Headliner: Kris Allen & Adam Lambert
Venue: The Today Show
Cost: $ 0
Headliner: Kris Allen & Adam Lambert
Venue: The Today Show
Cost: $ 0
Thursday night TIC’s All Star Christmas moved from The Oakdale Theater (currently booked with the touring production of WICKED) to the Mohegan Sun Arena. This allowed for them to get some bigger names for the show and the acts were supposed to be Lindsey Stirling, James Bay, One Republic and Meghan Trainor. However, Thursday morning it was announced that Meghan had been put on vocal rest through the rest of the year and she’d have to cancel all her shows. (Meghan had previously canceled a tour last year due to vocal issues and underwent surgery.) TIC announced that refunds would be available if you no longer wanted to attend and that they would be adding Nick Fradiani to the bill.
While I was excited to see Nick over Meghan (I wasn’t all that interested in seeing her to begin with) as far as it being an equal trade off on a bill I paid $90 to see – that’s debatable. As far as it being someone I’d much rather see, that was awesome. One Republic got bumped to headliner and I assume they ended up doing a bit longer set than they would have.
Nick opened the show at 7pm and did several tracks off his debut album, Hurricane. He also did a remixed version’s Meghan’s All About That Bass. He only knew the chorus so he frestyled the rest about being back home in Connecticut. He also did a brand new song that he had just written a couple of weeks ago which according to his twitter is called “We Live Forever”
Next up was Lindsey Stirling and boy oh boy did I wish I strapped my step counter to that girl before she hit the stage. If you’re not familiar with her she plays violin. Which some may find boring but when it is Lindsey, it is not. She is all around the stage dancing as she plays and is very, very impressive. She even got a standing ovation once her set was over! I think we were all exhausted from just watching her.
James Bay was the next performer and the one I was most interested in seeing. He was really, really high energy. And has the cutest accent! He called for fans to stand and clap along, although he wanted us to try and clap for a whole song and I just couldn’t do it, though I did try. (Confession: I was hoping clapping would trigger my step counter so I could finish the race I’ve been working on since June. shhh. It kind of worked.) He had everyone sing along for “Let It Go” which sounded so awesome!
One Republic seemed to take forever and a day to take the stage after it was set up. I thought at first maybe they weren’t actually in the building yet (although technically their on stage time would have been earlier if Meghan didn’t cancel so that didn’t really make sense) but Ryan Tedder commented on hearing us all singing “Let It Go” from side stage – so he was there at least for some of James’ set! The women in front of me got fed up and left saying “This is stupid!” on their way out and when the track played over the speakers stopped for a second and then went into another song, people started yelling “Cmon already!” Then when they did try to turn out the house lights, they turned them up all the way for a split second instead!
This was my 3rd time seeing One Republic although for the life of me before the show I could only remember seeing them at Mixtape Festival in 2013 with Hanson. Turns out they were also at one of the Christmas shows back in 2012 when I did 3 back-to-back-to-back. They are all kind of a blur so I can see how I lost track.
One Republic did a 10 song set and I knew pretty much all of the songs but 1 that was a newer one for a movie? I also didn’t realize that they had been having singles on the radio since 2008 – so it makes sense that there were so many I was familiar with. I remember when their first song came out and it was Timbaland featuring One Republic but Timbaland was just doing his patented “aaa oo ooo” on the track.
One Republic’s set was also high energy with Ryan jumping on a piano at one point. Like Nick, he spoke a bit about Meghan and how the vocal issues could lead to permanent damage and he hoped she had a speedy recovery and then had us do a call and response – my name is NO my sign is NO my number is NO…
Something I learned during One Republic’s set was that Ryan has family in the nearby town of Mystic and he used to spend a lot of summers there growing up! He thought he might have had cousins in the audience and girls 2 rows in front of me flipped out so I guess they were cousins or knew of his cousins?
Overall it was a great night although the show did go a bit later than I was hoping, leading me to not get home til 12:30am. Not usually the case when the show is at the much closer Oakdale Theater. We’ll have to see what next Christmas has in store, but at least it didn’t snow!
