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Idol Worship – American Style

Posted by cann0nba11 on July 17, 2007

Last night I took my wife to the 2007 American Idol tour.


We are fans of the show. Both of us were music majors in college, music is a major part of our lives. For five of the six season we’ve followed the auditions and picked our winners early in the competition. We are pretty good at it, by the time the show gets to the final 24 we know who the best of the best are. Here are our picks for each season:

  • Season 1:Kelly Clarkson (Winner – a no-brainer, she was head and shoulders above the rest)
  • Season 2: Ruben Studdard (Winner – another easy one for us based on talent, not race)
  • Season 3: (we didn’t follow this season)
  • Season 4: Vonzell Solomon (3rd. The best singer in the finals, but Carrie Underwood has done great.)
  • Season 5: Catherine McPhee (2nd – the geeks pushed Taylor Hicks to the top)
  • Season 6: Jordin Sparks (Belinda is the obvious professional and the strongest singer, but Jordin is pretty close to her in talent. And, her youth and charm are magnetic)

So… we can see talent when it’s out there. The finalists in Season 6 are easily the best set of finalists the show has generated. With the exception of Sanjaya, and maybe Chris Sligh, every singer has talent and should be successful. Now, on to my comments about the show.

For starters, the sound crew did an amazingly horrible job. Absolutely amateur at best. It got to the point that the singers were pulling their monitors out of their ears in order to hear themselves better. After one of the tunes Gina said into the mic “Thanks sound guys!” with a sarcastic smile on her face as she walked off stage. The bass was booming, the background singers were often louder than the lead singers, and the drums sounded like they were inside a diving bell. The EQ was atrocious, and for most of the concert the sound engineers were trying to figure out which singer was on which mic. The only times it sounded good are when the background singers left the stage, thus making it easy for the engineer to figure out which mic was on. Bottom line: once I find out who to contact I am going to ask for a refund. It was that bad.

As far as the performers go, everyone did well. The producers did a good job making sure that lots of songs from the series made it into the concert. The girls were the strong point of this set of finalists and this was obvious during the songs Lady Marmalade and Ain’t No Other Man. Belinda sang Natural Woman, Lakisha nailed I Will Always Love You, and Jordin sang everything well, including a really nice duet with Chris. Of the guys Phil stole the show with his take on the Ray Charles arrangement of America. Blake did a nice solo and showed off how he uses looping hardware and effects to accompany himself. I’ve got the same Roland loop station that he uses, I’ll try to get a demo out on YouTube in the near future.

Also, for the first time, a mini guy band was created from the finalists. It was so-so, more of a gimmick than something actually worth listening too. Eventually Jordin, the winner of this season, got her time on stage and she did a great job. She is only 17, she definitely has a good future ahead of her. She seems to have a solid head on her shoulders, she seems grounded, and apparently there are benefits to growing up the daughter of an NFL athlete.

All in all the concert had great potential and there was some good talent on-stage. I just wish that they had hired some quality sound engineers to do the work that those amateurs obviously were not prepared for.


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