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Author Topic: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA  (Read 8937 times)

Marilyn

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2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« on: April 26, 2010, 07:57:23 PM »
Melodie
Administrator
2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« on: June 25, 2003, 09:36:10 PM »   

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Coming soon to a town near you?!

TUESDAY, JULY 8
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, MN
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (651) 989-5151, and ticketmaster.com.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 9
United Center - Chicago, IL
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (312) 559-1212, and ticketmaster.com.

FRIDAY, JULY 11
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (614) 431-3600, and ticketmaster.com.

SATURDAY, JULY 12
Conseco Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, IN
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (317) 239-5151, and ticketmaster.com.

SUNDAY, JULY 13
US Bank Arena - Cincinnati, OH
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (513) 562-4949, and ticketmaster.com.

TUESDAY, JULY 15
Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh, PA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (412) 323-1919, and ticketmaster.com.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 16
First Union Arena - Wilkes-Barre, PA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (570) 693-4100, and ticketmaster.com.

FRIDAY, JULY 18
Hartford Civic Center - Hartford, CT
Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone
(860) 525-4500, and ticketmaster.com. If tickets remain, also at the box office beginning Sunday, May 18th at 10AM.

SATURDAY, JULY 19
HSBC Arena - Buffalo, NY
Tickets are available at box office, all Tickets.com outlets, charge by phone (888) 223-6000 and tickets.com.

SUNDAY, JULY 20
Joe Louis Arena - Detroit, MI
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (248) 645-6666, and ticketmaster.com.

TUESDAY, JULY 22
Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ONT
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (416) 870-8000, and ticketmaster.ca.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23
CSU Convocation Center - Cleveland, OH
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (216) 241-5555, and ticketmaster.com.

FRIDAY, JULY 25 & SATURDAY, JULY 26
Worcester's Centrum Centre - Worcester, MA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (617) 931-2000, and ticketmaster.com.

SUNDAY, JULY 27
First Union Center - Philadelphia, PA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (215) 336-2000, and ticketmaster.com.

MONDAY, JULY 28
MCI Center - Washington, DC
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (202) 432-SEAT, and ticketmaster.com.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 30
Continental Airlines Arena - East Rutherford, NJ
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (212) 307-7171, and ticketmaster.com.

THURSDAY, JULY 31
Nassau Coliseum - Uniondale, NY
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (212) 307-7171, and ticketmaster.com.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 2
Dunkin Donuts Center - Providence, RI
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (401) 331-2211, and ticketmaster.com.

MONDAY, AUGUST 4
Pepsi Arena - Albany, NY
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (518) 476-1000, and ticketmaster.com.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 5
Richmond Coliseum - Richmond, VA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (804) 262-8100, and ticketmaster.com.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6
RBC Arena - Raleigh, NC
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (919) 834-4000, and ticketmaster.com.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8
Charlotte Coliseum - Charlotte, NC
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (704) 522-6500, and ticketmaster.com.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9
Philips Arena - Atlanta, GA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (404) 249-6400, and ticketmaster.com.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 10
TD Waterhouse Centre - Orlando, FL
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (407) 839-3900, and ticketmaster.com.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 12
Office Depot Center - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (305) 358-5885, and ticketmaster.com.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13
St. Pete Times Forum - Tampa, FL
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (813) 287-8844, and ticketmaster.com.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 15
BJCC Arena - Birmingham, AL
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (800) 277-1700, and ticketmaster.com.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16
Pyramid Arena - Memphis, TN
Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone
(713) 629-3700, and ticketmaster.com. If Tickets remain, also at the box office beginning Monday, May 19 at 10AM.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 17
Savvis Center - St. Louis, MO
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (314) 241-1888, and ticketmaster.com.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 19
American Airlines Center - Dallas, TX
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (214) 373-8000, and ticketmaster.com.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20
Compaq Center - Houston, TX
Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone
(901) 525-1515, and ticketmaster.com. If Tickets remain, also at the box office beginning Monday, May 19th at 10AM.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 21
Ford Center - Oklahoma City, OK
Tickets are available at box office, all Tickets.com outlets, charge by phone (800) 511-1552, and tickets.com.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 23
Delta Center - Salt Lake City, UT
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (801) 325-SEAT, and ticketmaster.com.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 24
The Pavilion at BSU - Boise, ID
Tickets are available at box office, select a seat outlets, charge by phone
(208) 426-1766, and idahotickets.com.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 26
Key Arena - Seattle, WA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (206) 628-0888, and ticketmaster.com.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27
Rose Garden - Portland, OR
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (503) 224-4400, and ticketmaster.com.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28
Arco Arena - Sacramento, CA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (916) 649-TIXS, and ticketmaster.com.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30
HP Pavilion at San Jose - San Jose, CA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (408) 998-TIXS, and ticketmaster.com.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 31
Arrowhead Pond - Anaheim, CA
Tickets are available at box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (213) 365-6300, and ticketmaster.com.

PopTarts ® Kellogg Company © 2003 Kellogg Company

http://idolonfox.com/showinfo/tour.htm

 
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Marilyn

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 07:57:57 PM »
2003 'Idol' Tour Tracks Stronger Than Last Year
Sat June 21, 2003 04:33 PM ET

By Susanne Ault

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - The popularity of American Idol is reaching beyond the show once again. As soon as the picture faded on the second season, fans turned their attention to the Idol tour.

This summer's arena trek of the contest's finalists -- which include second-season winner Ruben Studdard and first-runner-up Clay Aiken -- is outpacing the ticket sales of the first American Idol road trip. That comes after the TV show's second installment beat the ratings of its debut season.

These two high notes go hand in hand: Logically, bigger TV audiences for American Idol's second round created a larger consumer market for the live shows.

Overall, the Tuesday/Wednesday average of the second season trumped the first by 71% among total viewers (21.7 million vs. 12.7 million), according to Nielsen Media Research. Typically, fewer people watch TV during the summer months when American Idol bowed, but its fall performance is impressive, considering there is more original programming competition during that period.

Expanding to 41 dates from 30 in 2002, the tour starts July 8 at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., and wraps Aug. 31 at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Calif. Tickets range from $25-$45 apiece, the same as last year.

Tour organizers say planning adjustments for Pop Tarts Presents American Idols Live are also spiking ticket sales. Onsales for the 2003 concerts rolled out the week prior to the TV series' finale. In 2002, onsales kicked off after the TV show ended.

"The time before, there was a fall-off of attention. Here, there was an extra week of Idol mania, and it helped build sales," says Debra Rathwell, senior VP of AEG Live, which is promoting the tour nationally.

To illustrate, Rathwell says that in 2002, about 10 shows sold out immediately, 10 eventually filled to 70% capacity, and 10 were overall slow sells. This year, at least 23 are sold out, 10 are close, and five are soft.

