MaryR's Denver AI and LiMBO Recap

MaryR and Bo's Excellent Adventure!
Our evening started about 6 pm when we hopped into our stylish minivan to head to the Pepsi Center for a huge serving of cheesetastic entertainment.  It was a beautiful Colorado evening, one of those evenings that makes you so glad to live here.  I was dressed in what I thought was hip clothing (at least my fashion-consultant 7 y.o. daughter thought so - she said I looked like a teenager - not sure if that was good or bad, but I was going to believe the former). 
After parking, we stood outside, waiting for the people we were giving our extra tickets to, and watched what was an amazing assembly of happy-looking people:  grandparents and grandchildren, girlfriends together, couples, parents and children - many posing in front of a truck with the American Idols' picture on the side - happy to have that picture taken.
It really was a delightful sight.
My fabulous husband gave me second row, center, tickets for our anniversary.  And, having the luck of the Irish last night, NO ONE was sitting in front of me, and I was literally dead center stage.  There were some Ace fans around us, decked out in red, wearing red glow heart necklaces and waving many red glowsticks.  Each time his picture flashed during the opening montage to the AI theme song, they screamed high-pitched fangirly screams that lasted for only a moment, so it was kind of like being on a roller coaster of screams.
The concert band was really good, but they need to do better sound checks, because they were indeed bandzilla in many spots.
Since you all have read two months of recaps, you know the concert, so I will write of the fun tidbits.  I saw the concert with new eyes as I never watched the videos, save Taylor singing Don't Let Me Down, and Kat's "rejoining" the tour performance.  Also BoR, has seen snippets of the AI show, enough to know who people were, but not enough to know their singing, so his comments were interesting.
BTW before I start with the show, I spied Bobby Bennett in the crowd, stage right, several rows up.  He looked to be with his Mom and had a huge grin on his face.  He waved at every performer, but I don't think he caught anyone's attention, which made me sad for him.
Okay, here goes... Mandisa! was beautiful in a red satin top, lots of rhinestones, and her hair piled on her head, falling in curls.  She has the most beautiful smile.  Unfortunately, and surprisingly, she was a bit of a victim of bandzilla, so some things were lost.  She dedicated a song to Ace's brother Ryan, who was sitting stage left, and basically invited the girls in the audience to hunt him down like a dog after the show and give him some love - something I am sure many of the girls were dying to do!  Mandisa! started the show with great charm and energy and the crowd showed its appreciation.
Ace entered to sing his duet with Mandisa, and of course the crowd went crazy.  Red glowsticks were waving furiously, females from age 4 to 70+ were screaming, and he smiled his big Ace smile and winked at many a girl, causing spasms of hysteria throughout the arena.  BoR was totally bemused and I was just laughing at the wonder of it all.  So, Father Figure starts, and absolutely right in front of me, I see Ace do this thumping thing with his chest.  My eyes got as big as saucers, and I didn't know what to make of it.  Someone in the know needs to fill me in, does he do that with his body??  BoR told me it is done with an air pump, but I don't believe him.  He told me it turns girls on - I didn't believe him there either! I NEED ANSWERS!  Anyway, right on cue, (I believe the word was naked) he peeled his blue blazer off to reveal a #80 Broncos jersey, with very short sleeves, the better to reveal his perfect biceps, which he displayed by making himself into a cross on stage.  I was so close I saw the veins in his arms.  The red glow sticks waived more wildly and the girls screamed louder. It was a sight to behold.  During his next song he jumped off a really high portion of the tinfoil stage and the girls went even crazier, a gray beanie was flung into the audience and I think it caused a riot behind me.  I laughed, not a sarcastic one, just a joyful one, like this is a fun sight to behold.  Ace continued to grin his big patented Ace smile and was truly happy to be able to be home and be loved by so many folks.
Next was the surprise of my evening - Lisa Tucker - I loved, loved, loved her.  And BoR thought, next to Taylor, she was the best of the evening.  She has great ping to her voice, so it carried effortlessly over the band.  In my humble opinion, her voice has been very well trained. I especially loved her Elton John songs.  In both she was able to vary her phrasing and dynamics in a way many of the others were unable to do.  I was impressed.  She lost all the stiffness that she had on AI and has come into her own - very relaxed and sincere. She was totally charming and had a way about her that I loved.  She was grateful for the crowd appreciation and seemed truly honored by it.
