American Idol Live! Tour: Not a Perfect Ten, but Close Enough
The American Idol Tour stopped by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts this Saturday with almost all ten finalists from season 13 of the popular Fox show. This included CJ Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, MK Nobilette, Alex Preston, Majesty Rose, Malaya Watson, and Sam Woolf.
The concert kicked off with the whole crew doing a rendition of One Republic's "Counting Stars." Contestants came out one by one, starting out with finalist Caleb Johnson. But as they emerged with stunning vocals, we counted only nine. Weren't there supposed to be ten? Upon closer examination, we noticed that country singer Dexter Roberts was missing. Why, you ask?
The interwebs and a tweet from Jessica Meuse said the reason for his disappearance can be credited to an "illness." However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, a publicist stated that "both parties mutually agreed that he would be released from his contractual obligations to continue performing on the tour." Regardless of the reason, as the adage goes, the show must go on. And so it did.
MK Nobilette sang "Perfect" by Pink with some help from Meuse and Watson. We had to pinch ourselves because Nobilette sounded just like the pop singer herself. Next, the energy hit an all-time high with Janelle Monet's "Tightrope" performed by Majesty Rose. Majesty's funky dancing and the black-and-white background transported us back to the '70s.
CJ Harris and Jessica Meuse (in place of Dexter Roberts) then took the stage for Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise," but not until Meuse announced, "CJ and I are going to bring Alabama to you -- is that OK?" Both played guitars and crooned to the country tune while the background appropriately showed a sunset and a truck.
Next came Malaya Watson at the piano with "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars. She complemented the popular tune with her soulful style and killer "will give you chills" vocals. This talented lady didn't need any background distractions. After hitting a high note, an audience member screamed "I love it!" Nobilette, Majesty Rose, and Watson sang Avicci's "Wake Me Up," which is an odd choice, but there was plenty of clapping from the audience.
Alex Preston and Sam Woolf then provided an upbeat, beachy version of "Let Her Go" by Passenger while both played guitar. When the song ended, various ladies in the audience screamed for Woolf. One lucky woman who screamed "I love you, Sam!" received a response from the cutie himself when he said, "I love you too." The Idol heartthrob then proceeded to play "Lego House" by Ed Sheeran and "Sail Away" by David Gray in a sensual, sophisticated style that was very mature for his age.
Next came "Pompeii," showcasing Preston's drumming talents, "Gimme Shelter" with Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson putting a modern twist on a classic, and "Gravity," which we thought Harris almost sang better than Mayer himself. He offered a forceful, bluesy, and soulful vibe. The whole group sang Pharrell Williams' "Happy," and even though we've heard the song a million times on the radio, we couldn't help but appreciate the new perspective all nine vocalists brought to it.
The second act began with a compilation of the two "life" songs, "Best Day of My Life" and "Story of My Life" by American Authors and One Direction. "Let's have some fun!" semifinalist Jena Irene shouted before launching into her original single "We Are One." She was nothing but energy with her powerful vocals and tapping feet. Members of her fan club were present with signs and glowsticks cheering her on. Toning it down a bit, Irene sang and played piano for the romantic "Can't Help Falling in Love." However, the energy skyrocketed again when she jammed out to "My Body" by Young the Giant. "Are you ready?" she shouted at the audience, "Get out of your seat! It's a concert -- get out of your seats. I like performing this song; it makes me want to dance." Audience members gladly complied. She even banged on drums with Preston for a bit!
After "You and I" and "Pumped Up Kicks," the drummer, Preston, sang an original called "Fairytale" while playing acoustic guitar. The only question we have for Preston is: When is this available on iTunes?
Finalist Caleb Johnson walked onstage next, saying with a grin, "How you've been tonight? Give yourself a round of applause. You've been a great audience." Almost effortlessly, he launched into "Family Tree" by Kings of Leon and with the same swag sang "Maybe I'm Amazed" written by Wings-era Paul McCartney. But even with the debut of the ballad "Fighting Gravity" off his new album August 12, it was "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin that was our personal favorite, with delay effects, Caleb's vocals, and trippy graphics.
The concert wrapped up with a finale of "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. We must admit that the semifinalist and finalist Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson stole the show with this last song. There's no doubt the other contestants are also headed for more days of growing fame.
"Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
"Perfect" - Pink
"Tightrope" - Janelle Monet
"Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line
"When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
"Wake Me Up" - Avicci
"Let Her Go" - Passenger
"Lego House" - Ed Sheeran
"Sail Away" - David Gray
"Pompeii" - Bastille
"Gimme Shelter" - Rolling Stones
"Gravity" - John Mayer
"American Woman" - Guess Who
"Happy" - Pharrell
"Best Day of My Life"/"Story of My Life" - American Authors/One Direction
"We Are One" - Jena Irene
"Can't Help Falling in Love" - Elvis Presley
"My Body" - Young the Giant
"You & I" - Lady Gaga
"Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster the People
"Fairytales" - Alex Preston
"Too Close" - Alex Clare
"Family Tree" - Kings of Leon
"Maybe I'm Amazed" - Wings
"As Long as You Love Me" - Justin Bieber
"Fighting Gravity" - Caleb Johnson
"Dazed and Confused" - Led Zeppelin
"Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons