join him. This was probably the best vocal of the night for me from anyone, and Chris made my heart Elliott in a big way.

Elliott then brought the energy down a couple of notches with his performances of MMFL and Never Too Much. I was feeling sleepy and my kids told me they were tired but I enjoyed his vocals a lot. Trouble was his best solo vocal of the night, and Elliott looked good in a Magic Johnson #32 Jersey and a backwards golf cap. He left the stage and came back with his “buddies”, Chris, Ace and Bucky and they sounded amazing together on Patience. Bucky and Chris harmonize so well and Ace and Elliott were fantastic too. How is it that I’m broadening my horizons? Am I going to like *** too?

********* did Black Horse and the Cherry Tree but it looked like only her body was cut off at the torso since she was on her knees on top of the platform. When she got up, she looked beautiful in a long black dress and she sang the song “ok” (she did it better on the show IMO). She smiled at weird times to me and wasn’t looking out in the audience as much as she was finding all the cameras and smiling into them. Kinda creepy if you ask me. She got nice applause for her home town girl shtick and there were a good amount of *** fans in attendance. She had some good dance moves and sounded pretty good on Think. SOTR was her best vocal by far. She sounded really good until the very end when – I don’t know- I think she had jaw spasms and a bunch of alien noises erupted from her, but she recovered and finished nicely.

Taylor entered the building directly across from us with heavy security singing Jailhouse Rock. Couldn’t really hear his “voice” because he was basically running, but the crowd was really into it and he got a reaction similar to the Chris love – maybe a little more. Hollywood Nights was fun and he had some good moves but I have to question whether he was actually playing the guitar. There were times he should have been playing and his left hand stayed in one place without changing cords. Hmm.. There is no denying this man’s energy level and how much he feels the music. I hate DIMYP so I won’t even go there, except he kind of morphed the end of it into Randy Newman’s I Love L.A. which was pretty good. He left without saying anything and soon was back with his encore of TITTS. He was on fire, that man. He poured himself into that song, played tambourine and harmonica with a vengeance and came up with new Taylor moves that will have to become a permanent part of her repertoire. The crowd was on their feet and loving it.

Chris came back out and started the group song out – We are the Champions. Ace’s falsetto was really good on this song. Chris and Mandisa sounded the best together but the song was – meh. Living in America had few musical highlights as well. Ace had this nice hop move at the top of the platform which I liked. Chris reprised his throwing of guitar picks into the audience.

As soon as the last note was sung, we bolted up to the exits and headed toward my car. We were all excited but drained and ready to get home. There was such build up to this for me, and it didn’t disappoint. This is a great tour, and is making new fans for these idols every step of the way. I can’t wait to see how they do with their careers going forward, and especially can’t wait for Chris’s single to drop next month and his CD in November.

CarieB. Out.