Reuters/Billboard

http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=musicNews&storyID=2966772

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 07:58:44 PM »
Melodie
Administrator

CLAY GETS A TASTE OF MINNESOTA "NICE"
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2003, 07:35:24 PM »   

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Clay Aiken gets a taste of Minnesota nice
C.J., Star Tribune

Published July 3, 2003

Clay Aiken reportedly can't believe how nice Minnesotans are. The "American Idol" finalist dropped by Q.Cumbers in Edina shortly before the end of Bonnie Gustafson's shift Sunday night. The idols are rehearsing at St. Paul's X for next week's start of their 38-city tour. Gustafson, a St. Paul Hancock Elementary School phy ed teacher who works on the side at Q.'s, said, "We got a call ahead of time that they were going to be sending somebody important. I have to be honest; I really didn't follow the show other than the last couple days. But he's so distinctive, it was real obvious who it was." After checking a CD cover, Gustafson has concluded that Clay was in the company of another idol candidate, Carmen, "and then the bodyguard who kind of stops interviews and that kind of thing." Gustafson said Aiken told her that the hotel recommended Q.Cumbers as offering healthier fare. "He said, This is awesome, we'll come back," she said. Aiken said he's trying to be more health-conscious while he's out on the road. "They were all very pleasant," Gustafson said. "I didn't want to bother them. He was like, Everywhere we go, people are so nice. I was making every attempt not to bother them. He said, I walked through Marshall Field's in St. Paul and this gal said, Come on over, I wanna meet you! You try to avoid bothering just for that reason. But they stayed and visited, and he was so nice," she said. "He said, Is everyone in Minnesota this nice? I said we're Minnesota nice until you get behind the wheel of a car, and then we have a different reputation."

http://www.startribune.com/stories/464/3968775.html
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Marilyn

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 08:00:15 PM »
Melodie
Administrator

ST PAUL STAR TRIBUNE - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2003, 02:55:26 PM »   

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Review: Familiar faces, familiar formula at 'Idol' concert
Jon Bream, Star Tribune
 
Published July 9, 2003 IDOL09
 
"American Idol" is the music world's hottest franchise.

The formulaic TV talent contest, now in its second season, is like McDonald's, providing fast-food stardom. Overnight, Clay Aiken, the "AI2" runner-up, and Ruben Studdard, "AI2" champ, sent songs to the top of the charts. Last year's champ, Kelly Clarkson, already has chalked up three hit singles.

In concert, "American Idol" is more like another formulaic franchise, Disney.

The second "AI" tour, which opened a 39-city trek Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, was very Mickey Mouse -- in both senses of the term.

The music was lightweight and predictable -- a lot of fluff, a lot of sentiment and a couple of Goofy moments. And the two-hour show was like an overproduced Disneyland/World variety show starring some familiar TV faces.

The crowd of 12,274 -- mostly preteen girls, as well as middle-aged women -- loved hearing songs from the show and hits from the radio. But mostly they loved seeing Roooo-ben and especially Clay in person. The screams for both rivaled the shrill thrills at an 'N Sync concert.

During the past two weeks in St. Paul, the "AI2" cast and crew have tried to put together a show that shows off the strengths of all nine singers. To ask cutthroat competitors to suddenly become collegial collaborators is about as daunting a challenge as asking "AI's" nasty judge Simon Cowell to become as sweet as fellow judge Paula Abdul. But these singers seemed to have a rapport and a sense of determination like a high-school drama club on opening night.

This tour is using the same stage set and concept as last year -- solo turns in the first half, ensemble numbers after intermission. One noticeable difference is that the singers interpret contemporary tunes -- including Shania Twain's "Up" and Stacie Orrico's "Stuck" -- as well as oldies by Tina Turner and Michael Jackson.

The biggest -- and most important -- difference is that this cast has two true stars. Last year's ensemble may have had more depth of talent, but no performer impressed as if their instant stardom had any kind of legs. (How big a bomb was last month's movie "From Justin to Kelly"?) But on Tuesday, it was clear that Aiken and Studdard could be contenders for a long time.

Aiken, 24, from Raleigh, N.C., showed true star quality. Not only was he a natural onstage, conversing with confidence and glee, but he also commanded the stage. He sang his No. 1 "This Is the Night" with schmaltzy aplomb, standing at a mike stand in a black suit. With his frail physique, spiky hair and elfin face, he looked geekily handsome, like Barry Manilow without the schnozz. He can match Manilow for sentiment and style, but he has a much more impressive voice -- strong and rangy with Broadway potential. And when he moved away from the mike stand and crouched for emphasis, the crowd went wild.

Aiken then graciously introduced Studdard, 25, your "American Idol." The big guy from Birmingham, Ala., did an abbreviated but unstoppable version of "Superstar," a favorite from TV. Studdard sweated like Whitney Houston, sang like Luther Vandross and seemed as lovable as a velvet teddy bear.

In fact, he showed a Vandross fixation. After "Superstar," he took on the veteran soul singer's "Never Too Much," but he couldn't handle the speed of the song. He seemed out of breath and out of sync. Studdard's "Can I Get Your Attention," from his forthcoming solo album, was a likable slow-groove party jam set to hip-hop rhythms, a stark contrast to the pop and soul of the rest of the evening.

During the second half, Aiken also offered a tune -- the catchy, can't-miss pop piece "Invisible" -- from his forthcoming solo effort. And befitting the Disney-like second segment, he did a heartwarming, somewhat understated reading of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight."
Much of the second set was devoted to cheesy ensemble numbers. The long Bee Gees medley was crowd-pleasing fun. But Simon Cowell might have offered some scathing comments for the tasteless interweaving of four guys singing the jazzy "The Lady Is a Tramp" with four gals doing the funky "Bootylicious."

Cowell also might have suggested that Kimberly Caldwell dump her trailer-park perm and heavy mascara, and that J.Lo-wannabe Julia DeMato ditch the glitter on her eyelids. At least Carmen Rasmussen was able to pull off her Olivia Newton-John-does-Britney Spears look. Vocally, Kimberley Locke was the lone woman with the potential to move beyond the "American Idol" franchise. But this was all about the Big Macs, Rooo-ben and Clay.

Jon Bream is at 612-673-1719 or popmusic@startribune.com.

http://www.startribune.com/stories/1374/3978093.html
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Marilyn

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 08:01:37 PM »
Cruiser
Guest
  CHICAGO TRIBUNE - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2003, 09:32:34 PM »   

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From the Chicago Tribune-'American Idol' tour on a roll
By Joshua Klein

Typically the music industry signs an artist, releases a record and later tries to develop an audience. In a brilliant twist, "American Idol" works the other way around. Over the course of several weeks the show fosters an audience, which then gets to vote for their favorite singers and their ready-picked songs. It's only at the end of the process that a winner is crowned and a single finally released, ready to be bought up by the show's millions of built-in fans.

Still, you can make someone a star, but you can't make that star stick. While the latest batch of fresh-faced winners and runners-up from the second season of "American Idol" seemed to be having a ball Wednesday night at the United Center, it was hard to overlook the fact that most would be put out to pasture as soon as the tour concluded. Or worse: They could suffer the fate of last year's second-place finalist, Justin Guarini, who was reduced to a punch line in record time. The embarrassing "American Idol" movie might have come and gone in a heartbeat, but mop-topped sop Guarini will remain late-night monologue fodder for months.

But "American Idol II" offered something its predecessor didn't have: character. This year's first- and second-place Idols, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, have rich, soulful voices, and, unlike last year's square pegs—Kelly Clarkson and Guarini— Studdard and Aiken already seem less willing to be pounded into round holes. No doubt some executive is working on a scheme to recreate the pair as more familiar Top 40 fodder, so the United Center was one of the last chances to catch them before the transformation begins. And in the case of the other performers, it was a last chance to catch them, period.

