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American Idols Live! Tour – Rose Garden Arena (Portland, OR)

It’s DAY ONE of the American Idols Season 8 Live! Tour at the Rose Garden Arena (Portland, OR). I’m gathering all the articles/reviews/videos/interviews here. All tweets are left behind in this post. For a round-up of Tour/Album news for Adam and Kris, click here.

Fair warning : I only care about Adam/Kris/Allison…

Check back – All PERFORMANCE VIDEOS (Adam/Kris/Allison) will be on PAGE 2. The Rest of the Top 10 will be on PAGE 3.

**Adam’s Radio Interview – Talk 1410 (Vancouver Promo)


Out of the nest: Adam Lambert, Kris Allen soar in American Idol top ten tour, Portland by Meredith Rosser

Adam Lambert broke the show. And while the crowd was still in pieces, his friend Kris Allen came out and put it all back together again.
Allison Iraheta killed a set that included Pink’s “So What”, and Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby” before bringing the house down with the Heart standard her fans had been begging for, “Barracuda.”
But the biggest stars of the night came out for the last two sets… The intro exploded with light and sound, and then Lambert’s commanding voice and innate showmanship took control of the crowd. An otherworldly cover of “Starlight”, by Muse and another brilliant reprise of Gary Jules/Tears for Fears “Mad World” were only barely enough to chill out the crowd before he revved them up again with “Slow Ride” by Foghat, along with Allison Iraheta. A David Bowie medley comprised of “Life on Mars”, “Fame” and “Let’s Dance” finished off the set amid a riot of screams, proving once and for all that Lambert has slipped the chains of the Idol apparatus to become a star in his own right.
Kris Allen … low-key entrance and smooth slide into a slightly lower register were just what the crowd needed to unwind. His rebuild of Kanye West’s “Heartless” … kept the audience entranced. Even “No Boundaries” … worked out in context with Allen’s undeniable connection to its hooks and to the crowd itself. He followed it up with his haunting signature take on Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and then brought the arena back to its feet with Matchbox 20’s “Bright Lights,” a performance strong enough to make Rob Thomas look over his shoulder. With the Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” a hug of a song on its own, Allen pulled it all together for the crowd, especially when he brought out the rest of the Idols to join in on the “na-na-na” finish.

Chatting with Adam Lambert: From Google to going all the way on American Idol By Shelley Fralic

“When the Idol thing first started, I was excited and wanted to know what people were saying. but it started getting kind of ridiculous,” Lambert laughs, on the phone from his hotel room in Portland, Ore… “I had a Google alert thing. Then, a month ago, I said, ‘This is getting a little narcissistic, Adam’ and I disabled it. There’s a certain amount of relinguishing you have to do.”
Lambert, who’s been both rehearsing for the Top 10 tour and writing and recording for his new CD out this fall, says no one was more surprised than he to find himself in the spotlight … He recalls auditioning in San Francisco in August 2008 and, presto, now he’s getting advice from Madonna and Katy Perry, has a newly signed record contract, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone (where he officially outed himself) and is touring like a rock star.
And when you ask Lambert, who has a musical theatre background, where he expects to find himself in a decade or so … “In 10 years? I hope I’ll have a good large handful of albums out, and be making appearances, and maybe doing films.”

