Murtzcellanious: LIVE COVERAGE Murtz Jaffer Reviews American Idols Live Tour

TORONTO – The American Idols Live tour made its only Canadian stop last night in Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, and just like the American Idol show, the tour was all about Sanjaya.

The controversial and much-maligned Malakar wasn’t just the star of the show on Tuesday night. He was the show.

For pure entertainment, the highlight of the show was undoubtedly Sanjaya’s spin on Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” The singer was elevated onto the stage while the theme of Jackson’s “Thriller” played in the background. As the audience waited with baited breath for the spotlight to be turned off and the full lighting to be turned on so that they could see what he would surprise them with, Malakar didn’t disappoint as he moonwalked his way into the memories of all who saw the performance.

Other highlights included:

– LaKisha’s breathtaking cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” which earned her the only standing ovation of the evening (not including the obligatory last song standing ovation).

– Chris Richardson and Blake Lewis beatboxing and singing to Justin Timberlake’s Sexyback.

– Blake Lewis telling the crowd that he crowd that he is recording his own “loop-based” project that involves him playing over layers of his own previously-recorded music and then launching into a sweet medley of Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved,” U2’s “With or Without You,” an insanely-long beatbox freestyle and closing with the cover that made his name on American Idol, Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name.

Idol winner Jordin Sparks rocking out to Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker,” (a notable moment because it was the only time she didn’t do some type of a ballad during the show).

– LaKisha, Haley, and Gina dressed in full Moulin Rouge gear and singing Lady Marmalade.

To be honest, I still can’t get over the fact that 36 songs were played in a two hour and 30 minute show (37 if you include Sanjaya, Phil and Chris Sligh singing a couple of lines from the Backstreet Boys’ classic “I Want It That Way”).

The show opened with a group performance of The Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get It Started”. Idol runner-up Blake Lewis was dressed as a security guard and then peeled off the outfit (sorry ladies, only to reveal another costume) as the rest of the Idols joined him on stage.

The varying styles of music made the concert was one of the city’s most impressive. A Fall Out Boy cover was followed by Martina McBride. Pink preceded by The Beatles. Gladys Knight right after Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is A Highway.” It was as unpredictable as the order in which the Idols came out which made getting out of your seat almost impossible.

Too often in contemporary concerts, we are forced to listen to songs that we don’t know as we wait for the two Top 40 hits that we can sing along to. This was not the case in the American Idol Live tour. Every song was recognizable and while the Idols may get criticism for not singing any of their own original material, that’s not what this concert was about. It was to ensure that their talents from the show were on display. Besides, that’s what their own albums are for!

Set List

1. Let’s Get It Started (Sanjaya, Haley, Blake, Chris Sligh, Phil, Jordin, Gina).
2. Stop In The Name Of Love (LaKisha, Melinda).
3. I Heard It Through The Grapevine (LaKisha, Melinda… with Chris Richardson appearing in the middle of the song).
4. Proud Mary (Melinda… with Sanjaya appearing in the middle of the song).
5. Blaze Of Glory (Phil Stacey).
6. Thnks Fr The Mmrs (Gina, Chris Sligh).
7. When God Fearin’ Women Get The Blues (Haley Scarnato).
8. The Way You Make Me Feel (Sanjaya Malakar).
9. Typical (Chris Sligh).
10. Lady Marmalade (LaKisha, Haley, Gina).
11. What Hurts The Most (Jordin & Chris).
12. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) (Jordin & Melinda).
13. Time Of The Season (Blake).
14. She Will Be Loved (Blake).
15. With Or Without You (Blake).
16. Beatbox Freestyle (Blake).
17. You Give Love A Bad Name (Blake…with Phil, Sanjaya, Chris Richardson and Chris Sligh appearing in the middle of the song).


18. Crazy (Phil, Blake, Chris Sligh, Sanjaya, Chris Richardson).
19. Hey Jude (Phil, Blake, Chris Sligh, Sanjaya, Chris Richardson).
20. You Took My Hand (Gina).
21. Ain’t No Sunshine (Chris Richardson… with Blake appearing in the middle of the song).
22. Virtual Insanity (Chris Richardson… with Blake appearing in the middle of the song).
23. Sexyback (Chris Richardson… with Blake appearing in the middle of the song).
24. I Will Always Love You (LaKisha).
25. This Love (Chris Richardson).
26. It’s Your Love (Phil Stacey… with Gina appearing in the middle of the song).
27. Life Is A Highway (Sanjaya, Chris Sligh, Haley, Chris Richardson).
28. You Make Me Feel (Melinda)
29. Ain’t No Other Man (LaKisha, Haley, Melinda, Gina).
30. I (Who Have Nothing) (Jordin).
31. Heartbreaker (Jordin).
32. You Were Meant For Me (Jordin).
33. With A Broken Wing (Jordin).
34. Livin’ On A Prayer (Jordin… with all appearing).
35. This Is My Now (Jordin)
36. Group Medley of earlier performances

Starting next Wednesday, look for Idol Interview Week here at Reality Dish as I post all my interviews with the American Idols, with one running per day.