…not just a little wacky or a mildly kooky Canuck but a buckle-up-the-straitjacket nut bar.
Yes, I was in Layton for the 3 shows this weekend. No, I did not plan to be.
Yes, I did fly there directly from my vacation in Florida, cutting it short by a day, and leaving my hubby to explain to Canadian customs on his return trip how it came to be that he’d flown to Fort Myers with his wife but was returning alone.
I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say the lovely Refnaf was the original mastermind behind the whole thing.
And what makes me even crazier is that I had come down with a wicked cough and fever the day I left… actually, maybe the fever made me do it. Nah, it was David.
I really thought I wouldn’t get to any more Christmas shows. I felt blessed to be in Indianapolis for that incredible show.
But when stars started to align and the chance was there, I grabbed it. And boy, I am still sick as a dog, but so so glad I did.
(And yes, I can hear y’all shouting “okay, get to the recap, already!”)
Friday’s show — a fever dream
Friday night is a bit of a blur because I was still in shock that I was actually there … and running a temperature.
But I do remember standing at the Will Call table as we asked for our tickets and who happened to be in line in front of us? Why, the illustrious Dean Kaelin. And he was on his phone doing vocal warmups (this exact one… only Dean wasn’t pinching his cheeks 🙂 ).
I presumed he was doing them with David but did I grab the phone from him and scream, “WE LOVE YOU, DAAAAVIIIIID!!!!!” just to check? No.
He ended up sitting two rows ahead of us and whispered something to his son (again, I presume, he looked like a Dean Mini-Me) after Nathan sang Nessun Dorma… oh, to be a lip reader. A well-deserved Standing-O from the crowd on this one, beautifully done.
At that point, I had no idea David had “the sniffles,” as he put it on Saturday. He sounded his amazing self, but did seem to hold back a little on some big notes, but I just figured he was saving his voice to deliver all 3 shows.
Friday night, he seemed SO happy and energetic. Every story was embellished, he bounced across the stage, and lit up the whole place with his smile… even more than usual. There was even a new Chris Brown dance move added to his Madison Square Garden story. He will let all of those moves loose one day and kill us all, I swear.
He did mention how grateful he was about the great response to My Little Prayer, and I’d bet that had something to do with his great mood. Plus, there were surely lots of friends and family in the crowd.
He asked if there were any Christmas carollers in the crowd (there were) and he told them that the concert could be practice for them… *crickets*…. David: okay, I guess that wasn’t very funny. At which everyone cracked up. He slays me.
He sounded great on every song… Mary Did You Know was particularly tender and beautiful, it was like I was hearing it for the first time. I couldn’t help wondering what Dean was thinking, as I remembered that video that surfaced during Idol days of David singing MDYK at a Christmas event with Dean on piano. It was beautiful then, but now… takes you right back to Bethlehem.
After the show, we ended up walking beside Dean. Refnaf said hello and told him how great David sounded. Dean told us that David was starting to get a cold and he wished that David would rest more between shows but that he always wants to help someone out or visit a seniors home or other service project. I might have clutched my heart.
Sat. matinee – David’s magnificence knocks the power out
For this show, we ended up sitting beside Nathan Pacheco’s beautiful wife and two adorable kids. Mrs. Pacheco held their baby on her lap throughout the whole show and, I swear, either it was actually a Cabbage Patch doll or this is the most well-behaved, good natured infant I’ve ever seen. No fussiness, nothing.
Their four-year-old son, Emerson, wore the cutest set of mini-headphones and Nathan called him up on stage for a bit. His quotable quote was, “I LIKE DRUMS!” 🙂
— Shell (@Shell_eeeyyy) December 10, 2016
I might be slightly biased but I could swear Mrs. Pacheco hooted and cheered even more throughout David’s set than Nathan’s. Do not share this with Jerry Springer.
David definitely sounded more stuffed up for the Saturday matinee but he still knocked it out of the park. The way he changes up notes, slips into the harmony part and adds even more feeling into his lower register just blows me away.
Right in the middle of Riu Riu Chiu, the place went black.
David: “Well, that’s a first.” And he disappeared off into the wings, probably looking for his Eagle Scout flashlight.
All the security peeps moved up to the front and faced us all, arms crossed, as if we were all going to take this chance to rush the stage and force-feed David some chicken soup.
The way the band reacted was amazing. The cellist started things off and they began to jam acoustically, ending up doing an amazing jazz number (that’s a classic tune, but I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it) with Melanie Shore, the pianist, really showing her jazz chops. (I’m a big jazz fan, so I loved this!)
The power did come back on right after that and David started Riu Riu Chiu all over again… so we got 1.5 RRCs. SCORE!
David gave props to the band, saying, “Y’all got 3 shows in one… Nathan’s, mine and a jazz concert.”
At the end of the show, Brady Bills brought out his adorbs little daughter and held her and Nathan’s little guy took that as a green light and came running up on stage. Not realizing who the boy was, one of the big burly security guys charged after him ready for a take down until David and Nathan waved him off.
Nice to know security is on high alert at the Layton Auditorium.
Saturday night – Oh, what a niiiiight
First time ever I’ve arrived at a venue for a concert and everyone was waiting outside while all was dark inside. My heart sank. I was sure David’s cold had gotten worse and they’d cancelled the show. Not that I want him to sing when he’s sick, quite the opposite, it completely freaks me out and gives me Layton Amphitheater flashbacks.
They eventually let everyone in, explaining that the power had gone out but they were working hard to get it back up and running and we might get an acoustic show instead.
If you’ve dropped by here often enough, you’ll know that this is my DREAM. An all-acoustic David show. And an acoustic Christmas show??
Let’s just say, Refnaf had to hold me back from finding the power authority peeps and slipping them some cold, hard cash to keep that power off.
It was very cool to see the band and crew jump into action moving instruments and gear around to assemble an acoustic set-up. Kari and Gina kept having these intense discussions with the crew and venue peeps and I was worried for a sec the show would NOT go on.
And when the DAC the Halls person explained what was happening and asked everyone to give a hand for Nathan Pacheco and David Archuleta, I will swear on the life of my favourite shoes that there was a BAM and all the lights came on when he said David’s name. For that is the power of The Archuleta.
When Nathan came on, he explained that they’d been scrambling as furiously back stage as they were on … ripping apart the set list, checking acoustic songs on their phones, basically reworking the whole show.
*sigh* A girl can dream.
But I should NOT complain… the show did go on. And what a show it was.
Again with the Mary Did You Know amazingness. I cried. I never cry during MDYK. It was Christmas Eve, the original one. He was that shepherd boy and he waved us all into the manger.
Thank you, Ms. Muldur, for recording this magic!!!!!
He ATTACKED Numb but then suddenly his voice was gone. Way to give us a heart attack, Archuleta. He quickly flicked the mic back on and finished the song with a bang. “I accidentally turned the mic off. That’s never happened before,” he said, smiling. “I thought my voice was gone.” NOT funny, bud. Sheesh.
Joy to the World… I have no words for this one. Something came over him or through him and restored his voice in all its glory as he got into the song. When he got to the “Wonders of his love” crescendo part and hit every high note and held that full, glorious “LOOOOOOOVE,” he smiled up to the rafters … in gratitude? … and everyone started cheering. He got choked up and so, of course, did we.
When he ended with “The Lord my God, he reigns,” chills ran up both my arms and possibly my other extremities. He got an amazing ovation and was still verklempt, saying “I really love that last verse.”
He then spoke about something he’d read or heard recently: “There wouldn’t be a Christmas without an Easter, I love that thought.” And then he talked a little bit about that and got choked up again. It was beautiful. Random quirky musings one minute and deep profound thoughts the next. He is one endlessly fascinating person, is he not?
And so “in the moment” and “present”… always. It really struck me at this show how rare that is.
My Little Prayer had been strong and confident on Friday night. Here, it was tender and emotional and he was leading our prayer circle.
O Holy Night was nothing short of magnificent. I was in shock that he wasn’t holding back and that he was nailing it… again. He seemed possessed… in a good way. Filled with joy and reverence. Standing O, baby.
And before Glorious, he acknowledged the fact that the holidays can be a difficult time for many people, “How am I going to get through another year?”
As if I wasn’t an emotional wreck enough at this point, this about did me in. These weren’t just words to him… a pat intro to a song… he knows that pain and wants to try to help others out of it. He’s helped me out of it. When I leapt to my feet at the end, I know there were others who did the same but for just a second, it felt like I was the only one sending out a very personal, “BRAVO! BRAVISSIMO!!!!”
(No, I didn’t actually yell that… it was understood. 🙂 )
JTTW … you really need to see this!
Were any of you there?? Did all this really happen?? Did I leave anything out???
Awesome article about My Little Prayer from Mark Franklin HERE.