Monday, October 31, 2011

Zombies Invade Austin

Today might be Halloween, but last night zombies invaded Austin, Texas. Maybe I should clarify that statement: Zombies invaded Austin's hottest new music venue, Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater.(That's the  fancy name for the studio where the 37 yr old megahit PBS music show, Austin City Limits, now resides.)  Normally, I would not be excited by the invasion of our fair city by zombies, but these were not your everyday run-of-the-mill zombies. In fact, these were very special zombies, and we are the only city where these type of zombies have been spotted.

If you frequent this blog, then right about now you are probably wondering what has gotten into me. Why am I talking about zombies instead of my normal subjects of David Archuleta or American Idol? "Has she lost her mind?" is probably one of the first things that you said to yourself.  Well, I probably have lost it but, have no fear, these zombies are not far off of my normal subjects. 

Last night was a great night for me as a lover of American Idol as I was fortunate enough to attend the first Austin concert of AI Season 7 winner - and good buddy of my favorite Idol contestant- Mr. David Cook. (Dave as he introduced himself to the crowd.)  Now "Dave" is on tour with Gavin Degraw and they, along with Carolina Liar, stopped by ACL Live last night as part of their tour, each supporting their newest albums. I was so thrilled to get word of this concert.  My husband is a live music photographer here in Austin and we have been working together recently doing music reviews for an online music magazine, All Access and we were lucky to secured both photo and review passes for this concert.  My husband, Limelight Imaging, owns the rights to all of the photos of Cook and his band seen below.  More images from this concert and many more can be found here.

I am not familiar with the opening act, Carolina Liar, and I only heard their last two numbers, so I won't try to review their performance. Gavin Degraw was ok, not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination, but he was well received by the crowd.  I was there to see Cook.

"Dave" had tweeted that they would have a different look for this concert but I don't think anyone was really expecting the whole band to appear as zombies.





















They looked great. Not overdone, but just enough to set the mood for a great pre-halloween show. (The night before the venue had hosted an intense Zombie Ball, so this was really fairly tame.)






















I thoroughly enjoyed this show. Cook and the band really rocked the venue. Although the setlist showed 14 numbers, Cook actually performed 13 songs: Circadian, Heroes, Mr Sensitive, Paper Heart, Come Back To Me, Let Me Fall, I Did For You, Last Goodbye, a cover of Muse's Stockholm Syndrome, Lie, Barbasol, Light On, and Fade Into Me.




All were very good, but my favorites were the last two, Light On and Fade Into Me. I also loved the a capella section of Lie.




I didn't have my regular camera with me to shoot pics and videos since my husband was shooting pro shots but I recorded Light On and Fade Into Me with my iPhone.




 It's not the best visual since I was in the mezzanine but the audio is pretty good. (Please don't judge the venues incredible sound but my poor videos. This place is amazing.)



Although I had a great time finally getting to see one of my favorites from my favorite season of AI, three things about this concert made me sad.

First, I wish Cook had been the headliner and had played even more of his great music. There are many other selections from his albums that I would have liked to hear. More selections like the acoustic performance of Fade Into Me would have been great.

Second, I was really disappointed in the turn-out for this show. At one point Cook even noted it himself saying "I guess everyone didn't get the memo."  ACL Live can easily hold 2700 to 3000 guests but for this concert, in which the floor was made GA standing, and most of the third floor balcony was curtained off, I would guess that the attendance was less than 1000. After Cook's performance, it was probably only 750 left in the building. The ticket prices weren't bad so I don't know why the attendance was so low. Probably because none of these artists get their music played on radio stations in this town.

Third, the one artist that I really want to see live in this venue is David Archuleta.  While others need amps and mega sound systems to fill up this space, David just needs his voice. I hope one day to actually see and hear Mr. Archuleta in this venue.

Well, I see Mr. Archuleta dropped by to check up on his friend, Mr. Cook. Now, if I could just get him to drop by the new ACL Live venue here in Austin, I would have a spooktacular review to post here.
Hope you all had a fantastically ghoulish Halloween.

Monday, October 24, 2011

David's Heart Voice

A couple of months ago I read an article on the David Archuleta Fansite Snowangelz in which the author, therealnewangel, wrote about David's performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir last December.  In it she talked about what she felt when David performed all of the amazing Christmas songs with the choir. She named it "Heart Voice."
"I have no idea what you call the various vocal techniques, how you define all those terms, head voice, chest voice… All I know is heart voice. Heart voice was definitely there. I don’t know how to describe what I feel or picture when David sings spiritual songs. Maybe it’s that I see a feeling, if that’s possible. I see peace– can I say that? It sounds stupid and New-Agey, but there it is. I see peace."
I've known all along that David has a special quality about him when he sings certain songs. It's there when he sings spiritual songs for sure, as therealnewangel said, but I had never really thought about other songs that bring out this quality in David until I listened to his newest rendition of Lean On Me, performed over this past weekend at DisneyWorld for the Children's Miracle Network Awards Ceremony. When I first heard this recording this morning, I got chills, and the first words that came into my mind were "Heart Voice." 