American Idols Live! by Shelley Fralic

If there was any question that Adam Lambert stands out as one of the most interesting performers ever to strut through America’s flighty pop culture conscience, then you need only chat with him a few minutes for confirmation.
Firstly, he just got a new iPhone and he’s using from his hotel room in Portland and he isn’t quite sure how it works, so, um, sorry if he accidentally cuts you off…
“I like to control what I create and what I perform. And with Idol, they let me do that. There’s this perception out there that they control you, and that’s not the case.” “They consult about everything . . . it’s all been kind of up to me.”
And if the post-Idol chaos, from his non-stop rehearsing schedule to the endless media interviews, is handled by experts, that’s fine by him. “The day-to-day stuff isn’t up to me, but to be honest, it takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders. “I’d be a mess if I had to look after that at the moment.”
Lambert’s set includes a David Bowie medley — Life on Mars, Fame and Let’s Dance — which he’ll deliver with an electronic spin while decked out in a blue metallic silver bomber jacket with tails and spikes.
And while Lambert says he’s had to sacrifice his personal life (he’s dating interior designer Drake LaBry), “I try my hardest to remain cool with it, to have a sense of humour about it. “None of it has really shocked me. I think it’s a fair trade. It’s worth it, for the opportunities.”
Lambert has also been busy in the studio, writing and recording songs for a CD that will be released in November, as well as meeting some of the pros in the business, like Usher and Enrique Iglesias. And Madonna, who he says told him to keep his eyes on the prize. But the best advice so far, he says, came from songbird Katy Perry who told him, simply, “you gotta stay happy.”

On the Road With Kris Allen & Adam Lambert by Marc Malkin

So what do Kris Allen and Adam Lambert have to bring with them on the road?
Lambert says it’s the simple things in life that will keep him happy. “I need to have my iPod, so I can have music with me,” he says.
Allen is pretty basic, too. “I’ll bring my phone,” he says. But then Allen laughes, “I’ll bring a piece of my wife’s hair—a lock of Katie’s hair, so I can brush it on my face.”

Review: ‘American Idol’ tour hits Portland — and we’re still with Adam by Scott D. Lewis

Adam so should have won… And from the cries as the Idols flashed across projection screens, it was clear who the winner would be.
Allison Iraheta was an absolute rock star, complete with fan-blown rainbow hair and an electric guitar for her confident take on “So What,” and she whipped up a witchy wail for a stunning version of “Barracuda” that would have made Ann Wilson drop her fork.
… The slightly androgynous gothy singing sensation absolutely tore up “Whole Lotta Love” and, with help from Iraheta, transformed the classic rock dude anthem “Slow Ride” into something sly and fun. Finally, the huge hall was full of energy.
And then some guy named Kris Allen came onstage and did a few dull songs, including, oddly, “Hey Jude” to end his winner-but-losing set.

American Idol 2009 Summer Tour – Portland Review

… Each Idol did grab the mic during their set for some banter but it was only Allison Iraheta who really connected with the audience.
Allison Iraheta made up for the energy suck of the intermission. She opened with an extremely energetic rendition of Pink’s “So What”. Allison played a few of the refrains on her guitar, but not well… Allison continued with Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby” which was fantastic. As she let loose, she really showed a real comfort on the stage. At one point during “Cry Baby” she did really embody Joplin. It wasn’t a mimic or impression, but something much deeper. Her talk to the audience seemed to really connect and it showed a real presence and charisma. She closed her set with a fantastic performance of Heart’s “Barracuda”. I was disappointed that she only sang three songs. It was at this point I wished the show were the top 5 and not the top 10.
Gokey was immediately forgotten after Adam Lambert’s explosive opening. The crowd went crazy as he belted out Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. A lot of the things that I felt didn’t work in Lambert’s performances on the small screen were the very things that made seeing him live in an arena so fantastic. His opening number was pure electricity and left absolutely no doubt that he’s a rock star. I was really shocked at just how amazing hearing Adam Lambert sing Zeppelin was. He followed with an extremely strong version of Muse’s “Starlight” and then slowed it down with “Mad World”. Although the live version of “Mad World” wasn’t as magical as on the show, it was still fantastic. He pulled the entire audience in with the song and showed how easily he could warp the tempo and tone on stage. Adam called Allison on stage and the two of them did Foghat’s “Slow Ride”… Adam and Allison’s chemistry were fantastic and the song was spot on. Adam finished his set with a medley of David Bowie songs including “Life on Mars”, “Fame” and “Let’s Dance”. It was fun and playful, but I would have enjoyed more big rock like Queen or Kiss. Still, Lambert showed he’s the real deal and his performance was so strong, I’ll definitely make a point to see him when he returns on his own.
During Adam’s set it became pretty clear how limited the staging of the show was. “Whole Lotta Love” screamed for some sort of pyrotechnics and his melody of Bowie songs could have been a huge production number with dancers and effects. It was a huge opportunity lost and one of the most noticeable failings of the show as a whole.
Kris Allen emerged from the floor in the center of the stage to the screams of the fans. They dropped a curtain behind him and the rest of the band (an odd move) and he held silent with his acoustic guitar in hand, for just a little too long. What followed though was one of the highlights of the entire show. Allen performed Kanye West’s “Heartless” in a way that made it clear that he’s made it his own. The song sounded even better live and is the corner stone of Allen’s success. Kris Allen was pitch perfect with his performance of “No Boundaries”, which isn’t my favorite song, but Allen finds hooks in it to make it into something much more beautiful and strong than the source material. Allen’s emotion and connection to the audience peaked with “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers. I think it’s Allen’s humble honesty in his performance that really wins the audience over. If Kris Allen came out with the ego of Matt Giraud I don’t think it would work nearly as well. Kris Allen went for the trifecta on Matchbox 20’s “Bright Lights” singing, playing guitar and piano, a truly versatile performance. He closed his set with a fantastic performance of “Hey Jude”, with the other 9 Idols joining him for the end of the song.
The finale of the night was Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, probably the best group effort I’ve seen. For one reason or another the song just ‘fits’ this group. There have been a lot of reports on how close the top 10 American Idol group is, but musically they really haven’t meshed well as a group, except for this song. It was a fantastic close to the show and a real highlight of the night.

