From left: Tim Urban, Siobhan Magnus, Michael Lynche and Katie Stevens perform during the American Idol Summer Tour on Aug. 14, 2010 at Mountain View, Ca.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ca. – Rolled into the Shoreline Amphitheatre parking lot about 1:45 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 14th) for a long day. Stopped and asked the lot attendant where to park.

“Oh, you can go over there,” he said, pointing to the lot to my left. “We only sold 6,000 tickets for tonight’s show (American Idol Summer Tour) so I don’t think it’s going to get too crowded.”

I inquired about the Shoreline’s capacity. “Oh, about 22,000,” he said.

Humm, I started to wonder if those rumors of disappearing interest in Idol were looking me in the face.

After setting up and interviewing Katie Stevens, Andrew Garcia, Siobhan Magnus and Michael Lynche (more on those later), I retired to the parking lot to await showtime at 7:30 p.m.

Finally, around 6 p.m., many of those 6,000 fans arrived. They were greeted with lots of parking spaces and a couple of gentlemen across from the ticket windows complete with bullhorns and “Jesus Saves” signs.

They were engaged in one-way dialogue espousing their religious beliefs.

“There are a couple of them louder than these two,” a Mountain View police officer said. “This is rather tame.”
Ironically, at one point one of the demonstrators proclaimed the “…idoltory of it all…”

Yep, and I was standing there figuring this would be about as close to a Disney production as it was going to get around here.

Afterall, Owl City, Green Day and the Dave Matthews Band are on the bill for future concerts within the month.

“Oh, yes,” a girl in the ticket booth said, “they (protestors) are here for every concert. They were even out there when we had the Bethel Church choir perform. The minister of the church went over and tried to talk to them but it didn’t do any good. That plot of land is public property so we can’t do anything about it.”

I was only thinking that Alice Cooper or Adam Lambert would be sending this duo into a real fire and brimstone rage…

But I digress…

Inside the gate with my $70.50 ticket, I scoped out the souvenir stand and found the following: program, $20; poster, $10, glowstick, $5; Teddy bear, $15; AI T-shirt, $30; Lee DeWyze T-shirt, $35; Crystal Bowersox T-shirt, $25; official AI jacket, $40; pics of the Top 10, $5 apiece; keychain, $5; magnet, $5.

And pre-concert sales seemed to be brisk.

This was going to be concert No. 31 of 44 on the American Idol Summer Tour. Four had been canceled due to low ticket sales.

It all comes to a screeching halt on Aug. 31 in Indianapolis.

Then the 10 AI finalists are cut loose to fend for themselves in the wide world of music.

That sets the stage (no pun intended). We’ll review the concert later today.