Before this tour, the only time I’d seen David Archuleta perform live was in Salt Lake City in March – the final concert of his first solo tour. But I’d never met him in person … until Santa Rosa. At the VIP.
Why was it important for me to meet David in person? I just really felt the need to tell him how deeply he has affected me and influenced my life. To thank him for that.
As others have reported, the time you get to actually speak with David is very short. What a blur. On the whole, I managed to remain quite calm somehow. On the advice of a very wise and sage person, I had – in advance – memorized what I wanted to say. I am unashamedly admitting here my almost desperately driven need to have him know how intensely I felt.
Because I sat and watched most everyone else have their moment with David, I quickly realized I needed to figure out how to summarize my 30-second explanation down to a single sentence. I initially wanted to introduce myself and my husband, and tell David we were from Western Canada and go on from there.
But I could see there’d be no time for such pleasantries, so I just walked right up to David (after indicating to Kristen that I did not want a picture taken), stood right in front of him (not too close though) and, making sure to look him directly in the eye, said “I just wanted to tell you how profoundly you have touched my life both emotionally and spiritually.”
I figured that I would forever remember the look in his eyes and the expression on his face as I spoke these words to him, but alas it was not to be. Bizarrely, it seemed that my eyes just glazed over. I cannot recall even seeing his eyes or a complete facial expression just vaguely saw him smile and heard him say, “Aww, thank you,” in a most heartfelt way – to which I immediately replied “No, thank you.” Why did this happen?
I was so glad that my husband was there to tell me afterward that David’s eyes opened wide in acknowledgment of my words and that he was sincere in his thanks. I think at that point I said that we were from Canada, he said something about Vancouver, and I responded we were from Calgary.
Mr. Awestruck asked David if he would be coming to tour in Canada. He said that he would love to. And then it was over. I don’t think I ever told him my name. I do remember the palpable relief I felt knowing I had accomplished my goal and that I sat down grinning from ear to ear. How is it that at my age I should take such great and wondrous pleasure in my being able to express such sentiments to my teenage idol? David’s ability to connect with people in a most intensely profound way transcends any age barrier. It is a magical thing indeed.
Santa Rosa: The concert begins
At last winter’s SLC show, I thought David displayed a new level of confidence, of heartfelt ownership on stage. More assured somehow, freer in his delivery. I noticed even more of this confidence and self-assuredness watching him in Santa Rosa. Was it accomplished through a greater sense of self-belief on his part?
David even allowed himself the luxury of accepting the audiences’ ecstatic reaction at the end with three lingering bows (both sides and centre stage) before exiting with a smile, a wave and a bounce in his step.
In terms of performance, The Riddle surprised and impressed me. David’s expanded piano playing was more than merely competent (actual playing versus simple chord progressions). He was confident enough to tackle instrumental sections of just piano, and his playing was much more connected with and to the vocals than I’d noticed before. Oh, these leaps of growth slay me and I eagerly anticipate the day he accomplishes such a performance playing his own compositions.
- Fields of Gold with the shimmering gold curtain behind him; he took me to those fields with his lovely flowing vocals
- Prayer of the Children – He introduced this with a preamble about how this song has begun to mean more to him because of his involvement with causes involving children and went on to thank the fans for their much appreciated support of these causes. Well-thought-out segue to the Christmas set.
- HYAMLC was an exceptional interpretation, jazzy-bluesy feel with exquisite vocal nuances.
- Pat-a-Pan – you can obviously see how much he enjoys singing this song and the last three words – Pat a Pan – with the last Pan going down to that spine chilling LOW note. Oh my.
- Riu Riu Chiu – lovely extended ending.
- Ave Maria – my heart expanded with this one, a total ‘at peace’ moment in time, despite the fact that one of the notes slipped on him. Standing ovation.
- Silent Night – what a powerful end to the concert, soothing, uplifting, reverent. Tears glistened in his eyes at the end. Again, everyone on their feet.
- Encore: O Holy Night – David feels this song so deeply when he sings it, stunning to witness live. He closed his eyes at the end, going to that private place that he goes to, for a brief time – the audience quiet, followed by an eruption of reaction voicing their approval and thanks as David re-joined us and smiled that tender smile of his. Breathtaking. Tear inducing. STUNNING.
David sang with emotional intensity though out the night. The reverence in his voice particularly when singing Ave Maria, Silent Night and O Holy Night was humbling to experience.
Ninaf said it best; “…one of those performances that transformed me …it touched me in a very spiritual and personal way. I can only describe it as that feeling I get every once in awhile, of total contentment and happiness. Where I feel so blessed that I literally can’t move.”
It was a truly special night.
P.S. A shout out to all the David fans I had a chance to speak with – those fans I re-connected with, as well as those whom I met for the first time. You are such a diverse, creative and compassionate group that made my two day concert experience so much richer – thank you.
Stay tuned for California Dream’ Part 2: San Francisco