Welcome to Nooptown! The Idol gang hit Charlotte on Saturday night for the first of two hometown concerts for North Carolina native Anoop Desai. Charlotte gave Anoop a huge welcome with an extended ovation after his first song that moved him to tears.
The Charlotte Observer likened the tour to a graduation ceremony after the five-month-long education that was the American Idol TV show. The review called the Top 4 the "most-likely-to-succeed crew", saying Allison Iraheta "owned the stage as if born on it. Watch out." (it was initially written as: "came off like a force of nature threatening to take the pop world by storm. Watch out." but the story was edited after it was posted). Adam Lambert "displayed an experienced performer's comfort and vocal control, hitting stratospheric notes with ease." Kris Allen was labeled "the anti-artifice, a straightforward proposition who took the stage sporting a plaid shirt, jeans and an acoustic guitar. Starting with a muscular cover of Kanye West's 'Heartless,' he provided the life-affirming valedictory after Adam's glitter rave, with a natural stage presence and a stronger voice and piano and guitar ability than was apparent on the show."
As for the other Idols, Michael Sarver was called the "happy-to-be-there opener". Megan Joy was labeled "brassy, quirky, occasionally shaky-voiced". Scott MacIntyre was called "soft rock to the core". Lil Rounds was "competent" but "ran out of wind toward the end." Anoop "brought a pure tone and smooth R&B moves". Funny thing here - in the initial posting of the review, Danny Gokey was only mentioned briefly, and Matt Giraud was not mentioned at all, but it has since been edited, and now it says that Matt "confidently wailed on the piano and hit notes both higher and lower than he ever did on the show" and that Danny "remains an appealingly raspy voice in search of a musical identity, but in person he proved how he might succeed in spite of it, marrying goofy dance moves with an utterly sincere commitment to the material."
There's also a little bit of career ponderings regarding Kris and Adam, post-tour. Kris is straightforward and clear as being mainstream soft rock. But Adam has a more tricky path. "Of all the show's contestants, he has the greatest potential to be a transformative male solo pop-rock star in a landscape that has produced few in recent years. But the 'Idol' machine has had trouble figuring out how to package unconventional talents. With his voice and showmanship, Lambert could enthrall arenas for years to come – but only if he isn't squandered on the subpar."
Agree. But I think Adam has more of a chance of blowing up big like other unconventional Idols Bo Bice, Taylor Hicks and Blake Lewis did not. I do hope he hones in on what direction he is headed, musically. The last thing I heard from him about his record ("a diverse collection of pop, rock, jazz, blues, ballads and everything") makes me a little nervous.