American Idol Live in Portland Video Interviews

Reporters were given just 5 mins to ask questions and with two idols to cover it was tough to try to fit a lot in. Meeting the Idols in person I was struck by how closely they mirrored their ‘personas’ on the screen. What you saw on TV is pretty much what you see when you talk to them in person. Of the group I enjoyed Allison Iraheta’s rambunctious humor, Adam Lambert’s ultimate humility and Anoop Desai who seemed to have the best take on the event.

“American Idols Live” opening night: the wrapup by Bob Payne

Mark my words: Adam Lambert was greeted with a deafening roar. Whether you love or hate the guy’s vocal technique, there’s simply no denying his flair for showmanship. The guy OWNS the stage, with charisma that you can’t turn away from.
It’s tough to be No. 1: I’ve heard some rumblings of discontent over Kris Allen’s stage presence last night. I have to give him a pass for two reasons: 1) He’s saddled with the horrible coronation song, “No Boundaries”; and 2) because he plays the guitar, it’s tougher for him to move around the stage and be as dynamic as some of the other singers. So he mostly just stood at the microphone.
No suprise here: Allison RAWKS: The 17-year-old from Los Angeles was like a red-maned hurricane. It’s about time we had a new generation of women in rock. Well now they have a leader.

Lambert, Iraheta Get Pumped for American Idols Live’s First Gig

“You don’t have the whole judge thing, the cameras aren’t in your face,” Allen said. “You’re just playing for the crowd and you can feed off that energy.” “You’re nervous on the show because you have these four guys who are going to tell me how much I suck in front of so many friggin’ people,” added Allison Iraheta, the season’s youngest Idol. “With the tour, I know there are a lot of people out there who voted for me.”
But the idea of playing for such a large live audience does seem impressive to the Idols. “This is definitely the biggest crowd I’ve performed in front of,” said Adam Lambert, whose pre-show preparation includes some push-ups and sit-ups to get his blood pumping. There should be plenty of blood pumping in the audience, too, considering that Lambert is opening his set this summer with the awesomely over-the-top “Whole Lotta Love,” the Led Zeppelin cover that blew away the Idol judges (and fans). “It’s fun, it’s sexy,” he said.

