Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Non-Baseball Entry: In which I share my experience at my first American Idol concert

Okay, be warned. This is definitely NOT baseball related but I find sharing my Idol-pain a form of therapy…Oh, and it is amusing.

12 hours of Idol
Okay, this review will seem as long as my 12 Hours of Idol from the concert on 8/31. On Sunday I earned The Coolest Person award (and a special place in heaven.) I volunteered to take a co-worker’s 11-year old daughter (referred to as The Kid) to the American Idol concert in Minneapolis, MN. She was going to be my Beard (my cover-up for going to the concert.) As a first time Idol watcher (and newly reformed former mocker) I had a few rules in my head:
· Not to embarrass The Kid
· Not to fangirl too hard in front of The Kid.
· Not to say anything that could be passed along to The Kid’s dad and later used to embarrass me at work.

Pre-Concert – Meeting the buses
The Kid and I headed to the Target Center and braved the craziness to meet the Idol buses and get autographs. We stood in line with some people that were crazy-in-a-good way and crazy-in-a-“stand back a few extra feet” way. Here’s who we saw:
David Cook- he came out first and fast. I wasn’t prepared. I thought I would get a Brooke White or Kristy Lee Cook warm-up but it was straight to the main event (in my book.) He is The Kid’s favorite Idol Guy so I tried to remain impassive (meaning: not shove her aside.) I gave him something to sign, said thank you, shook his hand and then asked if he would take a picture with The Kid. Nothing earth-shattering, world-turning happened but I enjoyed being close to him for a moment. For some reason I found myself taking so many photos of him just walking through the line. I must have had Happy Shutter Finger Syndrome because I couldn’t stop.
Kristy Lee Cook – We got her autograph and again I used my Minnesota-nice and asked for a picture of her with The Kid. I don’t think she said anything but I could have still been blanking from my DC high.
Jason Castro – The screams! I couldn’t believe the screams. Like flocks of seagulls descending upon the characters of Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds.” He slowly made his way through line until he happened on our corner of the world. After he took a photo with The Kid she whispered to me (since he was still standing right there) why his clothes didn’t match. Yup, those guffaws you heard from Minneapolis were mine. He was wearing his cut-off Manpris, a blue and white striped shirt and a red flannel.
David Archuleta – Or most appropriately summed with “Oh My God It Is David Archuleta!” Yup, I was surrounded by Archie’s Angels (save me!) Okay, you are only going to hear this from me this one time…Dude. Was. Amazing. He was so sweet and took his time with everyone. He really connected with fans, chatted with them, asked how people were doing and made eye contact. After meeting five idols he had to be the most personable one (I will probably get struck by lightening for saying that about anyone besides David Cook – who is my favorite.) When he got to The Kid he signed her paper and asked if she wanted a picture. Then he asked if she was having fun. The Kid, bless her little heart isn’t the biggest Archuleta fan but I think she got caught up in the same phenomenon I did, giggled. He came back after a few moments and checked on her again and made sure she had a good photo and such. As my Grams would say, he’s a nice boy.
Brooke White – Her fanclub people were hovering around the outside of the barriers and I was too distracted to really pay attention. At one point The Kid ran over to where Brooke was standing and I lost sight of her. Damn it, I already failed at being a Responsible Adult. I jumped up and down until I saw The Kid’s shiny blonde hair. I barreled through to take a photo of her and Brooke together (evidently they were waiting on me.)
Right at the end Chikezie, Michael Johns and Carly ran through. They didn’t have time for photos with people but it was still nice to see them.