Somethin’ About Christmas Morning (feat. Gabe Dixon)
Just Like Snow
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Jingle Bells feat. Caroline Glaser
Peace and Happiness
Here Comes Santa Claus
Winter Wonderland (feat. Jillian Edwards)
Mommy, Is There More Than Just One Santa Claus
Baby, Won’t You Wait Until the New Year
Just a couple of weeks ago, Kris Allen released his “Somethin’ About Christmas” CD which is available either digitally or a physical copy through his website. If you purchase a physica CD you’ll also be able to download and listen to it immediately which is pretty cool. I had mentioned when I went to see Kris that the CD came out and he did a few songs off of it. There is a pretty great mix here of new Kris songs and some classic favorites as well. I have to say that “Mommy, Is There More Than Just One Santa Claus” has been stuck in my head almost constantly since I went to see him! It’s just such a funny song, from the perspective of a little kid asking his Mommy how they can see Santa everywhere they go – even if she does say he’s magic it just doesn’t make sense. I also love that the cover of the album is an old Christmas photo of Kris and his brother. Although I have tons and tons of Christmas music and most of it doesn’t get listened to during the holiday season, I know that this album will be on heavy rotation for this holiday season and many to come. (Even with Hanson’s coming out next year!) If you love Kris and you love Christmas (Or Kristmas?) you should definitely check out this CD and I do not think you will be disappointed.
Friday October 28th Carrie Underwood brought her Storyteller tour to the Mohegan Sun Arena. The show was “in the round” and the stage took up almost the entire arena floor, with 3 different circles – one in the center and one on either end.
Opening for the show was the Swon Brothers who walked out to the stage through the opening right next to our seats! We had hoped Carrie would do the same, but only the openers. Carrie and her band and crew had a tunnel set up on the other side of the circle near us to get to the stage area.
I had never seen The Swon Brothers before and I had never watched their season of The Voice either, but i enjoyed them. The only bummer was that since they were the opener they kind of stayed in one spot on the stage – which happened to be with their backs to us.
Easton Corbin was up next and while he hung out mainly in the center circle, it was spinning around the whole time of his set so that was pretty cool! He walked a bit to the outer circles as well.;
Then it was time for Carrie! It seemed as though everyone loved the circle farthest from us the most, and Carrie was no exception, but she did come to our end of the stage a few times. It was also my first big arena show with the new camera so I was playing around with all the settings and I think I had found a winner! (Which was perfect timing with my leaving for 9 Hanson concerts the next morning!)
Carrie’s stage had a lot of fun tricks with the stage raising, lowering, spinning, etc. which is always so much fun to see! She changed outfits several times as well.
Kris Allen recently released a new Christmas album and has been doing some shows to help promote it. Saturday he came to the Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, CT. The set was a mixture of Christmas and non Christmas songs since he was going to be playing for an hour and didn’t want to play only Christmas music the whole time. He did a mix of songs off the new Christmas album as well as songs off of his previous albums. He did a mashup of one of my favorites, “Monsters” with “Hit the Road Jack” which I had not heard him do before that was a lot of fun. Two of the original Christmas songs that he performed I thought were hilarious and absolutely loved – Baby Won’t You Wait Until the New Year about having your boyfriend or girlfriend waiting until after Christmas to break up with you so the holidays won’t always remind you of the break up and Mommy, Is there More than Just One Santa Claus written from the perspective of a curious child who seems to see Santa everywhere during the holiday season and wonders if there must be more than one of him. He forgot the words – on 2 of the verses – during Alright With Me which was pretty funny. A few fans helped him out and got him back on track 🙂 Since this was at a mall, there was a video game store on the floor above where the show was happening and Mario (from Mario Bros.) was hanging out there and watching the soundcheck when I got there. He mustve also watched part of the set because Kris asked if he was seeing things or if Mario was at his show lol
Kris played for about an hour, met up with VIP M&G winners (which somehow I didn’t manage to win!) and then he came back to sign for the non VIP winners. It was so nice to see him again! (Especially so close to home!)