Adam Lambert, Kris Allen Hit the Stage Again as American Idols Live Tour Kicks Off in Portland by Susan Yudt

The two biggest stars of the show — winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert — embraced what endeared them to millions of fans throughout Season Eight. “Glambert” was out in full force, with tight pants, his otherworldly wail and a tribute to the original rock androgyne, David Bowie. Wrapped in a plaid shirt and a pair of jeans, Allen kept it simple and real, embracing the stripped-down soul sound that elevated him from dark horse to worthy champion.
Allison Iraheta took the series’ fairly tame group number “So What” and made it just as tough as Pink’s version. With wind in her pink and purple hair, guitar strapped across her torso and a voice like a pack of cigarettes, the youngest Idol showed off her rock moves like a true rock goddess in the making.
In true Robert Plant style, Lambert made his arrival known, punctuating his three-octave howl on “Whole Lotta Love” with pelvic thrusts and microphone straddling, then quickly switched gears for the haunting “Mad World,” showing off his crystalline falsetto against a moody backdrop of smoke and twinkling lights. After reprising “Slow Ride,” his energetic duet with “little sister” Iraheta, Lambert closed his set with a medley of Bowie songs, then sunk down into the stage to the loudest cheers of the night.
… Season Eight champion Allen, who eschewed theatrics for a straightforward set of Idol favorites, from the soulful, percussive “Heartless” to his stirring piano-and-vocals interpretation of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Calling for a sea of cell phones and lighters, Allen finished his set with a plaintive rendition of “Hey Jude,”

The tour opens – live from Portland by Richard Rushfield

… For those like Kris and Adam, who’s footing had been fairly sure throughout the season, it was a chance to put on a fully realized mini-concert of four of five songs each.
Nervous though she may be, anyone who does not finding themselves grinning from ear to ear during Allison’s rocker girl antics should take themselves directly to the hospital to have their heart examined for possible malfunction. Starting with Pink’s So What, listening to Allison declare, “I want to start a fight” is one of the great pleasures of the modern arts.
There is little to be said that hasn’t been written this year about the Adam Lambert phenomenon, but his ability to fly right past what seem impossibly high expectations continues to amazing. His closing Bowie medley is dazzling, and any doubts about the great things lying ahead for him would be hard pressed to withstand the awesomeness of his set.
Kris Allen comes to the stage facing a bundle full of questions – namely, could his soft-spoken, low key style stand up as the headline act of an arena show? To all appearances, it could, handily. The show very astutely didn’t try to make Kris top Adam in volume, but stripped down the production for his numbers to a minimalist, intimate feel through which his strong vocals on “Heartless” and others did manage to turn the stadium into a little theater or nightclub, a feeling his set kept coming back to until the crowd-pleasing singalong finale of “Hey Jude.” In the end, one can’t but feel that Kris’ is the right note for the concert to end in, that of all the Idol’s his likable,sweet style delivered the feel-good close that had the departing crowds still humming with good will towards mankind.
Overall the effect was a far more contemporary, far “cooler” show than in previous years.
Before the show, I spoke with Raj Kapoor, the tour’s Producer and Director, who explained. “This year we decided to go in a different direction that really focused on musicality and really focused on the individual personalities, and we really tried to create an environment for the individual artists where they could really stand out even more than the television show did and really give them the opportunity to be the artists they wanted to be.”

American Idols Live: The post-concert reaction (by By Brian Mansfield)

“I started crying on So What,” Allison admitted. “I don’t know if people saw, but I’m glad they didn’t.
“I cried. I’m really happy. I’m about to pass out.”

Giraud, Lil Rounds shine as Idols take to the road – basically praised everyone

The night’s winners included … Allison Iraheta, who combined youthful exuberance with convincing rock chops. Adam Lambert and Kris Allen dominated, though — the place went haywire for Lambert’s extravagant vocals and lithe moves, and Allen’s more intimate appeal.

Idol Chatter Review : Your American Idol: Kris Allen (by By Brian Mansfield)

…When Kris finally sings, it’s his version of Kanye West’s Heartless. The crowd is into it, though nothing like they were with Adam. Kris’ career, it seems, will live and die on his songs and their arrangements. Adam, on the other hand, will be able to rely just as much on the reputation of his live performances.
Next up, it’s No Boundaries, but it’s not getting anywhere near the level of reaction that Heartless did. In fact, people are starting to sit down. It’s just inexcusable that the Idol winner has to include a song that elicits that kind of reaction. It’s a set killer. ..
Third song is also from the show: Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine, followed by Matchbox 20’s Bright Lights. Kris is holding his own, considering how much of a bring-down No Boundaries was, but he’s going to need some big hits of his own if he ever hopes to fill halls this size again. Musically, his brand of pop seems like it might be better suited to smaller halls, like theaters in the 2,500 to 5,000-seat range. During Bright Lights, he leaves the piano and grabs an electric guitar. The audience is thankful and begins to stand again — but maybe just because he’s farther back on the stage and it’s harder to see him. Regardless, the energy level in the hall starts to rise again.
“Has everybody got their lighters out?” he asks. Well, a few of them do. Most of them have cellphones. Or glo-sticks. They wave them happily anyway for the Beatles’ Hey Jude. Kris gets two sets of “na-na-na-nas” on his own, then he gets the audience to sing along — they’re all with him. Several of the Idols return stage to finish, and that brings the remaining few sitters in the crowd. It’s a big love fest — and, more than 40 years after its release, the simple chorus of Hey Jude remains undeniable.
As are the opening piano chords of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing … giving Adam and Kris, who left the stage after Hey Jude, a perfect spot to return to maximum screamage… Adam gives the band a shout-out. Bubbles descend from the ceiling. The Idols pump their fists with a final “Don’t stop!”

Idol Chatter Review : Number Two: Adam Lambert (by By Brian Mansfield)

…Adam kicks off his set with Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, and the stage fills with smoke. He’s wearing a blue-and-black metallic-looking studded jacket that comes down to his knees, along with a sleeveless black T-shirt and black pants. The crowd may have been dancing for Allison and Danny — for Adam, they’re screaming. Suddenly we’ve gone from the world of AC pop into a real rock show.
Second song is Muse’s Starlight, and the six disco balls hanging above the stage turns the Rose Garden into a planetarium. It’s Adam’s typically impressive song choice — for the arrangement, imagine Erasure’s Andy Bell fronting the Sisters of Mercy — and he sings it flawlessly, beautifully, slipping in and out of falsetto… this is the first of the new numbers I’d lay down cash money to hear again.
Low-level fog creeps in, as Adam takes a seat on a stool to sing the Tears for Fears/Gary Jules song Mad World. The crowd is still on its feet, and they’ve brought out their cameras — you could practically read in here, the flashes are so steady. Some people are singing along; most of them just look entranced.
The guitarist cranks out the opening chords to Slow Ride start, and the audience knows what’s coming — or, rather, who. Allison Iraheta walks on stage, and the place goes ballistic.
Now, he’s doing the David Bowie medley he promised, which starts with Life on Mars (and the big red planet is behind him on the video screen). As he slides into Fame, the crowd shrieks again, but it’s not for the song: Adam has shed his jacket, revealing the sleeveless T underneath. He’s obviously been working with JaQuel Knight on choreography, too; he’s moving lithely across the stage in a way Idol viewers never saw. The third number, Let’s Dance, assumes a pulsing, throbbing club rhythm under his command, barely resembling the pseudo-horn-band arrangement of Bowie’s original.
He finishes, then descends on the center-stage lift.