Video courtesy of AttractionsMagazine


David's heart was totally laid out for everyone to hear and see when he sang Lean On Me. He meant every word that came out of his mouth. The opening of the song in the lower register, possibly the lowest I have ever heard David sing in, took my breath away. He was soft and strong, subdued and powerful, all at the same time. Then David kicked into overdrive and delivered the song on a platinum platter, not a silver one that can tarnish easily with time, but platinum, one of the rarest and strongest elements on this earth. David, the sometimes thought of as meek and always humble artist, gave these incredible children, who have gone through so much in their short lives, a platinum performance, a "Heart" performance, truly meaning every word.
 
"Lean on me; When you're not strong; And I'll be your friend; I'll help you carry on."

I know that every person present must have been able to feel David's heart during that performance. I could feel it, and I was only viewing a video. David's "Heart Voice" was ringing through the heavens on Saturday, lighting the world as it touched each person. I'm sure that he healed many a soul that night. I know that he healed mine again this morning. Thank you, David. I, for one, needed a renewing of your "Heart Voice" surging through my soul, healing all of the wounds of everyday life.

Now, if only there were a way for every person on this planet to SEE and HEAR David.  Imagine what the world would be like if we all felt this amazing "Heart Voice."




Friday, October 7, 2011

My Kind of Christmas Equals A Thousand Miles

So, like many others in the middle section of the Land of the Archuleta, I am sad. I know that I should be all excited about the new Christmas tour but I just can't bring myself to rejoice when I know that I won't be able to attend one of David Archuleta's concerts this tour. Since I did not have the opportunity to attend the Christmas From The Heart Tour in 2009 because there were no stops in Texas, and I was unable to attend the MoTab performances in Utah last December, I had high hopes of attending a Christmas concert this year. But alas, the My Kind of Christmas Tour is not my kind of tour, for it does not include a stop anywhere near me.

I guess that I should be happy that I was able to attend the Children's Hospital benefit concert in Dallas last December. I loved every minute of that performance, even if it was way too short. I did actually get to shake David's hand at the very, very rushed and limited Meet and Greet before the show. And I was able to attend David's performance at the Kaleidoscope skating show taping a few days later in San Antonio. He only performed two songs there, but it was worth every second of my time to go there. I was even fortunate enough to get his autograph on the program after the show. (ArchuCaroling in the wee hours of a cold San Antonio night FTW.)

But as any true fan of David knows, after you have seen and heard David perform live, there is no possible way that you can exist without hearing him live again, and again, and again.  And it doesn't matter what he is singing, it just matters that he IS singing.  Once David's voice has been allowed to enter your mind, body, and soul, there is no turning back. Nothing can be substituted for the immense euphoria that you experience when you feel his music. To me, Christmas music sung by David is the ultimate in this feel-good euphoria. I could listen to David sing only Christmas music for the rest of my life and I would be completely content.

Nonetheless, as much as I want to be able to attend a Christmas show of David's this year, it will not be. Since I do not have the funds for catching a flight to anywhere right now, I would be required to drive to this concert. After the dates were posted, I did a little research to determine if I could possibly find a way to one of the venues and discovered that the Beaver Creek, Colorado show is the closest to me. But since I live in the middle of Texas, closest does not mean much. It is about a 12 hour drive just to get out of Texas. And then another 6 to 8 hours to get to Beaver Creek, located A Thousand Miles from me. And driving into the mountains of Colorado in December really doesn't sound like a smart idea for this very "Texas" girl. I will just have to live vicariously through the videos of the lucky fans who are fortunate enough to live on one of the US coasts or have ample money to fly wherever their hearts desire.

To deal with my disappointment over not seeing David perform this year, I have rewritten the lyrics to the perfect David cover, A Thousand Miles.

So, David, I just want to say that we might not get a lot of snow here in the middle of the Lone Star State but we do celebrate Christmas, BIG TIME.  Come check it out sometime.

P.S. Don't worry, your Texas fans still love you and will continue to support you, even if you are a million miles away. Once a fan, always a fan!


My Kind of Christmas Equals A Thousand Miles
(sung to the tune of A Thousand Miles)

David announced his tour,
Happy day,
Check the list,
Where will he be?

Staring at my screen,
Not believin' my eyes,
It can't be,
Nowhere near me!

But I need him,
And I miss him,
And so I ponder ...

If I could jump
Onto a plane,
I'd fly to where
He'd sing each day,
'Cause I'd have to drive
A thousand miles
For me to
Just see him
On tour.

I see there's thirteen stops,
But they are all so far,
So I wonder
If he could just
Come this way.

'Cause money here is tight.
So I can not fly.
Texas for tour
Is where he should be!

'Cause I need him,
And I miss him,
And so I ponder ...

If I could jump
Onto a plane,
I'd fly to where
He'd sing each day,
'Cause I'd have to drive
A thousand miles
So I could
Just see him
On tour.

But I, I
Just can't afford to fly.
I, I
Can't drive to Beaver Creek.
I, I
Don't want to miss his tour.
I'm, I'm
SAD!!! :( :( :( :(

David announced his tour,
Happy day,
Check the list,
Where will he be?

Staring at my screen,
Not believin' my eyes,
It can't be,
Nowhere near me!

And I still need him,
But I will miss him,
And so I ponder ...

If I could jump
Onto a plane,
I'd fly to where
He'd sing each day,
'Cause I'd have to drive
A thousand miles
So I could
Just see him ...

If I could jump
Onto a plane,
I'd fly to where
He'd sing each day,
'Cause I'd have to drive
A thousand miles
So I could
See David ...

So I could
Hear David
On tour!!!