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American Idol Live Hits Florida


BY CRETIN – JULY 11, 2015

American Idol Performers Wow Florida

After 14 seasons, American Idol Live has tweaked its approach and in this, their penultimate year, they’ve nailed down a formula that works exceptionally well.

The uber-talented Top 5 rolled into Melbourne’s King Center For the Performing Arts in Melbourne, and enjoyed their increased time under the spotlights. This was the third show of the nascent tour, and by this night, everything was running smoothly.

This year for the first time in the tour’s history, they’ve whittled down the traveling contingent from the Top 10 to the Top 5 and it was a fantastic decision. As a result of the more concentrated line-up, we get a much better glimpse into the talents of each musician as well as a compelling look into their backstories, as each Idol took a few minutes to share their own personal journeys.

Each of this year’s Top 5, had their share of moments on this evening, led by 2015 winner, Nick Fradiani and the rest of the crew, Clark Beckham, Jax, Rayvon Owen and Tyanna Jones. Under the new format, each singer had a chance to deliver a handful of riveting solo performances. All five of this year’s Idols boasted fantastic vocal performances, confirming that these five were clearly very deserving of their lofty status.

The highlight of the night for me were the performances of the Top 3, particularly 2nd Place finisher Beckham and 3rd Place Jax.
Beckham has a personality built for the stage, and a voice beyond compare. He introduced himself with “I love singing for people, and I can’t ever remember music not being a part of my life,” and it showed. He delivered stunning versions of a Ray Charles inspired version of “Georgia On My Mind” and my favorite performance of the night, a killer version of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.” As I listened to his voice, I couldn’t help wondering how he’d sound singing a Robert Plant song – yeah, he’s got a special gift.

He also displayed an affable fun side comfortably perched behind his piano, as he slickly weaved in a few classic TV and advertising jingles. At one point, he said “Hi” to his guitar tech Tim, then shared “Tim is a great guitar tech; well, he’s the only guitar tech I’ve ever had, but I’m pretty sure he’s the best ever.”

The performer I was most anxious to see was Jax, the creative 20 year-old from New Jersey. She’s a charismatic singer with a distinctive, captivating voice and a rare ability to connect with her audience. Her range is impressive, as well, one second flying around the stage tearing through a rollicking version of “My Generation,” then minutes later absolutely nailing a precise, compelling rendition of Dido’s “White Flag.” Great stuff.

She stated she was more comfortable being on stage than being alone in her own bedroom, and it showed. She raced across the stage, jumped into the crowd, high-fived fans, smiled incessantly, took selfies, and generally bonded with the crowd and members of her dedicated JaxPack.

While you are here, check out our recent Jax interview here: Jax Speaks…

Fradiani’s offerings were just as good. It’s easy to see why he won this year’s competition, as he’s got a polished stage presence, dynamic voice and a personality built to perform. The highlight of his set was an original song that he penned with his former band “Beach Avenue.” He mentioned the roll of the dice Idol performers endure with their first single selected by the Idol team, but how pleased he was to be gifted a song like “Beautiful Life” which he nailed.
Owen and the 16 year-old Jones (from nearby Jacksonville) also displayed their exquisite voices. Although they are not great fits for a rock music website such as ours, they both delivered engaging performances, and boast bright futures. It was refreshing listening to the two performers share how important their family was to them and to the development of their budding careers.

In general, I found that the group performances fell kinda flat, but there were two notable exceptions. Jax offered “Something beautiful can come from a broken road” and the group delivered a stirring version of Rascal Flatts’ “Broken Road,” and later in the evening, they delivered a tremendous version of Sia’s Chandelier,” highlighted by Owen’s dulcet voice.

Joey Cook, one of this year’s more compelling characters opened the show with a quick ten minute set, where she quickly bonded with the crowd, while dishing out three excellent songs, including one of her all-time favorites “Dream A Little Dream,” an apt way to start the journey for these future stars.

We will have a slew of photos from the show and all six performers over the next day forthcoming on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@rarasfarm). Here’s the Facebook photo link: American Idol Concert Photos

Upcoming Florida Dates:
7/11/15 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
7/12/15 Ft. Myers, FL Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
7/14/15 Fort Lauderdale, FL Parker Playhouse
7/15/15 Jacksonville, FL Florida Theater

See more at: http://www.americanidol.com/tour

Rock On!
Cretin