For the 14th time, and the first under a new format, the American Idol summer tour rolled into California Tuesday night for the first of six concert stops in the Golden State.
That new format, showcasing the reality show’s top five finalists instead of a Top 10, went on display at Humphreys outdoor stage.
The result of the 2-plus hour performance by Idol Season 14 winner Nick Fradiani and his quartet of support from Clark Beckham, Jax (aka Jaclyn Cole Miskanic), Rayvon Owen and Tyanna Jones was … mixed.
Mixed because if you enjoy covers of recent popular songs, original songs with a twist of autobiographical nuances (“I owe everything to my mother” was a common refrain) by five musicians who may or may not become successful in the music industry, then you will really enjoy this.
Mixed because while there was sporadic energy the show had a lot of stop ‘n go to it each artist doing his/her best to push it all forward. But if there ever was a time when Idol missed the boat by not allowing a Top 10 to tour this was it. Among others, Quentin Alexander and Qaasim Middleton, both of whom who finished in the Top 10 this past season, could have/would have pushed this show into the realm of one of the best Idol summer tours ever with their showmanship. But they weren’t here and apparently they were back home awaiting another big break in an industry incredibly difficult to break into.
To the Idol executives’ credit, they undoubtedly had no idea Alexander and Middleton would be so gifted and so missed when the decision to go with a Top 5 was made.
And to their credit, the Idol Five, brought a standard tour ingredient – despite what you might have heard on the show, all five can sing better than that. Maybe it’s the live show, maybe the backup band, or maybe the simple fact that they sing songs longer than 90 seconds. But all five are good. How good? Time, talent, work ethic and a lot of luck will answer that question.
The crowd of approximately 1,000 in the 1,400-seat venue roared its approval all the way to the end of the no-intermission performance and at least for this one night that’s all the Idols needed to hear. Then it was back on the bus for a concert in Los Angeles on Thursday night as the 37-city cross-country tour starts to wind down.
This Saturday, the tour is coming to Santa Rosa’s Wells Fargo Center.
AMERICAN IDOL LIVE
Cast: Top 5 Idol Season 14 finishers: Nick Fradiani, Clark Beckham, Jax, Rayvon Owens and Tyanna Jones
When: 8 p.m., Aug. 22
Where: Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa