Took the kids to the "American Idol - LIVE!" show at Key Arena last night. Boy, it's been a long time since I've been to an arena concert. Especially one with that kind of screaming! I haven't heard screams like that since the Duran Duran concert I went to in 1984! (Interesting side-note: I screamed so hard at that concert ... I was sixteen...that ever-after when I would get tired my voice would get scratchy. I ruined my vocal cords!)

There were nine performers...Joshua Gracin had to leave the tour to go fulfull his military service. Charles Grigsby opened the show and while he's cute, the guy just doesn't have a very strong voice. I turned to my husband and said "They've got the vocals mixed too low!" No, they didn't. Charlie just can't project.

Next was Julia DeMato. She's an odd one. She has a quite passable voice, but absolutely lousy stage presence. She STILL looks like she's scared to be up there.

After that was Ricky Smith, and HE was great! He really got the crowd moving with Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel". I think Ricky got voted off the show a bit too early. Ricky's song was the first time the show started feeling more like a concert and less like a Disney theme-park show.

After Ricky was Carmen Rasmussen. Ack! I never liked her, and always thought she got much farther on the show than she should have. She sang a Shania Twain song, which is perfect because Shania Twain is boring and fluffy just like Carmen.

After her came Trenyce. I always like Trenyce, and her set was fun. She did Tina Turner's "Proud Mary". Mind you, the exact dance moves and vocalizations were EXACTLY Tina Turner's set...but still. Fun.

Oops, I forgot Kimberly Caldwell! I knew I was forgetting someone. What did she sing? She came after Ricky, I think. I don't remember...oh yeah, that "I hate you but I love you I can't stop thinking of you" song. You know, Kimberly is beautiful, but Simon called it dead-on. She's Branford, MO material, nothing higher.

Okay, Kimberly Locke was on and she sang "Band of Gold" and was good.

Then Clay Aiken came out and the place went BANANAS! He sang that silly "This is the night" song. Bleah.

Then Ruben came out and sang "Superstar". People went crazy again.

Okay, I'm getting tired of describing this show. There was then a 20 minute intermission,and when they returned they did a bunch of group sets. And that was pretty much when the whole thing turned into a Disney Cruise show. There were a few solo songs...a few exceptions. Clay's new song is cheesy, and Ruben's new song is dumb, but I'm sure they'll sell a million copies. They closed with "God Bless the USA", which is a very hokey song. Fireworks and flag-waving near the end. It was what I imagine one of those "Up With People" shows to be like.

But, to be honest, I knew what I was getting into. That's what the show was like on TV. I knew this wasn't going to be a Sex Pistols concert. And it was fun to take the kids. Especially my son, who was very excited by it all. (He's ten.)

Oh...it was sponsored by Pop-Tarts. Did I tell you that? Really, it was. No joke.

They handed 'em out as we exited the arena.

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