To launch the CFTH tour, a medley of impressions, vids and reviews:
Good Morning Snow Angelz – Last night’s concert was, yet again another quantum leap for David fans. Some of the new elements & style of last night’s performance have always been a part of what I felt & visualized when I listened and watched David sing in the past. Dreams do come true!
From the obvious growing confidence during his performances of some of his album songs…
to the two new covers “The Riddle” (and David at the baby grand–what a brilliant combination) and “Fields of Gold” (can’t even begin to describe this one–needs multiple listening to fully appreciate), and throwing in “Prayer of the Children” as icing…
to the tuxedo, black tie and purple shirt…
to Mom & Son duet (Hugs & Kisses & Dancing )…
to all the Christmas songs from the upbeat Melodies of Christmas and my personal favorite, Ave Maria (the choir and Kurt at the piano), Pad Thai-A-Pan, and Riu Riu Chewbacca, ending with a simply stunning rendition of O Holy Night.
A gift to his fans…and WHAT a gift. Appears to me, Mr. David Archuleta is finding his groove…Pop, soulful, folksy, reverent…I am beyond amazed at all the elements and style of his first Christmas concert.
This exceeded all expectations and I had some pretty high ones.
This beautiful close-up version of Ave Maria has me insane this morning. SB said he went into a trance – like he was praying. It is very evident here. There are no words for this.
Murray teen shows growth during holiday concert
Regardless of David Archuleta’s performance Tuesday night at Abravanel Hall, the tweens and teenagers in the audience would still have shrieked and squealed in delight every time the 18-year-old Murray pop singer sang a note.
Luckily for the rest of us, Archuleta launched his holiday tour in his home state with a rousing, accomplished performance that further illustrated how far he has come since he finished second in the 2008 season of “American Idol.”
Archuleta, who turns 19 at the end of December, ably balanced a show that showcased his pop talent as well as a strong display of covering other’s material — most notably a collection of Christmas standards that closed the show.
While the show was advertised as Archuleta performing selections from his recently released album, “Christmas From the Heart,” the singer began his set with songs taken mostly from his 2008 debut self-titled album. With more confidence and stage presence than he has shown yet, he flexed his vocals through “Crush” and “A Little Too Not Over You” as well as performing his up-tempo rave-up “Zero Gravity.” Archuleta was backed by four musicians, but played piano as he covered Five For Fighting’s ballad “The Riddle,” showing an inkling of a direction his career could take him.
Illustrating a talent for building a solid, thematic set, Archuleta then performed two songs that served as a transition between his opening set and his closing set of Christmas tunes. The highlight was when he was accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, singing a rendition of Sting’s “Fields of Gold” that changed the vocal melody to make the song his soulful own. It was then time for the main show to start.
The curtains pulled back to reveal about a dozen string players along with two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. With dramatic on-stage lighting illuminating three conical Christmas trees and four ornamental baubles hanging from the rafters, Archuleta came out in a jet-black suit and immediately got going with “Melodies of Christmas,” a new song he said he helped write.
The show was not short on surprises. After starting was seemed to be a somnambulant rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” his mother Lupe joined him to duet, turning a sluggish retread into a poignant refrain. And during a stirring, reverent version of “Ave Maria,” Archuleta was joined on stage by a white-robed children’s choir as well as on piano, local composer Kurt Bestor, who produced and conducted many songs on Archuleta’s holiday album.
Whether singing in English, Latin (as on “Ave Maria”) or French (as on Bestor’s galloping arrangement of “Pat-a-Pan”), Archuleta showed not only a command of the material but an ability to connect with the audience with self-deprecating humor and sheepish but endearing half-waves to the crowd, which nearly sold out the symphony hall.
What was most impressive about the concert was that Archuleta and his team relied not on slick, overly produced Christmas music that would dull the experience, but on a real string section and a lean, stripped-down soft-rock sound that shows an authenticity to the teen, who is turning into a man in front of our eyes.