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Scrapbook Saturday: April

April – 2 Kris Allen Shows and a Javier Colon.  What can I say, I enjoy reality TV singing competition winners!

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Music Monday: Kris Allen Somethin’ About Christmas


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

Silent Night

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.

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Carrie Underwood 10/28/16

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.

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Kris Allen Danbury Fair Mall

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!)

Kris Allen Setlist Danbury Fair Mall, Danbury, CT, USA 2016

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Throwback Thursday: Blake Lewis 10/10/08

Headliner: Blake Lewis
Opener(s): None
Venue: Mohegan Sun
Cost: Free

Setlist: Unknown


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Throwback Thursday: American Idols 9/6/08

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
Cost: $80


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Nick Fradiani at College Street Music Hall

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 has the entire setlist with the exception of one song (You’re still breaking my heart?) but the great thing about 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.

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Book Review: Go Big Or Go Home

scottySeason 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?”

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Throwback Thursday: Elliott Yamin 11/21/07


Headliner: Elliott Yamin
Opener(s): Josh Hoge, The Last Goodnight
Venue: The Webster Theatre
Cost: $24


Find a Way
Take My Breath Away
I’m In Love With You Forever
Sharing The Night Together
Train Wreck
Little Ghetto Boy
Wait For You
One Word
Movin’ On

Recap:  This show was just before Thanksgiving and I had gotten my Mom tickets and she was not happy that she had to go out and miss prepping for our meal! Elliott put on a great show.  The Last Goodnight was the opener and they were from Connecticut. I don’t think they are making music anymore.

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Kris Allen at Cafe 939

Saturday I was supposed to head to Boston with a friend for another night of Kris, but unfortunately my friend had to back out of the trip.  I wasn’t sure I could get to Boston alone and got a refund on our VIP passes and kept trying to sell or give away the tickets but had no one interested.  A friend of mine from MA ended up agreeing to meet me at the T stop by the venue and I decided to try and be adventurous and ride the T into Boston on my own.  I had done it before with friends and never remembered it being a problem, but it had been 3 years since I last was in Boston so I was hoping that my memory didn’t fail me.  I drove the 2 hours to the train stop, took the T in which took about 45 minutes and then ended up walking from the T to the venue on my own since it was just around the corner and was quite pleased with my accomplishment.  I’m usually very focused on what I “can’t” do, or rather what I *think* I can’t do, so I was happy that I tried it and it worked out.

Everything for this show seemed to be delayed.  VIP was supposed to be at 5 but was pushed to 5:30 (I bought a new pass that morning) but it was much later by the time we got let inside.  Once again, Kris was waiting for us.  And as I approached he said “there she is again! Hello, Katie. How are you?”  He had remembered me from the night before!  He did Way Up High and then took photos and chatted with everyone.  I opted to stay seated while he went through the line and then he was ready to leave before taking a picture with me! He apologized, I told him about how I wasn’t sure I could go but my friend Jon had offered to help – and if he could please play Jon’s song request I’d really appreciate it.  He told me he had already planned on playing it.  Then I told him about how last night I was way in the back and tonight I pointed out where they were sitting me and he said “we can get you a chair closer. I think we can make that happen” and sure enough he was able to get me a chair right in the front row so I could see everything 🙂  (The venue had said next time to let them know ahead of time so they could make accommodations for me – when their website said to either call OR talk to them when you get there. I didn’t call because I didn’t know until that morning I was going and by the time I did know I had to start driving there. Plus I didn’t think grabbing a chair was something that was difficult and required such advanced notice. Silly me.)

For the most part the setlist was the same as the night before. He didn’t add in Alright With Me, but instead did I Remember You as the first song of the encore.  He also had fans come up on stage and dance during Everybody Just Wants To Dance.  He again talked a bit about the Idol finale and how Nigel kept saying to him, “Kris, get your fans off my back!” because they were not happy he was not included in the show on Tuesday night that was a retrospective on the season.  He teased we should all tweet him now 😉

Before playing Jon’s request he had everyone in the audience say Hi to him since he was in the front row and Kris wanted everyone to know he was not a plant! It was another great show and Jon went again to NH but unfortunately I have this thing called work on Monday morning and couldn’t do a 3rd show in a row! (Which had 4 tickets left when I got home after the show but was sold out by the time show time came around! Yeah Kris!)

The ride home on the T was just about as uneventful as the ride there – with the exception of the guy using crutches who had to yell “MISS! MISS!” at me until I said hi to him… ooook.  I don’t know if he thought he knew me or if he just felt a bond because I had my cane… but it was certainly interesting.

Kris Allen Setlist Cafe 939, Boston, MA, USA 2016

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