Paris came out for her duet with Lisa, wearing an overpowering head of Beyonce-like long curls.  She was really hard to hear in the duet.  Her eyes were huge and beautiful, and I loved that her mic equipment was stylishly kept in a rhinestone pack attached to a belt strapped around her waist.  I loved Paris the jazz singer when I heard the audition rounds.  Paris as Beyonce left me rather cold.  Midnight Train was fairly good, but lacked the luster of the performance on the show.  Maybe it just doesn't translate well to the arena.  Paris shook her booty a lot and danced a lot.  I really wanted to see her stand and sing.  I appreciated her energy, but really think she should focus it on what she does best - singing.
Bucky!  Out he came from the center of the stage, looking just as cute as cute can be!  I moved from the east coast to Colorado as a high schooler, back when more parts of Colorado were filled with ranchers.  Bucky reminds me of all the sweet ranchers' sons I went to high school with, right down to the cowboy shirt with the back untucked and the pooka shell necklace.  We all sang along with Drift Away and he smiled and smiled.  Sidenote:  He and Ace both flung their long curly hair at the band guitarist in this Wayne and Garth kind of way, only 100 times more violent, over and over again to the beat.  During both times, BoR looked at me like these guys had lost their minds.  I laughed my big happy cheesetastic laugh.
Kellie came out for her duet wearing her Queen motorcycle jacket with the red corset underneath.  She has beautiful skin (I was that close) and a pretty smile.  She seemed really tired.  She was hard to hear over the band (better sound checks, boys!).  At this point I watched Bobby Bennett waving and waving at her from the stands, but alas, she didn't see him.  He smiled a big smile and swayed along to "Walking After Midnight", a song which was way to cheery for my taste, but Kellie was cute.  Her extensions, however, have got to go. 
Intermission (I bet you thought it would never come)
The AI montage and theme song begin again, accompanied by the roller coaster screams as Ace's picture was flashed on the screen.
Out comes Chris to riotous screams erupting in the arena.  He is wearing a gray pinstriped shirt and jeans and the most enormous chromed wallet chain I have ever seen.  He sings something really loud, nary cracking a smile, with the mic positioned way above his head, pointing down so that he faces way up to it, straining to reach, his neck stretched out.  The voice teacher in me cringes at this unnatural position, but he seems to like it, so, hey.  After the song is finished, he smiles at the band, and he should really do so more often, as he has a really nice smile.  I like Dead or Alive, because Chris really sang, as opposed to yelled.  He is so studied in his persona.  I do wish he would loosen up and have fun, 'cause what's the point of making music if it isn't fun?  Okaaay, now for MaryR's funniest moment of the evening:  Chris is singing his Styx song, which I am listening to, but doing a bit of my favorite sport, people watching, when I feel something bounce off my knee.  What would it be but the famous GUITAR PICK.  I immediately know what it is once all these people start climbing over me.  I tell BoR, who sees an e-bay sale in his future, and we start looking for it, along with everyone around us.  I finally give up, because I want to listen to music, not look around for some piece of plastic on a dirty floor.  Through the rest of the concert, people keep looking.  I listen to the show.  At the end I get up to walk away, stoop down and pick it up.  "There it is," I say, to the groans of everyone around me.  As I walk away, I can feel the daggers in my back!  Needless to say, my autographed DAUGHTRY guitar pick will never see e-bay, because every time I pull it out I will smile in remembrance.
Elliot was great, but seemed really winded and tired from the altitude.  He was wearing a #7 (Elway!) jersey, which automatically endeared him to me.  He has a beautiful voice, and smiled and waved to "his girls".  I loved Trouble and sang along.  BoR looked at me like I had lost my mind, but since I have, it didn't bother me.
Patience was beautiful.  Those boys sound great together.
Next came Katherine McPhee, who has lost her Big Sexy Hair in favor of a stylish shoulder-length straight cut with razor straight layers.  It made her look much more "today" now that she has wisely lost the extensions.  She is one beautiful girl, with a gorgeous figure.  She seemed in very good voice.  During Black Horse several times she ran her fingers through the hair of the box drummer.  The first time she did it the look on his face was priceless as he looked back at the bass player.  I was that close.  I saw the discomfort in his eyes!  Katherine McPhee ordered us to stand up during Think!  I don't take kindly to orders, so didn't.  She danced kind of like Shakira in places.  BoR thought it was hot. I disavowed him of that notion.  She then sang to a man in the front row who was old enough to be her boyfriend.  I think she played with his hair too.  She told us she was glad to visit Denver, as this is where Dan met Peisha.  But for Denver....  She then smiled, waved and sang Somewhere over the Rainbow.  After hearing Judy Garland's London recording of this, I just can't watch someone smile and wave.  She was having fun and I was glad.
Taylor came in and the crowd erupted.  Denver did love him.  He was wearing this beautiful brown brocade jacket, brown shirt and jeans.  ANA - FOR YOU his hair was gelled to perfection.  I am not a fangirl type, but he is one handsome man, and BoR noted how skinny he is.  It was one high energy performance and we sang along and danced with him.  The band was smiling and I couldn't figure out if it was that they enjoyed playing with him or they were laughing at the carnival of AI fans.  What the heck - we were having fun.  Taylor coaxed every ounce of energy he could out of that audience, and they willingly gave it.  He is quite a showman, and he gave everyone the best of what they saw on t.v. I loved it and danced and danced.  His TITTS encore was crazy good and he played a mean harp and beat himself black and blue with the tambourine, while dancing like a wild man.  I laughed my head off, not at him, but with him and the show he was putting on.  It was fantastic fun - enough to make me laugh out loud.
The cheesy Up With People finale made me smile, and I left, guitar pick in hand, for what was to be the best three hours we have had in years, waiting for us at Herman's Hideaway. 
We arrived after LiMBO had already started, and the place was pretty crowded, but not packed yet.  Boulder Soul, who has never met me before, saved us seats at her table in the front row, right behind the dance floor.  I truly was having a luck of the Irish day!  And, I got to meet a great person in Boulder Soul.  I also met PJ, who was grinning from ear to ear, but couldn't talk because the band was hard at work rocking.  They played a couple of fantastic sets before Taylor and the gang arrived, and I must say they are fantastic!  Brian Less played keyboard like a fiend.  Zippy was mesmerizing on the drums.  The wind player was just wonderful, as was the guitarist (sorry their names escape me right now, I'm really tard).  And George Porter, Jr. was a guest on the bass.  He is the most fantastic bass player I have ever heard in my life and a joy to behold. 
Taylor, Elliot, Ace, and Bucky came around 11:30 and the place became jammed full of people.  For those keeping track, this was the no-gelled, non-t.v. Taylor, and he was something.  He took the stage and never looked back.  We all hung on for dear life and just went with it.  It was the most amazing evening of music I have ever heard.  He just takes a song and turns it inside out and upside down, adds pieces of another song in free form poetry and just makes this incredible THING happen.  He was relaxed and intense at the same time.   The look on his face while he accompanied others in the spotlight was incredible, great joy watching others do their thing while he participated.
Ace and Elliot sang with the band, and were very good, and Taylor was appreciative to have them there and proud to spotlight them.  Bucky was on stage and shook many hands of fans, while he enjoyed a few beers.  I wondered if his voice is still a bit weary.
After one set, the group left the stage.  Many thought they had gone for good and the place kind of cleared out.  We wanted to hear the band, so we stayed, and out the group comes again.   They played and sang so long that the Herman's Hideaway staff had to take our drinks away so as not to be in violation of the 2 am liquor curfew!  They closed the show with a terrific version of Sly and the Family Stone's Dance to the Music that was spun out in improvisation for the longest time.  Taylor sang that the f%^&*ing squares should leave, but since, for one night, I wasn't square, I stayed and partied until LiMBO left the building.  BoR thought it is the best concert he has ever seen and called it a "kick-a#@" night.
After being thrown out of Herman's Hideaway, Boulder Soul, BoR and I ate the most delicious grilled sausages from a vendor on the sidewalk.  While standing on the sidewalk I spied Bobby Bennett there and yelled "Hi Bobby Bennett!  I thought you were really cute on the show!"  He was so genuinely happy that I said that and noticed him - it made me happy.  He told us that he couldn't believe he used to eat breakfast with the guys in the show and now he sees them on stage.  I thought his love of Barry Manilow was endearing, so it was nice to see him and say hello.  For all you Coloradans - he informed me he is giving a concert (show tunes and a tribute to - you guessed it- Barry Manilow) at Lanny Garrett's place on Sunday Sept 24.
Well, we could avoid it no longer, and said out goodbyes to Boulder Soul (who, did I mention is charming and beautiful?), and got into our fantastic minivan and headed home.  After two and a half hours' sleep, I woke up a square once more, and my minivan is no longer fantastic, simply dull, but for one night, I had more fun than I have had in years, and it was topped off watching a truly amazing concert at Herman's Hideaway.  Watching Taylor make magic will remain in my memory forever.  And my charming husband BoR, man of my dreams, gave me the best night out a girl could have!!!
And, I still have my autographed DAUGHTRY GUITAR PICK!!!