Jewel's Austin AI RecapThe night started off with Mandisa. She really got the crowd going with her "I'm Every Woman." The crowd really seemed to enjoy her a lot, though there was none of the crazy-loud enthusiasm that came for some of the later performers. When she sang her second song, something like "If I Was Your Woman" she sang to a guy down in the front row who got shown on the two big screens. That was pretty cute. When Ace came out for the duet with her, the crowd went nuts (lots of little girl tinny screaming).
Ace's set was so surprisingly GOOD. He didn't appear standoffish like (IMO) he was sometimes on the show, and the crowd generally responded to him with very loud cheers. He was sure to pay attention every area of the Erwin Center and wave to his fans. He did the chest pumping thing at the beginning of "Father Figure" and stripped off his jacket to sing in his tank top for awhile. I was pretty impressed by his voice and charisma. And there was the beanie toss at the end.
Lisa third. Noticeable drop in the crowd's energy after Ace, but her voice was technically flawless. She's still got a bit of the pageant 'bot' thing when she is moving around the stage ("Signed, Sealed, Delivered"), but I felt her more on the Elton songs. Also, she was the better singer on "Waterfalls" with Paris.
Paris is just a ball of energy! Her voice was lacking, but she was the first idol to get down off the stage and shake hands with the front row. She even put on a necklace someone down there gave her for the rest of her "Midnight Train to Georgia." She blew it out with the Beyonce song, again, more dancing and energy than vocal prowess. I think she should have done at least one ballad to show off her amazing voice, but oh well. Crowd was with her more than Lisa, less than Ace.
Bucky. I confess, I took his first song ("Superstition") as an excuse to go to the bathroom. When I got back, he was singing "Drift Away" and did the have-the-audience-sing-and-clap-along which was fun. I was never a Bucky fan, so he was pretty forgettable for me, and the audience seemed to equate him with Paris based on screams/yells. He was having fun, though, and seems refreshingly like someone you would just run into at the grocery store or something.
Some girlish squeals when Kellie came out for the duet. The painted-on Sandy from Grease outfit made her hips look big for some reason (I was level with the stage just off of the floor seats), but her waist was tiny when she took off her jacket for her solo numbers. The best part of her set was the banter, which makes me think her niche would be as some sort of Kathie-Lee, Kelly Ripa TV personality. Her singing did not impress.
Oh man, I knew we were in for it with Chris. When they flashed those text messages on the big screens before the show and one said "Scream if you love Chris," the place erupted. The only thing that got a louder response was any reference to our Longhorns UT football team.
Chris came out rockin'. He had the eyeliner on, though not as obvious as it was that one time on the show, but it's my thing, so I loved it. He was the first to get the majority of the audience out of their seats. After his first song, he commented that he was surprised to have so many fans in AUSTIN, guess he thought we were all country or something. For "Wanted Dead or Alive" he told the audience to hold up whatever they had that glowed or gave off light, which was cool when they dimmed the house lights. His set was a lot of fun and his vocals were solid and impressive per usual.
OH man, his duet with Elliot. See, I haven't been following recaps of the tour because I wanted to be surprised. It was just THUD. I'm a HUGE Elliot (and Taylor) fan, so I had to jump up and scream when he came out. They sounded GREAT together. Loved it.
Elliot just seemed so darn happy to be up there. His "Moody's Mood For Love" was perfect, and he gave his props to the band. There was a big energy drop-off from Chris's high octane set, but the E fan in me was watching through starry eyes ('He waved in my direction????? No... he waved at ME!! I was the only one in my section standing for the guy, so I can pretend..!) "Trouble" was my favorite performance of the show, so I was a bit let down with his concert version, though it was still awesome. So yeah, am so buying his CD.
The "Patience" song with the four guys was outstanding. Chris got most of the love, but as a former choir geek, I most enjoyed the harmonizing. They sounded so good together, it kind of took me by surprise because of their different vocal styles.
Now my affinity for Katharine flip-flopped on the show quite a bit. I was pretty peeved when she beat Chris and Elliot after some of her performances, though I had to give her "Rainbow" its due. However, she was ON tonight. Absolutely beautiful and so gracious when addressing the audience. Her voice was pitch perfect, and her "Rainbow" (she teared up a bit before she sang this one--I think it was genuine) was just as glorious as ever. She impressed me, and she got most of the audience back on it's feet after Elliot (poor E...).
Well, at first we were confused because the music was playing, and he was nowhere on stage. Then the spotlight came on him being escorted down one of the left aisles through the audience, which had little to do with singing and more with reciprocating the love he was getting from those he passed. The entire audience went nuts for him. Deafening, really. Couldn't hear a word of his first song, or much of the second. I appreciated how excited everyone was, but I wanted to hear him sing a bit, y'know? Aurally, it was better on "Do I Make You Proud?", but the clearest song of his set was "Takin' it to the Streets." His dancing was a hoot, and his harmonica and chest-beating tambourine were awesome. He is definitely an entertainer, with such charisma. Still, he seemed a tad tired and worn out when addressing the audience, though he gave his all to his performances. I respected that.
Then "We Are the Champions," with the audience again going gaga for Chris and Ace. Just unbelievable the way they affect those little girls, big girls, what-have-you. "Living in America" with everyone was cool. Of course, could barely hear them, but that wasn't really the point, was it? The crowd roared when they snuck "Austin" in there. Taylor and Kat did a cute dance number on the top of their platform-set thingy, and they ended with the pointy pose. Ace threw something (maybe another beanie?) into the audience after doing this crazy high jump over the side of their platform-set. Then he jumped away. It was really funny. Cute way to end things in Austin.
I LOVED it, and it's still my opinion that this was the BEST SEASON YET! The idols seemed surprised at the noise they got out of us (maybe they think Austin is some sleepy town or something, or it could have been the fact that the Erwin Center isn't as big as some of the places they have been to... but whichever, we were LOUD :D ). I think they are probably happy to be getting a break soon.
For fun, the Audience Applause/Yell-o-meter. The highest received the loudest response.
Thanks for letting me share!~