Headliner: Blake Lewis
Venue: Mohegan Sun
Headliner: American Idols
Opener(s): Chikiezie, Ramile Maluby, Brooke White, Jason Castro, Michael Johns, Kristy Lee Cook, Carly Smithson, Syesha Mercado, David Archuleta, David Cook
Venue: Arena at Harbor Yard
May 13, 2015 – Nick Fradiani wins American Idol. May 13, 2016, Nick Fradiani does a headlining set back home in Connecticut. Which if I’m not mistaken was his first headlining show in the state – not including the Idol tour. On the bill for the night also included some other great acts from Connecticut – Sarah Barrios, Ian Biggs and The Alternate Routes.
This was my first trip to the new College Street Music Hall in New Haven and I have to say I was very impressed with it. I opted to get tickets for the balcony, but the floor was split GA and chairs and has several levels to stand on so I think it would be a great place to see some other shows as well and I will definitely consider returning! (It helps that there is a parking garage directly across the street as well!)
Unlike previous Idol winners, Nick’s debut album was not rushed out shortly after the season ended. It has been a year and it is not out yet despite many of us pre-ordering it shortly after the season ended. Nick announced that the album would be out August 5th with music starting in July – a song a week to those who preordered until the release date. It will be called “Hurricane” and he did several songs which I assume will end up on the album.
His set was a combination of original songs and covered. His band was made up of his Beach Avenue band and his father. Throughout the show he was struggling with a mic that kept turning off and in ears that didn’t seem to stay in his ear that he had to keep fixing throughout the show. He alternated between standing behind the mic with his guitar and leaving all the music to the band and walking around the stage grabbing hands.
My only “complaint” was that he didn’t mention all the song titles. It seems that someone else has been paying more attention than me though, since Setlist.fm has the entire setlist with the exception of one song (You’re still breaking my heart?) but the great thing about setlist.fm is that if someone updates the list – the list I have posted here will update as well.
Nick also promised to come back every year to play for as long as he is playing music.
Season 10 is my favorite season of American Idol, so I was pretty excited when I saw that Scotty McCreery had written a book and that the publisher granted my wish to read and review it on NetGalley!
It was really cool to read about all the effort that went into Scotty eventually deciding to try out for Idol – how his Mom had forged his signature to sign him up for a local Idol competition (you’d think it would have been the other way around with the kid forging the parents signature!) and how he always used to sing Elvis on the bus to the kids on the way to school. How his parents took him to Milwaukee to audition – and they didn’t even tell his sister that they went!
He recalls the reasoning behind choosing the songs that he did and talks a lot about how he still wanted to play baseball for his high school and even went back to finish his senior year after he won Idol. That was something I really admired about Scotty – not only did he go back to finish school (he said that he would never again have a graduation from high school with all his friends, but tours and everything else he could) he also went to college and scheduled his tours around that! He just seems like such a sweet, down to earth home town boy.
Scotty is also the national goodwill ambassador for the 12.14 foundation – which hit close to home for me since I am from CT and have a few connections to some of the people who lost their life that day in Newtown. I think he is a perfect fit even if he is not from CT.
I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.
About the Book
It was just a simple singing competition that would be fun to audition for. Who knew what kind of doors it might open for a sixteen-year-old from Garner, North Carolina.
Go Big or Go Home is the story of a kid with country songs in his soul. The special thing with Scotty McCreery, however, is that he has this God-given ability to sing those tunes the exact way they should be sung. Daring to enter the limelight at such a young age, Scotty finds himself embraced by the nation, and even overseas, as he competes on “American Idol”. This is his journey from his North Carolina roots to winning America’s most popular singing competition and launching a musical career he had always dreamt about.
Go Big or Go Home narrates Scotty’s journey from a kid imitating Elvis on the school bus to 30 million across America tuning in to see him win Season 10 of “American Idol”. Now as he completes his ground-breaking fourth album, Scotty shares a glimpse of where he came from and the impact his faith, family and friends have had on a humbled guy who keeps asking “why me?”