But for a while it seemed even that was unlikely. The show began nearly an hour late, and by the time the smoke machines sent their tendrils out from under the curtains, much of the not-quite-capacity crowd was booing. When Charles Grigsby finally appeared, few seemed excited; and Julia DeMato's take on Christina Aguilera's ballad "Beautiful" was too slow for the already sluggish crowd. Rickey Smith did an adequate job with Michael Jackson's upbeat "The Way You Make Me Feel," but Kimberly Caldwell and Carmen Rasmusen left little of an impression.

Thankfully, Trenyce perked things up with her rousing "Proud Mary," replete with Tina Turner-style dance moves, and Kimberley Locke showed off her better-than-third-place pipes. But the evening was all about Aiken and Studdard. When the former appeared on stage, the volume from his screaming fans nearly overwhelmed his voice. As things settled, it soon became clear his microphone was on the fritz. Looking sheepish as he more or less mimed his words, Aiken at least got to end his fraction of a song with a nice quip. "Hope you enjoyed that half a song," he joked. "The first half was off key, anyway."

Studdard received an almost-as-enthusiastic reception, which he used to fuel his slightly longer solo set (that is to say, three songs, including his take on the Carpenters' "Superstar"). Yet even in light of the epic delay at the start of the show, Studdard's set was followed by an audacious 15-minute intermission, which emptied a few more seats of parents and their sleepy kids.

Act Two began terribly, with a confounding boy-versus-girl sing-off that set "The Lady Is a Tramp" against "Bootylicious." Following Studdard and Aiken's duet on the insipid Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney collaboration "The Girl is Mine," it was all downhill.

A Bee Gees medley was disastrous, and a hip-hop flavored song from Studdard's album-in-progress showed how quickly the Velvet Teddybear could lose his charm.

If there was a winner of this perpetual competition, it was Aiken. While he and Studdard have comparably strong voices—and Locke threatened to better them both with her impressive "Over the Rainbow"—only Aiken has the natural charm to do justice to the "Idol" mantle.

Expect him to steal your heart when he stars opposite Studdard in the second "American Idol" movie: "When Ruben Met Clay." But let's hope he has the good taste to steer clear should such a terrible idea come to pass.


Chicago Tribune Review
 
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 08:02:20 PM »
Cruiser
Guest
  CHICAGO SUN TIMES - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2003, 12:06:36 PM »   

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'Idol' worship not deserved
July 11, 2003
BY DAVID JAKUBIAK 

As much as "American Idol" has done for the musical careers of Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, the franchise is as much about making music as Dairy Queen is about making hamburgers.

Sure DQ does burgers, but it's the Blizzard you're after.

Sure "Idol" serves up hits, but it's the show fans are after.

So when the 39-city tour of Simon Cowell's Traveling Karaoke Carnival--culled from nine contestants of "AI2"--rolled into the United Center on Wednesday night, there were sideshows (an endless brigade of advertising led by Pop-Tarts and Stayfree), freak shows (Julia DeMato rising on a chaise longue from under the floor through a dry ice mist) and there was the big top: Ruben vs. Clay.

The Ruben/Clay question seemed as significant to the near-capacity crowd as the Splendid Splinter/Yankee Clipper question was to baseball fans in the 1940s or the Magic/Bird question was to basketball fans in the 1980s.

Their fervor was clear.

Cheryl Holmes of Chicago brought Laurice Williams, 8, and 13-year-old twins Bianca and Bonita Ross to the show because they all love "Idol" as good family entertainment. "We never missed an episode," Holmes said proudly.

But asked why they were really there, the four ladies let everyone in Section 113 know--"Ruben!"

Still, one row in front of the Ruben quartet, Mary Cooke-Hall, also of Chicago, issued a salvo of her own. "Clay is my boyfriend," Cooke-Hall said, "even if I am married. Just because you don't eat off the menu doesn't mean you can't look."

Musically, "American Idols Live!" is as prefab as a concert can get, one step removed from a theme-park extravaganza. There were the superbly understated five-piece band, four anonymous dancers and the nine Idols. Each was summoned to the stage by his or her "best friend on the whole tour," warbled a single cover, unleashed 13 "I love you Chi-Towns!" and promptly introduced, via video clip, his or her own "best friend on the whole tour."

Charles Grigsby introduced DeMato, who chased a vocal track of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" before introducing Rickey Smith, whose strut to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" was just a touch less convincing than the original.

Onward it went, through Shania Twain's "Up!" (by Carmen Rasmusen), past Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" (Trenyce) and through Stacie Orrico's "Stuck" (Kimberly Caldwell) until Kimberly Locke finally introduced Rolling Stone cover boy Clay Aiken, whipping the crowd into an ear-bloodying frenzy of Nickelodeon-sculpted screams.

Aiken seemed fully prepared to belt his single "This Is the Night." But his mike was dead.

Three-quarters of the way through the song he was given a new mike, completed the song, apologized and introduced Ruben, who slid through a Luther Vandross two-pack of "Superstar" and "Never Too Much" before announcing a 15-minute intermission.

The second half of the show consisted of a series of musical theater collaborations.

These included a battle-of-the-sexes morphing of "The Lady Is a Tramp" and "Bootylicious" in which the lady Idols, dressed in all black, dueled the boys, dressed in all white.

And there was a Bee Gees medley in which Ruben emerged from the floor with a dancer under each arm like Superfly, while Clay flopped like a grownup Raggedy Andy tossed on a plush sofa at Studio 54.

By the time Ruben and Clay emerged to sing more of their solo work, many of the younger fans were surely getting tired because the show itself was an hour late in starting.

The extended wait elicited two energetic rounds of boos from the family-heavy crowd. There was a dimming of the lights, a flirtation of dry ice smoke and a bizarre animals-of-the-Serengeti video montage. But there were no Idols.

Then, suddenly, about an hour into the delay, one of the show's judges, Randy Jackson, appeared on a video message. And before you could say "Wait until after the show to call," Charles Grigsby was bounding across the stage looking like the long-lost member of Jodeci.


David Jakubiak, a Chicago freelancer, writes a weekly hip-hop column for WeekendPlus.

CHICAGO SUN TIMES REVIEW
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 08:03:11 PM »
Cruiser
Guest
  ST PAUL PIONEER PRESS - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2003, 03:02:37 PM »   

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MUSIC REVIEW: American Idols not all on same scale
BY JOHN NEMO
Special to the Pioneer Press

It's just not the same without Simon, Paula and Randy. I miss my dogs.
When "American Idols Live!" kicked off its national tour Tuesday before 12,274 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, there were nine finalists from the hit Fox TV show and none of the funny judges, unless you count an audio cameo by Randy Jackson telling everyone that Pop Tarts is sponsoring the tour.
While the nine singers — "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard, runner-up Clay Aiken and finalists Kimberley Locke, Trenyce, Carmen Rasmusen, Kimberly Caldwell, Rickey Smith, Julia DeMato and Charles Grigsby — had some nice moments, this was a show in serious need of judging.
Things started off with solo performances by each of the finalists, going in order from worst to first. Grigsby, who finished 11 spots from the top, came out hyped up and dancing, running around during an upbeat number.
Let's go to the judges. Randy: You know, dog, that wasn't bad. I like the way you move. Paula: I loved it! But the vocals could have been stronger. Sorry. Simon: Dreadful. Awful.
As DeMato, Smith and Caldwell took their turns in the spotlight, the talent level seemed to increase accordingly, though Caldwell's questionable wardrobe — a red crop top, military fatigues and high-heeled black boots — had the fashion police on high alert.
Highlights of the show's solo moments included the energetic Smith doing a fantastic Michael Jackson on "The Way You Make Me Feel," while Locke blew everyone away with a powerful version of "Somewhere over the Rainbow."
But the audience, which ranged from teenage girls wearing homemade "American Idol" T-shirts to 40-somethings, saved its biggest screams for Clay and Ruben.
When Clay started into his hit single, "This is the Night," the screaming was so loud it drowned out most of his vocals. When he appeared onstage later in the evening wearing a Minnesota Wild hockey shirt — well, our ears are still ringing. While Clay was the crowd's clear favorite, Ruben's soulful voice on his hit single, "Flying Without Wings," proved America got it right.
But for a show that charged $46.50 for its top ticket, "American Idols Live!" came off as this: Nine amateur singers with some up-and-down performances, an utter lack of choreography skills and little stage presence, unless you count shouting "St. Paul!" several dozen times during a two-hour show as working the audience.
Again, let's go to the judges. Randy: You know you're all my dogs. I liked it, I liked it. It just needs some work. Now, when I talk to Mariah Carey. … Paula: Oh, shut up! It was great! It was fantastic. You blew me away. (Wipes a tear.) I love you all. Simon: Dreadful. Awful. I've seen better from all of you. Clay, Ruben and Kimberly were the only ones who truly belonged on that stage tonight. The rest of you have some work to do.

PIONEER PRESS REVIEW
 
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 08:04:19 PM »
Melodie
Administrator
COLUMBUS DISPATCH - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2003, 01:21:05 PM »   

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MUSIC REVIEW | AMERICAN IDOLS LIVE
SHOW IS SWEET, BUT PREDICTABLE

 Saturday, July 12, 2003
FEATURES - ACCENT & ARTS   03D
By Margaret Quamme
FOR THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

It's appropriate that the American Idol Tour is sponsored by Pop-Tarts. As synthetic as it is sweet, the show makes up in reassuring predictability what it lacks in subtlety.

This year's tour follows the template established last year. The first half of last night's concert counted down nine of the final contestants of the television show, allotting one song to each of the finalists and two to the contest's winner.

Though the mostly female audience that nearly filled Nationwide Arena gave the requisite cheers to each singer, they were clearly waiting for the last two appearances.

This year's selections bounced between pop classics and more contemporary pop and soul numbers, with many of the singers out-brassed by a synthesizer-heavy five-piece band. Julia DeMato gave a pallid rendition of Christine Aguilera's Beautiful . Rickey Smith seemed comfortable with a low-key version of The Way You Make Me Feel , but Kimberly Caldwell's pseudo-rocking Stuck and Carmen Rasmusen's uninspired Up didn't transcend the band's blandly similar settings.

The energy of Trenyce's Proud Mary rejuvenated the crowd, while Kimberley Locke's smooth and supple voice took over in Band of Gold.

But it was the next act that drew deafening cheers. Clay Aiken, wearing a suit and tie that contrasted with the more informal attire of earlier contestants, was elevated from beneath the stage to sing his unapologetically sappy hit This Is the Nigh t. Though his gestures were stiff, his voice was unforced and natural, and his endearingly goofy smile cut through pop-star pretensions.
This year's winner, Ruben Studdard, was greeted disconcertingly with a tumult of noise composed almost equally of cheers and boos. Making good use of a rich baritone, he sang two slow and soulful numbers, including Luther Vandross' Never Too Much.

After a 15-minute intermission, the group returned to do a cluttered second act, which included fragments of songs by all the singers, a hip-hop-flavored medley of Bee Gees numbers, and a jarring juxtaposition of The Lady Is a Tramp sung by the males and Bootylicious by the females.

The production didn't stint on special effects. Dry-ice smoke billowed, fire flared, colored lights glared, and singers rose from and descended to the depths beneath the stage with nearly every song. The video background favored the kind of psychedelic effects beloved by '60s movies: swirling colors, fluttering butterflies, and neon-bright amoebas.

The show throws several decades of pop music into a blender and gives it a whirl, with results both colorful and insubstantial.

http://libpub.dispatch.com/cgi-bin/documentv1?DBLIST=cd03&DOCNUM=30135&TERMV=26309:4:26313:5:


 
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2010, 08:05:39 PM »
Melodie
Administrator
INDIANAPOLIS STAR - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2003, 05:20:40 AM »   

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Concert Review
American Idols' tour improves from 2002

By David Lindquist
david.lindquist@indystar.com

If you're the type of person who's waiting for the "American Idol" craze to fade, this report will offer little hope.

The second touring franchise of the Fox television series rolled through Indianapolis on Saturday, and there were notable improvements from the first edition's visit in November.

By actually having top dogs Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken sing current hits and upcoming releases, the show boasted better preparation. Kelly Clarkson had a hit single last time around, but the final curtain fell without the song being sung.

And while the 2002 show featured random Stevie Wonder selections in fits and spurts, the new production pays organized tribute to the Bee Gees.

Of course, the biggest draw for the estimated audience of 9,500 at Conseco Fieldhouse was the chance to see Studdard and Aiken in the flesh.

The concert's first half consisted of solo showcases for all nine Idols. For Studdard and Aiken, the tunes perfectly fit their personas.

Studdard transformed the Carpenters' "Superstar" into a cascading volcano of soul, while Aiken nailed his easy-gliding ballad "This is the Night."

The official competition went Studdard's way this spring, but Aiken is proving to be a bigger seller in record stores. His hot streak continued in Saturday's live setting, where he was quicker with a quip and stronger with a lyric.

After an audience member tossed something past Aiken's face and into the carpet of dry ice that lined the stage, the singer responded with deadpan self-deprecation: "If those are somebody's panties, I'm out of here."

Luckily, the item was a harmless knitted-doll likeness of Aiken himself.

When the duo re-created the roles of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney for "The Girl Is Mine," Aiken displayed twice the vocal range.
Studdard failed to wow when attempting to generate excitement for his upcoming solo album. A sneak peek of "Live It Up" sounded like "Hip-Hop for Dummies" as written by Carson Daly. The song's best line -- "The party don't stop until we hit the IHOP" -- fell to a backup singer.

For the rest of the "AI" players, this tour amounts to a public parade toward obscurity.

http://www.indystar.com/print/articles/6/057557-3036-009.html
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 08:08:11 PM »
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  CINCINATTI - MTV CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2003, 04:29:25 PM »   

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Ruben Studdard Confronted By Rabid Claymates At Tour Stop
07.14.2003 2:11 PM EDT

CINCINNATI — "American Idol" Ruben Studdard is lucky he has a healthy ego.

Not only is "Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken beating the champ on the Billboard singles charts, but on the fifth stop of the "Idol" summer tour, the spiky-haired crooner proved that he's winning the battle for the hearts and minds of "Idol" fans across the country.

Even before the nine "Idol" finalists took the stage at U.S. Bank Arena Sunday night to perform a nearly two-and-a-half-hour medley of covers, the mere sight of Clay's face on the two Jumbotron screens flanking the massive neon ballroom set was enough to elicit deafening screams of approval from the more than 9,000 (mostly preteen) female audience members.
But, once Ruben calmly waltzed out in a denim suit and Yankees cap 35 minutes into the show to sing the Carpenters' "Superstar," it was clear why the "velvet teddy bear" took the crown. Studdard's smooth vocal styles and his million-watt smile were enough to win over the "Claymates," drowning as they were in a sea of partisan signs ("Every day is Clay day," "Clay is the word," "Achin' 4 Clay," "I've been Claymazed" and perhaps most stinging, "Clay was robbed"). Amid a parade of countless questionable fashion choices and enough dry ice fog to fill a stadium, the shrieking fans also got a chance to hear a preview of songs from both Studdard and Aiken's debut albums, both due in the fall.

Ruben was notoriously unflappable during his "Idol" run, but the no-pressure, good-time vibe of the tour proved that the other finalists — sans flame-haired singer Vanessa Olivarez, who didn't make the trip, Marine Joshua Gracin, who was called back to duty, and Corey Clark, who was uninvited due to his legal entanglements — earned their spots as well, even if their futures as performers don't seem quite as bright.

After a taped introduction from judge Randy Jackson and the first of a dozen live vamps on the thumping "Idol" theme song from the five-piece live band, Charles Grigsby took the stage in a crisp NBA throwback ensemble for a spirited run-through of Stevie Wonder's "Do I Do." His set was a good barometer of the evening's cross-generational appeal. While the kids cheered his hip-hop dance moves, parents grooved to the classic soul tune and a few likely got a chuckle from the two male backup dancers sporting Sex Pistols T-shirts.

Grigsby graciously introduced a video montage of Julia DeMato highlights, and the satin-tuxedo-clad singer rose to the stage through a mid-set trap door and a haze of dry ice fog while reclining on a couch and singing Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful." Lanky Rickey Smith busted out his falsetto for Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," Kimberly Caldwell did her Pink-style rocker chick thing, adorable Carmen Rasmusen impersonated country pop singer Shania Twain, Trenyce brought some gospel soul to the party and Kimberley Locke channeled soul diva Aretha Franklin as she sang Freda Payne's 1970 hit "Band of Gold."

It was Clay they wanted, though. When the slight singer with the perfectly tousled hair finally emerged, the arena exploded in flashbulbs and screams. With an uncharacteristic five o'clock shadow, Aiken made his way down one of the stage's two grand staircases as he sang his current single's sweeping B-side ballad, "Lift Me Up." The cheers were a bit quieter for Ruben, but the "Idol" champ got the crowd on its feet with his cover of the uptempo Luther Vandross hit "Never Too Much." Just to prove how good a sport he is, Ruben even grinned as he asked the girl holding the "Clay Was Robbed" sign to lift it up higher so he could see it.

After a short intermission, the "Idol" boys, all dressed in white and singing "The Lady Is a Tramp," squared off against the girls, all dressed in black and shimmying across the stage to Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious." The collaborative vibe continued with Clay and Ruben awkwardly jousting over female conquests as they sang the Michael Jackson/ Paul McCartney duet "The Girl Is Mine," followed by the whole cast alternating leads during a 10-minute Bee Gees tribute.

In the inimitable words of judge Simon Cowell, the "real competition" started when Clay and Ruben unveiled songs from their debut albums. And, again, Clay seemed to have the advantage. Ruben's R. Kelly-wannabe hip-hop soul anthem, "Can I Get Your Attention," was a muddled mess of spare beats and cliched gangstaisms of the "ballers, shot callers, all my thugs and party don't stop 'til the sun comes up," variety.

The audience members seemed a bit confused by the street attitude, but they were clearly on board when Clay took his turn during the show's first encore. Clad in an audience-pleasing Ken Griffey Jr. Reds baseball jersey, Aiken sounded powerful as he performed the midtempo ballad "Invisible," which mixed a slight rock edge with Aiken's proven pop balladeer persona and a somewhat creepy lyric. 
"If I was invisible/ Then I could watch you in your room/ If I was invisible/ I could make you mine tonight," Clay sang, adding the computer-morphed aside, "Wait, I already am." Not surprisingly, the song brought down the house, though Ruben quickly regained the love with a commanding, soul-stirring rendition of his signature hit, "Flying Without Wings."


The whole cast emerged once more for a respectful cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" and a flag-waving, fireworks-sparking finale of "God Bless the U.S.A." that brought the heartland audience to its feet. For now, Ruben may have the crown (and a seriously bling watch), but as long as he keeps seeing signs like "Let's Get Clay-Z," the big man will have to work hard to stay one step ahead of Clay.

—Gil Kaufman     

MTV AI TOUR ARTICLE
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 08:10:32 PM »
Melodie
Administrator
CLAY AT CINCINATTI HOOTERS
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2003, 12:01:35 AM »   

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Hooters customers get to indulge in 'Idol' worship
C.J., Star Tribune
 
Published July 15, 2003 CJ15
   
 
Maybe we didn't see more of Ruben Studdard when he was here with the "American Idol" runner-ups because the big guy was resting his eyelids. Roo-ben certainly wasn't able to keep those lids at half-staff long enough to take a photo with Prior Lake's Cindy Pasbrig. Many thanks to Kim Mitchell for pestering Pasbrig into calling me. Pasbrig, owner of Taco John's franchises in Savage and Rosemount, took a night off from Mexican fare to dine at Hooters a week before the "AI" show at St. Paul's X. She was entertaining a cousin from Denmark, Maria Vingaard, at the MOA restaurant when her brother Gary Lund saw Clay Aiken. "I said, 'No, it is not," Pasbrig said. She reversed course when she saw Kimberley behind Clay. "I saw Clay and said, 'Can I get a picture?' and he said, Sure. We got our picture and then he said, Well, Ruben's on his way. I said, 'How come you're at Hooter's?' " Excellent question. "He said, Because that's where Ruben wanted to eat. I said, 'Well, how come Ruben gets to decide?' and he said, Because he's bigger than I am. I thought that was funny," Pasbrig said, laughing. As she explained the "AI" frenzy to cousin Maria, she noted that another cousin, Maj-Britt Vingaard, spent three months here and never missed an episode of the FOX show.

A man of few words

Roo-ben walked into Hooter's with Idol Trenyce and took a seat at the head of the table. Cindy Pasbrig wanted a picture, but she didn't approach him. "I'm not going to bug him while he's eating," she thought. "Finally, he looked at me. I said, 'Can we get a picture?' I don't know if he said Yeah or kind of nodded. Then he stood up and we got our picture." Roo-ben didn't say anything. Not even You're welcome. The guy always looks dawg tired, and he probably is now that everybody wants a piece of him. As a mother and her young son queued up, Pasbrig saw Roo-ben's security guy go into protective mode. "Like he needs a bodyguard," she said. "His bodyguard was smaller." Ruben is not yet watching his weight if he's eating at Hooter's. "I just saw he was offered a Jenny Craig spot if he lost weight," Pasbrig said. "Where did I see that? You know, the most important paper ever, right, the National Enquirer." Although Roo-ben would be healthier at a lower weight, Pasbrig isn't judging. "When you look at the American Idol thing, you've got Kimberley who's heavy, Ruben who's extremely heavy and then you've got the geeky Clay. Yea, America, for finally saying you don't have to have the certain look to be able to make it."

Wake up and smile!

Maria Vingaard thought it would be so cute if Clay Aiken talked to her cousin Maj-Britt Vingaard in Denmark. "It's 9:30 p.m. while we're at the restaurant and 4:30 a.m. in Denmark," said Cindy Pasbrig, who quickly decided "so what, let's dial it up." Cindy told Maj-Britt there was somebody who wanted to talk to her. Startled from a dead sleep, Maj-Britt probably thought the drawling caller was from another world. How y'all doin? It's Clay Aiken from American Idol. Just a minute, we're going to get our picture taken. He held the phone up and said Smile.

http://www.startribune.com/stories/464/3987807.html
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 08:19:08 PM »
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Guest
  CINCINNATI ENQUIRER - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2003, 02:06:54 PM »   

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Aiken Steals The Show - July 15, 2003
Other 'Idols' perform admirably but runner-up on top

By Mandy Jenkins
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Clay Aiken may not be the American Idol, but he is America's sweetheart, hands down. He owned the audience at U.S. Bank Arena before ever stepping on the stage Sunday night as part of "American Idols Live."

Even though the audience greeted Charles Grigsby, Julia DeMato, Kimberly Caldwell, Rickey Smith, Carmen Rasmusen, Kimberly Locke, Trenyce and TV show winner Ruben Studdard with exuberant screams, their hearts belonged to Aiken. Those cheers moved from exuberant to deafening the moment the geek-chic charmer appeared on stage to sing the soaring "This Is the Night."

Trenyce, Locke, Aiken and Studdard all have star quality. And each has grown in stage presence since the TV show, making the concert - complete with talented backup band and a multimedia presentation - more than just the overblown talent show it could have been.

The first five performers were all solid. The problem is, Grigsby sounds like Usher, Rasmusen like Mandy Moore, Caldwell a bit like Avril Lavigne and so on. It isn't that they aren't talented, but none has a unique sound.

Trenyce was the first performer to wow the audience, rocking the house with the rock gospel "Proud Mary."

Then Locke did a powerful cover of Natalie Cole's "Inseparable." Both have the voices for this music and seem to have the ability for more impact, given the right material.

Studdard's classic sound, however, is already being wasted. His rendition of Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much" proved he won the competition because of a voice made for an older R&B sound, but judging from his upcoming single "Can I Get Your Attention," it seems the industry execs are intent on making him into a new R. Kelly. The song was utterly common, complete with hometown shout-outs, rap riffs and empty lyrics.

Despite the occasional cheese, the three-hour show managed to keep both grandmas and grandkids interested by capitalizing on the fan-friendliness of the TV show. These were TV heroes, live in the flesh, and they kept their images to a tee.

Maygan Eldridge, 14, of Bellbrook, came to the concert armed with a homemade Ruben T-shirt and begged anyone who would listen for backstage passes.

"Ruben just seems so sweet, I'd give anything to meet him," she exclaimed. "I voted for him, like, 20 times."

Eldridge came out to meet her "Ruuuben," and she'll definitely buy his record when it comes out. She's exactly who this show aims to please. It succeeded admirably.

E-mail mjenkins@enquirer.com

CINCINNATI ENQUIRER CONCERT REVIEW
 
 
 
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2010, 08:20:04 PM »
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  PITTSBURGH POST - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2003, 03:46:54 PM »   

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Music Review: Locke a standout on 'American Idols Live' tour
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
By Scott Mervis, Post-Gazette Weekend Editor

If you were dragged to "American Idols Live!" Tuesday night by your girlfriend, your grandma or, say, your job, and were hoping for a train wreck, you may have gone home disappointed.
The "karaoke death squad," as Rolling Stone called it, has been well trained to maneuver through a song while avoiding the trap doors and throwing out every show-biz cliche in the manual.
The tour, starring nine finalists from the Fox show (Josh Gracin, mercifully, is back in the Marines), drew about 10,000 fans to the Mellon Arena, many of them young girls, many of them screaming for Clay Aiken.
The Idols came out in the order in which they exited, which is to say the show got better as it went along. Early on, we got featherweight Charles Grigsby in his B-boy get-up laboring through his R&B workout, Julia DeMato (rising from the floor on a white couch) sounding not dreadful on Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" and Rickey Smith singing "The Way You Make Me Feel" like he just sucked helium (that voice would come in handy later on "Stayin' Alive").
Kimberly Caldwell, the blonde bombshell you just know Fox wanted to win all along, pulled off a look of rolled-up camouflage pants and pumps while sounding at least as good as Britney on "Stuck." After a feeble attempt at Shania Twain by Carmen Rasmussen, the charismatic Trenyce did Tina Turner proud on "Proud Mary," despite some ridiculous dancing on either side of her.
That brought us to the final three, where, as "AI" viewers know, it was a toss-up. Kimberly Locke, a singer in the Whitney vein, nailed "Band of Gold" and everything else she sung the rest of the night.
It was hard to hear Clay Aiken's "This Is the Night" for all the high-pitched screaming. Simon Cowell is right about him. The kid who came in like Opie and went out like a young Manilow can hold a note and has a nice career ahead of him -- in Vegas or on Broadway. (Hold your letters, please, there's nothing wrong with that.)
The "American Idol 2003" shuffled out in oversized clothes and crooked Pirates cap looking like a 350-pound kid. Once he opens his mouth, though, Ruuuu-ben Studdard is all man, evoking the great soul singers from decades' past, whether doing "Superstar" or "Nights on Broadway."
The second half began promisingly enough with a clever swapping of the boys, looking like the Mouse Pack in all white, doing "The Lady is a Tramp" and the black-clad girls strutting through "Bootylicious." The rapid-fire Bee Gee's medley -- great songs, well sung -- was a can't miss.
The last hour -- which would include Clay holding up a piece of flying lingerie and saying "Ruben, I got panties!" -- degenerated into a parade of fragments, pairings and duets that seemed determined to cover a day's programming on lite FM.
It was great entertainment for karaoke fans or people with wrecked attention spans. Just when it looked like "Time of Your Life" would put it to rest, they roared back with the obligatory "Proud to be an American" tribute and show-stoppers from Ruben and Clay.
Could the 2003 Idol have carried a 70-minute set? That remains to be seen. Studdard, who stumbled on a half-baked hip-hop song and soared on "Wings," left you wondering if he has the presence or energy for the long haul.
At the end of the day, it was Locke who displayed the most potent combo of soul, voice and presence. In the immortal words of Randy the judge, "It was awwright, dawg, I was feeling it."

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2010, 08:22:20 PM »
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  WILKES-BARRE - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2003, 10:26:31 AM »   

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'Idol' live earns 8,000 high marks
By ALAN K. STOUT
alanks@leader.net

WILKES-BARRE TWP. - It's no surprise that a concert tour based on a TV show that draws 21 million viewers a night drew a capacity crowd at First Union Arena. What was surprising was how well it translated into the live setting, and how much fun it was.
The "American Idol" tour came to town Wednesday, bringing Ruben, Clay and the rest of America's favorite new singers with it. It came with a real band, an impressive stage show and, most important, some very talented and personable vocalists who just a year ago were honing their crafts in obscurity.
The show opened with a smooth R&B performance by Charles Grigsby.
"Pennsylvania, how y'all doing tonight?" he asked. The question was met with a roar by the crowd of 8,000.
Julia DeMato was next with a strong showing and was followed by Rickey Smith, Kimberly Caldwell, Carmen Rasmusen, Trenyce and Kimberley Locke.
The arrival of Clay Aiken brought the house down with Beatlemania-type shrieks from the thousands of young teens in the audience.
With Aiken, the comparisons are true: the kid is a young Barry Manilow, right down to the body language. And like Manilow, he can really sing
.
Up next was the latest "American Idol" winner, Ruben Studdard, whose booming voice resonated through the arena with just as much command as any of the great artists who have performed there in the past. The first half of the show ended with Studdard's rendition of Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much."
Each singer introduced the one that followed, and there seemed to be a genuine rapport between the former competitors. Each had kind, supportive and complimentary words for the next vocalist.
The men of the show opened the second half with Sinatra's "Lady is a Tramp" and Studdard and Aiken later offered a humorous duet of Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson's "The Girl is Mine."
There also were solo and ensemble performances of Bee Gees' classics, and songs by Prince, Elton John, Whitney Houston and Judy Garland. There was also choreographed dancing, lots of wardrobe changes and tight close-ups on large video screens. More than anything, however, there were loud roars from the crowd after each number. The show ended with Aiken's "Invisible," Studdard's "Flying Without Wings" and the full cast offering "Imagine" and "God Bless the USA."
"This is the smallest place we've played, but it might be the loudest," said Aiken at one point. What he didn't know was that it was probably the loudest the building had ever been. But these "American Idols," who are truly living the American dream, deserve the cheers.

WILKES-BARRE TIMES LEADER REVIEW
 
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2010, 08:25:21 PM »
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  COLUMBUS OHIO - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2003, 01:07:25 PM »   

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American Idols 2
Date: July 11, 2003
Nationwide Arena
Columbus, Ohio

The Review
As the thousands of fans streamed into Nationwide Arena it was clear that Clay Aiken was Ohio's Idol. There were signs touting love for Clay everywhere you looked. Not that Ruben didn't have his own legion of fans. "205" dotted the fronts of not a few shirts, while others declared their love for the winner of this year's American Idol TV competition.

At 7:41 the lights went down and the familiar theme music echoed through the halls. The formula was the same as last year's tour. Each of the singers performed a solo song in the order in which they were booted from the show. They would then introduce the next performer, (always a "very dear" or "very close friend") by kicking off a video montage, building to the show's second half of duets, group numbers and solos.

First up was Charles Grigsby who showed he's got the moves on stage. Quite the flirt with the audience, Charles charmed the crowd as he danced and sang. He was much better than expected, and promised that this was just the beginning of what we would see from him.

Next up was Julia Demato. She rose up through the floor on a chaise lounge very Diva-ish singing "Beautiful". She has a very sweet voice, and showed a power that wasn't seen in her TV performances. Despite her attempts to interact, she always seemed a bit removed from the crowd. She happily introduced the next performer....

Rickey Smith received such a warm welcome by the crowd, you have to wonder why he didn't make it further in the show. His rendition of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" was full of funk, spunk and appeal. The female dancer enhanced the mood of the song as Rickey dazzled with his voice. Rickey was great at working the crowd and getting the audience into the song. Rickey's greatest asset is his personality, which really shone through during his performance.

Rickey also showed grace under pressure as he introduced Kimberly Caldwell, and her video montage did not play. Just 3 days into the tour, Rickey handled the mishap without breaking a sweat and introduced his dear, dear friend, the "rocker of the group", who hit the stage like she owned it. Singing "Stuck On You", Kimberly gave the crowd a taste of what she has to offer. This girl was raised on the stage, and you could tell. If she would have sang like this on the show, she may have gone a lot further. She should have no problem having a great career after this tour.

Following the formula, Kimberly then introduced the "Baby" of the group. Carmen came on with Shania Twain's (of course) "Up". I'm sorry - Carmen is cute and she can dance (I'm convinced after this tour if she doesn't have a great singing career she'd be set as a stripper with those moves) - but this song was just awful. She has a unique voice that I've sometimes admired, but not tonight. Not with this performance. Of course I hated the song too - which probably didn't help.

Next was Trenyce. I had to leave the room. In fact I had already prearranged to meet up with Ms. Sassy during Trenyce's performance. We could hear it - and didn't mind listening to her belting out "Proud Mary" - but I can't watch her perform. Between her freakishly long fingers always trying to poke out my eye (I was on the floor - it could happen!), and her huge expressive eyes and mouth which swallow her face - I can't look. Besides - she just about disappears when she turns sideways. I think someone needs to introduce her to the Pop Tarts they were handing out to the crowd after the show. The girl needs to eat!

It is at this point I must go off on a little teeny tiny rant about concert going etiquette. (Mostly because we talked about this in the smoking room with a couple of other concert goers who not only agreed - but even offer to be quoted on this. Of course I had to rush back to see Kimberly - so I didn't get a quote - but believe me - they agreed!) So here it goes: It is OK to stand up at a concert. Especially when you're young, a kid, a short young kid. It is OK to hold up the signs professing your love for the performer - especially when they put it down once the performer hits the stage. The woman sitting next to me has obviously never been to a concert. She started the show by going up 3 rows ahead of us (yes! 3 rows!!!!) and arguing with 2 girls to sit down. She then proceeded to scream throughout the first half "Sit down!" and proclaiming how rude it was for these girls, God forbid, to be standing, dancing, and enjoying the show. Never mind the fact that it was rude for her to be screaming about it in my ear, and the ears of all of us around her. Her attempts to get security to act went unheeded. Maybe because security also thought she was a stick-in-the-mud who just didn't get it. Lady - this show is for the kids. Maybe next time you shouldn't get a seat on the floor - or you should stay home.

Whew. I just had to get that off of my chest! Now back to the show....

I was making it back to my seat when Kimberly Locke gave her best performance of the night, "Band of Gold". She continued to prove she has a voice that won't quit, but a very reserved quality in her performing. She is all class.

Now it was time for me to go deaf. Clay hit the stage with his hit single "This is the Night" and the crowd went absolutely wild. You could barely hear him over the crowd. I quickly learned that if the screaming begins it is because Clay has come on stage. I had to wonder if this was what it was like during Elvis's shows. He was so comfortable on stage, he even proclaimed that "this is fun. I'm having fun!". But the voice. I'm sorry - that should be "The Voice". The best male voice I have ever heard live. Seriously.

Now Clay seems to be a humble sort, (he seemed stunned to hear the screaming and reactions he received every time he was on stage) so not to out-do the victor, Clay gave Ruben a huge, warm welcome. The crowd also went wild, but thankfully a little quieter than for Clay. My ears needed the break. His first song was "Superstar", which has almost become his signature song. After calling for the house lights to be brought up so he could see the crowd, he launched into a song by his Idol, Luther Vandross, "Never Too Much". Ruben looked like he was having fun while wooing the crowd with his smooth, velvety vocals. Ruben brought a bit of home with him in the form of the group's bass player, who is his former band mate. They broke the song down "Birmingham style", bringing much of the crowd to their feet.

