I had the pleasure to spend a little time in Gilbert, AZ, with the lovely SnowAngelz.
As I hadn’t been to a true pop album tour concert since 2009, Ms. TOfan asked me to share my perspective hearing songs from David’s sophomore pop album for the first time live.
This has turned out to be an unparalleled obsession that I have juggled for 3 ½ years. Like most of you, so out of character and not just a little too puzzling. And it demands much thought, soul searching, deliberate choices and development and growth of a new wisdom since I am a mature fan with such a compelling admiration of the music and artistry of Mr. Archuleta.
It is something like a calling. A tap on the shoulder, or maybe, that’s more like a bucket of ice water over the head, haha…but whatever it is, it just keeps me coming back for more.
Spiritual, yes. David’s voice fills all the empty spaces. It is bigger than life. And I suspect it fills the empty spaces in each listener, those empty spaces being so different as we are all distinct from each other in subtle or markedly contrasting ways.
I don’t have a back story of tragedy or struggle that led me to embrace his artistry. I am as humbly ever grateful for the diverse blessings that have populated my life to date. I’m not in search of the meaning of life nor the divine … got my arms around that a while back … one of the positive aspects of being mature, a.k.a., “older.” Lololol.
And so Arizona was in one word, JOY. David appeared relaxed and happy. His command of the stage, the band, the song, the moment, the audience was light years beyond the last time I saw him perform his pop repertoire live.
Throughout the evening, he weaved his innate artistic talent with candor, with energy, with fun, with a wide range of emotion, and with his love of his country. With the growing strength of knowledge and experience of an artist who knows who he is, what he wants, and where he is going. And the resulting performance was a striking balance of honoring the Patriotic event, Constitution Week, 10th Annual in Gilbert, AZ with his music, his message.
Stand By Me – Best performance to date. His last glory note was stunning. The videos don’t capture its full effect.
Heaven – Live before my eyes was a gift, a rare moment. I wanted to slow time and experience it in nanoseconds. David added instrumental segments with the band and made it an unusually strong statement when in prior performances it was more an acoustic set. I think this is a good example of artistic growth, from Heaven on AI when he auditioned, the intervening performances, to this performance, just shows the depth, breadth and scope of change.
Complain – Soulful, so different from the album. “Baby, I can’t complain…” Another striking example of artistic growth.
The Other Side of Down – Light, love, optimism, energy; seeing it performed first time live was something I had been anticipating since hearing it on the studio album. There was a guy and gal in front of me (in their early 20s) who knew all the words and danced to the song complete with choreographed arm movements, obviously they had danced to this before. So much fun.
Star Spangled Banner – He sang the first and fourth verse. Unusual to sing beyond the first… it is such a hard song to sing period. So trust Mr. Archuleta to challenge himself twice on one of the songs that many a superstar has messed up. Authentic, stirring performance. And singing two verses is a subtle, riveting message of patriotism, love of country, and courage. Smart, very smart that.
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Elevator – I finally got to sing the audience participation part, “Hi-iiiii-iiii-iiiii-iiigh!” It was a blast. And to the Elevator naysayers, one word, pfffffft. It is a song meant for live performance and David sings it with gusto. It is fun, uplifting and definitely puts an extra sparkle in David’s eyes and his audience seems to effortlessly jump squarely in the palm of his hand as he commands them to sing.
His bows from the left stage, then the right, then with hands together at stage center throughout the applause, the cheering, and the high pitched spontaneous, youthful cries of “David, I love you” was a defining moment. Finally taking the time at concert end to allow the audiences’ exuberance and wild appreciation to waft over him as an artist, an entertainer, in warm, embracing waves…taking in rather than giving, letting the audience give back…the smile on his face as he took his bows was poignant…a sublime finish. Message delivered…….on both sides. More of that please! (And, yet again, another display of artistic growth in the recognition of the give and take between artist and audience.)
David’s entire set was great entertainment offering up a range of messages and sentiments for each concert goer. It saturated the empty spaces in my psyche, or — if I wish to be over-the-top maudlin — my soul, with joy. I found myself grinning from ear to ear for 50 minutes. My face muscles actually hurt from that 3,000-second record-breaking smile.
Ah, what the heck, this is such an OTT experience anyway. 😀
Yep, JOY. That sums up the evening for me. FESTIVE sums up the crowd’s overall mood. CELEBRATION underpinned by REMEMBRANCE sums up the whole event. And, enhanced, ever-growing artistic BEAUTY, VULNERABILITY, CONNECTION and STRENGTH sums up the evolution of a young man whose music and career trajectory I have followed with most of you for 3 ½ years.
Thanks to TOfan and Refnaf for your terrific companionship and sharing your journey and joy with me. And for allowing me dual citizenship. 😀
The best thing is that this is but a dot on the artistic timeline…..
…and I will just “keep comin’ back for more.”
P.S. amAZing soundcheck slideshow from the lovely Platinum Archie.
Vodpod videos no longer available.