The American Idol Live! tour rolled into the Wells Fargo Center Wednesday night and a Grand Ol’ Opry show broke out.
The evening had a distinctly hickory flavor, climaxing with Scotty McCreery’s Dixie bouquet of a set. Even Pia Toscano’s new single, “This Time” had a surprisingly NashVegas aura to it.
Mostly though it was a night to remember why we fell in love with these crazy kids to begin with.
Remind me again why there are 11 finalists on tour this year? Oh that’s right. It’s because Steven, Jennifer and Randy burned their “judges’save” option prematurely, expanding the field.
Of course, not everything came with a twang. (Just the major stuff.) Right from the start, the song sequence was all over the place, almost randomly eclectic.
When James Durbin’s incendiary version of Muse’s “Uprising” was followed immediately by Jacob Lusk’s lush Luther (“Never Too Much”), it created a kind of sonic whiplash.
The show began with the ladies singing Gaga in a gaudy style that former Idol judge Simon Cowell would have classified as “pure cruise ship.” The women were color (but not vocally) coordinated.
Exposure pretty much followed finishing order. Thia Megia, Naima Adedapo and Paul McDonald got one song each. It expanded from there up to Scotty’s five.
The teenage headliner seemed poised and assured, ready for the big time. Almost no one else knew what to do with the big, but primitive and unadorned stage. It was all power vocals with sparse showmanship.
Didn’t matter. The crowd in the Wells Fargo (which was full downstairs and empty in the rafters) idolized them all.