Glambert earns the loudest applause of the night as the Idols rock out Boardwalk Hall
Even before the show began there was no doubt who was the AC crowd’s favorite Idol. As various advertisements for Idol sponsors played on the jumbo screens pre-show, anytime Adam Lambert’s face was shown, a hearty group squeal rang out across the Hall. There were lesser reactions to Idol winner Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta.
While Lambert, Gokey, Iraheta, and Matt Giraud were as excellent as expected, I have to give props to an unexpected source of showmanship and solid chops. Scott MacIntyre, who came rising out of the Boardwalk Hall stage with his piano, was pounding the keys with gusto on his two songs: "Bend" (Keane) and "A Thousand Miles" (Vanessa Carlton). We knew he could play but his song interpretations were equally impressive. Later, when he joined forces with Giraud for a double piano dose of Billy Joel’s "Tell Her About It," their joint exuberance was infectious and one of the evening’s highlights.
That said it was the big four — Allen, Lambert, Gokey and Iraheta — that stoked the crowd the most. The likable Gokey has improved his dance moves (small doses work best), and provided the most heartfelt speech of the night, talking about how you can’t let tragedy keep you from working toward your dreams. He is making his case every night on this tour.
Some of the other highlights included Gokey’s "P.Y.T" and "What Hurts the Most," Allison and Adam sizzling together with Foghat’s "Slow Ride"; Allison's "Barracuda; Matt G. having a blast with "Hard to Handle" (including his Jerry Lee Lewis tribute pounding the piano); Anoop Desai's "Always on My Mind" and Kris’s dynamite reworking of Bill Withers’ "Ain’t No Sunshine."
And, as much as I loved Kris and was glad he won, when it comes to working the crowd in combination with a rock snarl and Elvis-like gyrations, Glambert is in a category all by himself. From his "Whole Lotta Love" opening through his tender "Mad World" and his enchanting David Bowie medley, Glambert was the bomb, to quote a certain Idol judge.
This group of Idols, with as much talent as any previous season’s top five, has upped the ante with their group showmanship. I expect to hearing more from Adam, Kris, Allison, Danny, Matt and Anoop when their Idol umbrella is gone at the end of the tour.
There are always moments on America Idol that are “what the hell happened?” shockers. Last season’s such moment was the elimination of talented diva Pia Toscano, who had to settle for a ridiculous ninth place finish on the show. However, while the moment was disappointing at the time, it worked out quite well.
Danny Gokey, the church music director from Milwaukee who was a favorite in the season eight American Idol competition, eventually finishing third, did not hesitate or hedge when I asked him via a phone interview from North Carolina about the on-going negotiations with Idol judge Paula Abdul.
It should be quite a weekend June 25-26 in Atlantic City, with 50 Cent June 25 and Adam Lambert June 26.
In 2009, the American Idols Tour played at Boardwalk Hall, a 12,000-seat venue. This year, the show is taking place at the much smaller Mark G. Etess Arena at the Trump Taj Mahal this Saturday.
This season’s group of American Idols made its Atlantic City visit this year much earlier than in past years. Therefore, the Idols you saw on the TV show are pretty much the Idols you get on tour.