It’s only been a little over two years, but to Kris Allen the beginning of his American Idol journey, one that brings him to Santa Rosa on Saturday night, seems much longer ago than that.

“Yes, two years, but it seems like that was 20 years ago,” Allen said from his Arkansas home last week.

And that AI journey would have ended before it even started had it not been for his brother Daniel.

Allen admitted that the stories of how they drove all night from Arkansas to the AI tryout site during the summer of 2008 in Louisville, Ky. were true and that they barely made it in time.

“In fact,” Allen said, “we got there after they had closed the audition lines. But my brother is something of a con-artist and he talked them into letting us in line.”

The rest, as they say, is Idol history. Daniel didn’t make it to even the Hollywood round, but Kris just kept going and going. He finally beat out overwhelming favorite Adam Lambert on the final night of Season 8, May 20, 2009.

Since then it’s been a whirlwind of recording sessions, radio and TV shows and of course concert stops – large and small.

Saturday night (8:30) he’ll perform an acoustic set at the Last Day Saloon (capacity, 350) in Railroad Square in Santa Rosa,

Considering some of the other venues he has performed at (Golden Gate Park in SF last summer where approximately 20,000 watched Allen and Lifehouse and OneEskimo perform), does the “downsize” bother him?

“Put it this way,” Allen said, “to my knowledge I haven’t refused a concert date yet.”
Allen has become somewhat of a NorCal regular. In addition to doing that Summerfest gig in GG Park, he has performed at the Silverado Resort & Spa, at the Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium with Lifehouse and will be back there performing again on Friday night in something called the Jingle Ball.

And although he has yet to record a holiday album, “I love the holidays,” Allen said, “in fact we already have the house decorated and the tree up (that was on Dec. 2).”

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Here are the particulars on the concert sponsored by radio station Mix, 104.9 FM:

Kris Allen

8:30 p.m., Dec. 11

Last Day Saloon

120 5th Street

(Railroad Square)

Santa Rosa

You can buy tickets at the Last Day Saloon for $15 now, $20 night of the show or on-line at http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=3331215.”