Concerts have a certain sameness to them – merchandise table, slightly late start, opening act you wish would hurry up, grand entrance of the main act. You know the routine.
Then comes the star of the show and one of two things occur after the obligatory 90 minute performance – you soon forget the act on the way home or you don’t.
You don’t forget David Archuleta.
Pretty simple – his voice.
Although as one of the judges on American Idol proclaimed two seasons ago when Archuleta finished second – “David, you could sing the phone book” – his 90-minute, one encore show Sunday night at the Wells Fargo Center was anything but songs from the Yellow Pages.
Dubbed David Archuleta’s “Christmas from the Heart” tour, it was really a combination of about half pretty pure pop Archuleta and half Christmas.
The venue wasn’t full, but it was close; the crowd wasn’t all screaming teenage girls, but it was close; and the songs weren’t all perfect, but they were close.
If you came just to hear for yourself if what you were hearing on Idol was real, well you found out – yes, and moreso.
At time, it was hard to fathom that you were listening to an 18-year old kid from Utah because the voice is something most singers take years to cultivate. And although he has been at this singing gig for much of his young life, the voice is still natural. They just don’t teach what Archuleta projects.
The first half of the show hit a peak with Zero Gravity and then Crush. The latter being his first mega-hit off his initial self-titled album.
Archuleta and his four-piece band took a mini-break to change clothes, alter the stage and change the mood to the holidays.
“It just seems so odd that we are really into the holidays now,” Archuleta said. “I’ve been working on this album for six months and now it’s finally here.”
He sang eight Christmas songs and if ever there was a voice holiday-appropriate it is Archuleta’s. Every song he did just seemed to get better.
Ave Maria sung in Spanish was then topped by a song in French – Pat-A-Pan. Then he went back to Spanish and a song titled Riu Riu Chiu, then Silent Night and finally an encore of O Holy Night.
He wasn’t perfect. Someone on Idol had given him the advice to not close his eyes while he sings, but he did that often. And his connection to the audience between songs was a bit scattered.
But who came to see his eyes or listen to him speak words of wisdom?
We came to hear the voice. And, oh, my, did we.