Idols in Richmond
Whew! We're still cooling off after Saturday night's concert at the Coliseum. (Do they even have air conditioning there?) Circulation manager Portia Zwicker and I went to the Idols show, sitting in the 11th row; elsewhere in the seats were executive editor Chad Anderson, subscription services manager Karla Novick and Elliott-story-writer Joan Tupponce. Richmag representing.
If you're an idol-worshipper, you've probably read the T-D's flood-the-zone coverage. But you didn't hear about the 40-something woman down the aisle from me who screamed, "I'll be your slave, Elliott!" That was during "Moody's Mood For Love": "There I go, there I go, there I go-ooh." Yes, she did go there. But in the steamin' hot Coliseum, such outbursts seemed absolutely acceptable.
A few thoughts: Kellie Pickler has a very small waist, emphasized by the red corset top she wore over jeans. And she and Bucky need to stay away from "Grease" tunes. The duet of "You're the One That I Want" was a little less-than-thrilling. Paris, on the other hand, got everyone up and dancing (or at least me and a few other folks on the row) with Beyonce's "Crazy In Love." That girl has true showmanship.
Best female voice, in my view, belongs to Mandisa. "I'm Every Woman" as an opener was perfect.
I still don't care for the boy-bandish quality of Ace, but now I understand what all the girls were swooning about. In person, he is H-O-T hot. And the leap from the risers onto the stage was impressive. So much so, he did it again in the encore. One of the best things about the show was that some of the performers got to play instruments: Lisa on piano, Bucky, Chris and Taylor on guitar. Taylor also played harmonica and in one of his more manic moments, banged a tambourine. He's clearly in the running against James Brown for hardest-working man in show business. He danced so hard that his black shirt blew up, giving us a flash of stomach. I wonder what Simon would have said.
Katherine, still sounding a little scratchy from laryngitis, sang only two solo songs: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" of course and the cherry-tree one. You know which one I'm talking about. Still beautiful (great white dress, not as tight as the ones on TV), still not terribly charismatic. But we're glad she's feeling better.
Chris sang the most daring song in the show: "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin. Read the lyrics: That's a whole lotta sexual innuendo for the preteens in the audience! Nonetheless, I had a good time dancing to it.
I guess that's it. Oh. You wanted to hear more about Elliott? As we were leaving, Portia and I walked past Claudette (surrounded by friends, family and large security men), and she looked well and happy. As for Elliott's set, he and Chris sang "Savin' Me" as a duet, a big crowd-pleaser of course. Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much" was well sung (but didn't have the same electricity as the other songs), then Moody's Mood and Elvis Presley's "Trouble." His voice was top-notch. The best thing, though, was how happy Elliott seemed to be home. He came back with the rest of the guys (minus Taylor) for a low-key, harmonized "Patience," and then the whole group for "We Are the Champions" and "Living in America." And he wore the R-Braves jersey during the encore. Everything he did sparked cheers and screams. Quite a homecoming.