The anticipation was palpable as thousands of people gathered for the first of the two America Idol Tour 2011 concert–the first concert, since its inception, that graced Araneta Colosseum.
People were anxious. I suppose most (if not all of them) had been waiting for that day as I was. Fans of the Top 11 finalists of the tenth and most talent-filled season of Fox’ uber popular talent search, American Idol, waited with bated breath for their favorites to take the stage. When eight o’clock passed and the concert still hasn’t started (due to reasons that were unclear–probably because it’s ‘Filipino Time’?), spectators chatted about their favorite moments of the competition, played with their phones, or just talked about anything.
When the lights dimmed, the crowd cheered–erupting into a thunderous applause. When Ryan Seacrest appeared on the large screen to welcome us to the American Idol Live Tour, the sound was beyond deafening; the excitement was paramount!
Cue the American Idol title roll–the very same title roll that would be aired on the eleventh season of the show, this time, featuring the reigning Idol, Scotty McCreery. Just when you thought that the crowd’s collective roar and applause could not get any louder, you are proven wrong.
The the girls–led by Runner-Up, Lauren Alaina, sang Gaga’s “Born This Way“, kicking up the start of the show and putting everyone into the mood. At that point, nobody minded waiting for half-an-hour for the show to start; at that point, everyone was singing along, screaming their hearts out, and having one hell of a good time.
After the group performance came the individual ones, starting with Pia. If you think that Pia’s voice was amazing during the broadcast of the hottest American Idol season to date, then you would be totally blown away by her voice when you’re sitting there at the concert. There were no auto-tuners, no audio tricks. She, and the rest of the Idols were even better than how we heard them through our television screens!
The show was divided into two parts. The first showcased everyone, save for Scotty–and you can tell when performance after performance and the crowd hadn’t caught a glimpse of Scotty yet—that they were itching to see and hear the down-to-earth country singer that have taken the hearts of millions of Americans and earned him the title of “American Idol”.
I have to say that the loudest cheers were given to Haley Reinhart–who placed third on the competition, and…Paul McDonald! But, the other finalists din’t fall behind.
When Naima Adedapo gave the Manila crowd her exotic dance moves during her performance and showed that the extensive dance moves doesn’t cripple her singing, the crowd were on their feet dancing along with her. When Thia Megia sang with such elegance and poise, the crowd supported her. When Casey Abrams crooned and growled, the crowd went wild. When Jacob Lusk performed we applauded. When James Durbin came out from the back of the crowd, marching everyone screamed and pumped their firsts in the air, standing up to rock and roll with the competition’s resident rocker. When Lauren Alaina sang her songs, we sang along with her.
And then there was Stefano Langone showed his abs, people were hooting…and then he took his shirt off, showing his perfectly, sculpted (but not grotesquely-looking) muscles. And, dear Lord, the crowd went hysterical. It didn’t matter if there are some grandmas there, or old people (well, older-than-me-people), every woman in Araneta Colosseum was wild with the shirtless Stefano.
It. Was. Crazy!
The second part of the show showcased Lauren, James, Haley, Jacob, and…finally, Scotty McCreery. They sang songs that they have performed during the competition. During that time, Lauren sang her first single, Like My Mother Does, dedicating it to her mother and all the mothers in Araneta watching. It was a sweet gesture–as expected from the Southern Belle.
As one of Lauren’s many fans, I was–and still am–so happy to have been able to see her perform live up on that stage. She was more beautiful in person and sweet, and fun to watch. She’s ready to give a performance much like the rest of the group. The southern twang of her voice didn’t deter her from uttering the usual “Mahal ko kayo” line that foreign artists like to say during their concerts at our beautiful country.
Scotty also sang his first single, I Love You This Big, as well as Josh Turner’s song that had made us all smile when we remember him (Scotty) singing it (remember? Baby lock ’em doors and turn the lights down low~?), Your Man. He sang two other songs along with it.
During the show, the girls would take turns singing back up for one another’s performance and you can see that they were having a good time performing just as much as we were having a good time watching them. All of them had grown as artists, they sound even better now and you can even notice the difference from their days in the competition and the now.
Being their with the crowd, under that amazing energy, I can’t help but feel thankful and blessed that I was a part of that crowd. It didn’t matter that I sounded like Gollum’s cousin or something, with my voice all but gone. I had fun. And I am sure the thousands of spectators that were there in Araneta would agree.
The wait had been worth it. I loved the performances and it didn’t matter if you are an Alainer, a McCreerian, a McLainer, a Durbinator, a fan of Casey, Haley, Pia, Stefano, Thia, Naima, Jacob, or Paul. You would end up cheering for them even if you weren’t a fan of them all season long. I loved the crowd and the palpable energy that swooped us up on our feet to dance and sing along. I loved every moment of the concert!
I hope that they would come back and grace us all again with their concert shows and tours because it was a blast one that I know I would not forget any time soon!