Idol Chatter Review – Number Four: Allison Iraheta (by By Brian Mansfield)

Allison Iraheta takes the stage with Pink’s So What to start the second half…
She’s claiming the rocker-chick look from the start… And this time, the entire floor of the venue is on its feet — and she’s not going to let them sit down during her second number, the Janis Joplin/Garnet Mimms classic Cry Baby.
Cry Baby, like Me and Bobby McGee, is an incredibly difficult for female singers to make work, because it’s so closely associated with Joplin. No matter how hard she’s singing, Allison just doesn’t project the Joplin vibe, and that’s to her benefit. Instead, she manages to combine a youthful exuberance (there’s definitely something reminiscent of Miley Cyrus going on) with convincing rock chops and great vocals. She’s sounds hard but not ragged, tough but not overworn. It’s a great performance.
But, unlike Matt, who let loose of the crowd, Allison’s not going to let go of them. She sets up Danny, Adam and Kris (once again, Adam gets the biggest response), then goes into the Heart song you knew had to happen. It’s Barracuda… she’s totally working the stage, and she has sounded fantastic on every song. If you liked her on the show, you’re going to love her live. And if she gets the right material, she will be a star.

Idols on tour

Desert island artists: Kris says The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Queen. Allison: Jack White, Janis Joplin
We talked a bit about the influence of Michael Jackson on pop music overall, and on Kris in particular. “Who didn’t?” he asked when I recounted a story about his habit of dancing and singing Jackson songs as a boy.
I asked Kris about his rendition of the song “Falling Slowly” that he did during movie week. He said he’d seen the movie and really loved the song and thought it would work.
Allison says she’s still doing school now — she’s 17 — and that she’s pretty much started her senior year. She doesn’t just want to get her GED. “I really want to graduate.”
Favorite Halloween costume: – Adam: “I was a glam pirate, and then a glampire.”
Favorite ice cream flavors? – Adam: Mint chocolate chip!
I told Adam about all the tweets from fans in Asia and asked him he expected to tour over there. He said he hopes so, especially because they’re viewing the new album as “a world release.”
Got a release date for the first single yet? “Well the album’s slated for November, so I expect either October or November, but nothing’s set yet.”
“I love Twitter but I think there are people who over-Twitter. I got on and said Portland’s really cool. What else do you want from me?” He essentially joked that it’s kind of ridiculous to broadcast his every move. So Twitter fans, savor those rare Adam tweets.
(asked about how planned his performances were) Adam said those kind of things were not really planned. In fact, he said that the shirt-lift thing was an accident, because his finger got caught! He didn’t even know he’d done it until someone joked with him about it later.
Then came the uneven guy-girl ratio on the tour buses again. I suggested that they should have sent one of the guys over and Adam interjected: “I asked!”


Interview with the Idols Live Director/Producer Raj Kapoor (he explains Kris’ set)

Adam with Fans

Kris Allen with Fans

Top 10 Interview (mfmagazine)

Adam and Lil Interview (LA Times)

Adam and Lil Interview (from On Portland – check out other idols from the YouTube page)

Adam and Lil Press Interview – Check out other Idol interviews on the YouTube page

Kris and Anoop Interview (from On Portland)

Kris and Anoop Press Interview – check out others here

Allison and Scott Press Interview (LA Times)

Allison and Scott Press Interview (On Portland)

Allison and Scott Press Interview


Performance photos from idoltourbenches, Times idol blog, Vicki Sky and other fans
Check out this gallery for MOAR pictures!
* Epic fan recap to end all fan recaps – seriously 🙂 Just click here and visit this link for photos galore.

LOL U GUYS. Again, use freely but credirt to ontd ai on Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
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Thank you @IDOLTOUR09 What a FUN night!! Closing number = EPI... on Twitpic @adamlambert I could watch you over and over again!! You wer... on Twitpic @Allison4Realzzz GIRL! you were off the chain tonight!!! Can'... on Twitpic
@KrisAllen4Real rocking out with his guitar! on Twitpic My favorite pic of the night!! @adamlambert on Twitpic Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
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  1. AC
    July 7, 2009 at 12:42 am

    I only care about these 3 too! hehe. thanks!

  1. July 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm

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