It was almost an hour into the show as they broke for a 20 minute break. Warning to all future American Idol 2 concert goers - this is not the best time to use the rest room or get a beverage. The lines instantly became miles long. And you couldn't even see the souvenirs for sale through the throngs of people. Ay yi yi!

At 8:56 the show resumed with a fervor and the crowd was on it's feet. (Which is where they stayed almost throughout the rest of the show. Poor woman next to me - what will she think when she returns. Or maybe she left??) The set was pretty cool and serene as Charles rose up through the floor seated at a bar / counter. The remaining males joined him in singing "The Lady is a Tramp". Great harmonizing showed this wasn't going to be last year's show - this year they actually have talent! The pace picked up a bit, the fireworks went off, and the girls emerged with "Bootylicious". The girls sounded great on this number, and looked fabulous. The number became a bit of a "sing-off" between the guys and the gals. Sorry guys, but in this round I think the gals won.

Clay and Ruben then chatted with the audience a bit about the competition and their hectic schedules since the show has ended. Joking around a bit they began an argument about a girl named Eileen which led to "The Girl is Mine". These two sound incredible together, and I hope someone takes advantage of that on an upcoming album. The playful acting between the two was a joy to watch. It is no wonder these guy were America's top 2 choices.
Kimberly Locke then slowed the pace a bit with "Inseparable". Man can she belt it! This was a performance very deserving of the standing ovation it received. She then introduced the Bee Gees medley which would get the audience dancing and singing along.

The Bee Gees medley featured many solo performances, duets and group numbers. It was a testament to the talent this year's performers had over last year's. It was also the only cheesy moment in the show. The highlights from this medley were Clay's How Deep is Your Love (Rickey singing back up - great job! I really hope he sings with either Clay or Ruben on their upcoming releases) and Clay singing "To Love Somebody". I could have done without the line of singers in white singing "You Should Be Dancing" - but I'll give them a moment of cheese. Charles and Kimberly Caldwell worked throughout the numbers getting the crowd going. They were the best at really interacting with the crowd - almost like cheerleaders for the group. It was also during the medley that they introduced the 4 dancers that have been working their butts off during the show. Great job!

Clay then talks with crowd about Ruben recording with R Kelly the night before for his new album. As Clay, Trenyce and Kimberly Caldwell get the crowd going with a little friendly shouting competition to bring out Ruben, Clay once again showed his humorous and easy-going style. Exmaple - Trenyce's group shouted "Ru-ben" and Kimberly's shouted "Studdard" that left Clay's group with nothing to shout. The girls questioned him on this so he said "They'll just have to shout 'Clay'" with a big smile on his face. This got a laugh from everyone. Finally the crowd is worked up enough, and Ruben is brought out singing a song from his upcoming album, "Can I Get Your Attention". This had a very groovy, mellow feel, which I really enjoyed. I may have to buy his album.....

The show continued with Rickey launching into "Let's Go Crazy". From the opening "Dearly beloved..." I could tell this would be a hit with the crowd. Another technical glitch when Charles tried joining in (he didn't seem to have any volume on his mic) showed that Rickey is great at improvising. The crowd was singing along, so I'm not sure how many people noticed the mishap as Rickey promptly took over the singing duties.

Carmen's "Let's Hear it for the Boy" didn't inspire any desire in me to see her live again. But as the mass screaming begins I know Clay is on stage somewhere. He is, and his rendition of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" would make Elton John proud. Kimberly Locke then sings "Over the Rainbow", but a different version than we usually hear from her - ending with a jazzy, hopping feel. Her beautiful voice brings life to this song every time she sings it.

Up through the floor rises a motorcycle, with Kimberly Caldwell, Trenyce, Julia and Carmen singing "Feel Good Time". Kimberly seems to feed off the crowd, which just fuels her performance which the crowd really responds to. Julia manages a weak "Hello Ohio", but I don't think a life on stage is for her. I've always said it, and this show pretty much proved my point. At times she seemed tired and / or bored. But her voice is so pretty. She should really stay in the studio.

Rickey then showed his vocal range with (I believe this is the name of the song) "If I Never Knew You". Julia joins him in the duet, and they are great together on stage. Julia sang with power and passion - who knew she had that in her. This is a song that should be recorded by these two. Definitely!

OK - don't look at the screen. Don't look at the screen. Trenyce is up with "I Have Nothing" and doing way too much pointing. She has a fabulous voice - but seems like a great Whitney impersonation. There doesn't to be much of herself in the song. But as the rest of the girls join her on "I'm Every Woman", you can see the range that all of these girls have. This also seems to be the best time to check out Carmen's stripper moves. Watch her and see if I'm making this up!

Another great duet, "The Best Things in Life Are Free" this time with Ruben and Kimberly Locke. Kimberly is always smiling and just seems to be having a blast! Clay then begins "I've Had the TIme of My Life" and I swear the woman in front of actually swoons! I understood, Clay's voice was making me go all pitter-patter the whole night, too. The rest of the cast joins in while they play a video montage of the group in the background. Great way to end the show...

Not. Of course not. They introduce the band, say lots of thanks, then it's good-night.

Not.

Clay inspires more screaming (aren't these people hoarse yet?!?!?). Either just by being on stage or by his wearing a Columbus Blue Jackets jersey. He jokingly asks if these guys are any good, holding out the jersey. (Of course they aren't, but it was nice that he made the effort - LOL). He then gives some very heartfelt thanks to everyone for making all of their dreams come true. Clay goes on to say he's currently recording his new album which should hit stores the beginning of September, and begins singing a track, "Invisible".

OK - this boy can move (running back and forth across the stage). And this boy can dance. And he can SING! This was a great song! A fabulous song!! Very Rob Thomas-ish (from Matchbox Twenty). Oh yeah - he is going to sell MILLIONS. I wonder if I can find a copy of this song anywhere yet Great, great song!


Of course it wouldn't be an American Idol show without what Clay described as the "Anthem of American Idol" - "Flying Without Wings." Just as I was lamenting about not hearing "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" and writing how much better this show was than last year's, Ruben introduces "Imagine", which Clay and Kimberly Locke help him sing. Everyone is back on stage for "Proud to be an American" and I can't believe it almost makes me cry. I'm not lying. The dancers come out with American flags, and the whole place is singing along. I'm not sure what happened during this number. I watched Clay watch the crowd as everyone was singing. His ear pieces are out and he isn't singing. I don't think he has a mic or that he can hear anything through his monitors or whatever. He seemed to be telling his fellow performers something through the number, and would attempt to sing every now and then. Regardless, it was a knock-out performance ending in fireworks. At 10:22 the show is over.

Of the shows I have been to so far this year, this is the only one I would have paid more money for and thought it was worth it. The talent this year over last year made it a better show without a doubt. With the one Bee Gees exception they didn't have to resort to cheesy group numbers. These singers have talent, which was showcased by the number of solo and duet performances. It appeared to me that the audience had as much fun as the group on stage, and that is what really matters.

The shows are almost all sold-out. For the thousands that will experience the show, you will not regret it! For those lacking tickets - try to get some. Especially if you were a fan of the show. This was much better than expected!!!!

GIRL POSSEE CONCERT REVIEW
 
 
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  Media & Appearance Archive  |  2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
 

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