Photo credit: Shelley, ‘natch.
‘Twas the week before Christmas
Pocatello, Idaho (known as “Poky” in these parts), is in the mountains, at an altitude of 4500 feet. It was plenty wintery there this week, due to a recent snowfall that froze before it could be cleared. It seemed to be an appropriate setting for a Christmas concert, and for a little unintentional slip sliding across the parking lots.
The concert venue is quite beautiful, much like those grand theaters of old, but with acoustics using today’s state-of-the-art technology. On Tuesday night, the house was filled to the brim with people who came to see and hear David Archuleta. My husband and I were seated in the center section, front row. I am not kidding! This arrangement had to be a Christmas miracle or a fortuitous Pocatello-for-Layton ticket trade with super fan @muldur.
The stage was elevated, but only slightly, meaning front row patrons were almost part of the action. I didn’t realize the truth of this until it was David’s turn to perform. When he came out on stage, I was literally taken aback. He stood less than five feet away from me to greet the crowd, and I wondered if I should apologize for encroaching on his personal space. I am reasonably certain this will be the closest I ever get to the dream of having David Archuleta show up to sing for me in my living room.
His eyes how they twinkled, his dimples how merry
You know the songs, you have heard the voice, you have seen the videos (Bless you, Shelley!). You may have even indulged in seven other David concerts since September (cough cough), but I bet you have never seen David like this! He was the Christmas Scrooge Exterminator. He de-humbugged the entire place with his first song and killed us all dead before the night was over. Peace on earth indeed!
Yes, I know. His live performances are always excellent, so what made this week different? A lot of little things I think, mostly having to do with David’s decision to keep singing, and to go at it in his own way. I would never speak for David, but since fan blogs are not speculation-free zones, here is mine: I suspect that his decision, which had to be monumental for him, finally came with some unexpected freedom, no apologies needed. Add in the positive reception from fans who have been waiting, and there you go. We could philosophize about this for days, but let’s just say that the whole of it certainly translates well to his performing, and he just keeps getting better.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
David sang for 90 minutes, and gave everything he had to the audience. He was stronger somehow, more confident. He “played” with the notes like they were good friends, and changed things up on a whim. He wasn’t afraid to have a little fun, and it was contagious. He moved and he grooved like no one was watching. He sang in English and Italian and French and Spanish. When he did speak, it was in Utahan, and that was charming too.
I had an advantage being so close. I noticed things I would not have otherwise. Just a few:
- He was a “conductor” of sorts on stage, using subtle hand signals (usually to Kendra or his guitarist) to increase the tempo, decrease the volume or to signal other changes he seemed to want in the middle of a song.
- He no longer holds the mic on his upper lip. Not sure why he changed that, but all the better to see you, Mr. Archuleta!
- David and the band were engaged with each other while the music was going on. Every once in a while, a smile would be exchanged, like there was some inside joke about what they were doing, or didn’t do.
- David is very handsome. Oh, you knew that already? Well, close up, he is exceptionally striking; maturity is not harming him in any way.
- His hair is longer on top now, and he brushed through it with his fingers a few times, in rock star fashion. This gesture was extremely appealing to the teenage girls behind us.
- David is back to interacting with the audience as he sings. If he points your way, you know he means you specifically and your night is made. You could also see it in his eyes when he recognized someone he knew. Sometimes they got a little wave, or a smile.
- “Numb” – How many times have I heard it live? I count five, and this was the best performance in my opinion. It is absolutely his song now and he is quite comfortable with it, to the point of really selling it with his voice. I think he loves that song personally (he said it again), and he wants to be sure we love it too. Well, OK, David, we’re already there, but whatever you say. LOL. It received loud and sustained applause. Like, noticeably sustained applause. I hope the studio production does it justice and it rockets through the charts.
- The real magic of the night was how he managed to dive deep into every single song, from the jazzy and delicious holiday confection called “White Christmas,” to the moving and sacred nature of “O Holy Night.” He’s good. He is really, really good.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night
[ADMIN note: I just wanted to point out that the awesome TaterZen (formerly known as Archugeezer or, as I like to call her, Geezmeister) is SUPER busy but kindly agreed to do this recap and share her experience with us poor sods who can only sit here with noses pressed up against computer screens. So if you enjoyed reading this, please let her know in the comments! Merci buckets!]
From @bradybills’ missus, Josephine Bills’ IG — talented photographer! Hire her, David! :) :
VIDEOOOOOOOS!!!! (merci bien, Mme. Shelley!)
White Christmas, Pocatello
The First Noel, Pocatello
Everybody Hurts, Pocatello
Silent Night, Pocatello
Feliz Navidad, Pocatello
The Prayer, Pocatello
Mary’s Boy Child, Pocatello
Melodies of Christmas, Pocatello
What Child is This?, Pocatello
Pat A Pan, Pocatello
Il est Né, Le Divin Enfant, Pocatello
Davidesque Banter, Pocatello
O Holy Night, Pocatello