Concert time – Bring on the Poptarts
I am not afraid of clowns, sock puppets, spiders, snakes but I do have a few irrational fears: deer, dolphins, suburbs. Now I can add one more item to my “Things I Fear List” – Giant Poptarts! Sweet Mother of All That’s Holy! Who let them in? Since I had The Kid with me I tried my damndest not to scream in fear like a…well, 11-year old girl, and remain cool in the presence of all that flammable poly-blend material. There was one moment where I stood there thinking of how funny it would be if someone would fly out of left field and tackle one of the Poptarts. “Poptart down! We have a Poptart down! Send aid, stat!” My brain did wander and I felt some sympathy for those inside the costume, wondering what their role on the tour is. Do they hang with the idols? Do they go drinking? Do they have any Poptart Groupies?
Now the good stuff:
Chikezie – I admit I made a poster for Chikezie. I even held it up between his songs (with slight trepidation but figured I could pass it to The Kid if someone looked at me weird). At one point he saw my sign and pointed it out. What can I say…I fangirled over that. I even sent a text message to a friend who was somewhere else in the Target Center (OMG! Chikezie was totally talking about MY poster.) I am sure that text message will come back to haunt me.
Ramiele – Like everyone says, she is tiny, adorable and sparkly.
Michael Johns – I made a vow not to say anything like “He’s so hot” in front of The Kid so I just internalized my fangirling. The Kid humored me and said that he was cute for an old guy. What the…old? He is my age! I didn’t point that out because I didn’t want to be old.
Kristy Lee Cook – Okay, I admit that I went into her set with an ulterior motive. I would listen to a bit of her first song and then head to the Idol Shop to buy overpriced crap.
Idol Paraphernalia – I did a bad thing, a very sad thing that will lead to mockery by my circle of friends. I bought a David Cook t-shirt. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t even think about it. I just remember standing at the counter asking for “one children’s Idol Tour t-shirt and one David Cook t-shirt.” I swear, I didn’t plan that, I don’t even know where the words came from…I just handed over my card and walked away with a David Cook t-shirt. I couldn’t even look at it the next morning morning. It was still in the plastic red bag.
Carly – As soon as she started singing I remembered why she is my favorite female Idol. Her costume, her stage-presence, her voice. I danced and The Kid stood next to me confused. *Sigh* Youth.
Brooke White – Earlier at the bus meeting thing I met members and employees of her fan club. They are gentle, peace loving, hippies that handed out yellow glowing bracelets. I saw them on Stage Left (my left) and spent most of Brooke’s set watching them watching her. Weird, I know. I really loved the cover of Feist (and found myself geeking out and snapping along – basically the only one in my section.)
Group Song – U2 In the Name of Love. Yep, I danced along with this very important and somber special message. I can’t NOT dance to U2.
Jason Castro – Insert ear-splitting squeals (none of which were coming from me…well, maybe one Woot! slipped out.) The boy has got to be the most loveable thing. He rivals David Archuleta for the “Fraggle Rock Cuteness Award.” He is sweet, silly, a great singer and well…adorable. I am sure he really appreciates being called adorable at age 21.
Syesha – This was The Kid’s moment! She proudly held up her lime green “We Heart Syesha” poster. Success! At one point during her set Syesha pointed out two posters and one of them was The Kid’s. I may have taken a step away from The Kid when Syesha read the poster out loud.
David Archuleta – And…I am old. The girls behind us were screaming and jumping and squealing that high-pitch scream that only small dogs and long-suffering adults can hear. First things first (before I get to my mocking) he sounded great. Otherwise I was distracted by his coughing (poor thing), the fact he sang doubled-over, and the Aw Shucks factor. Oh, and yes he did giggle.
David Cook – I warned The Kid that I could not be held responsible for my actions during David Cook. I did yell (but not squeal.) I did dance and wave my arms (but did not wave to him.) I did sing along (but did not shout “I LOVE YOU DAVID!”) I did basically forget The Kid existed (but did not shove her aside to get closer.) Overall, I was successful in not embarrassing myself or those around me.

After-concert pain in the…
The Kid really wanted to get Syesha’s autograph (and who was I to stomp on a little girl’s dream) so we went outside and lined up for another round of autographs. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the sugar, maybe it was the cranky adults but it was freaking INSANE. The Kid was shoved up front against a barrier and I would ever-so-often lean over to make sure she was still alive. (Yep, stellar babysitting skills.) After waiting for an hour and a half we only saw Kristy Lee Cook, Brooke White, Jason Castro and yes…David Archuleta.

Um, yeah...so he was RIGHT there
Archuleta talking to The Kid.

Jason Castro


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your detailed recap! This was the show I would have been at as well if we hadn't been on vacation. Now I feel like I was almost there....

Anonymous said...

As DC would say "Nice." But you totally cracked me up. I actually went to the concert knowing I would be all fangirlie! AND I WAS (and I'm ok with that).

Anonymous said...

(strkthrgh)capitalism(/strkthrgh) american idol is killing music.