Yes, I am certifiably insane….

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Photo: Who else? Shell-Shell

…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!” 🙂

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.



My crummy photos of the acoustic set-up before they moved everything back.




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.






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28 Responses to Yes, I am certifiably insane….

  1. missbianca says:

    More impressions later, but I want you to know I teared up reading the word “verklempt” which always reminds me of Twitter days and beebee. My verkelmptitude (was not a word until now) won’t come until the last of this year’s Christmas concerts, in Sacramentoooooo.

    And you may be a little nuts but only in the bestest possible way. The. Best.

  2. TaterZen says:

    I was not there (sniff) until you took me there. Thank you from this branch of the certifiably insane. I have to admit, I was a little suspicious. It was too quiet around here, and I saw refnaf doing some wishful thinking online. Still, who would leave sunny Florida for winter in Utah? Must have been a good reason. 😀

    Awesome write-up in every word and in every way. Loved this: “takes you right back to Bethlehem.” Indeed.

    • Jani says:

      Finally! I can get to this site and tell you how much I appreciated your heartfelt recap and send you my well wishes. Every single time I tried to go to the last thread, my iPad would crash and I couldn’t get through more than the first few sentences. Crazy. Ha, maybe certifiably. It seems to be recovering now, though my screen name (Jani) may likely not show up – sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t on this site. More crazy. 😉 Anyway, thank you again, and I hope you’re feeling better soon!

  3. janetpacker says:

    What a beautiful form of insanity! Without it you wouldn’t have gotten on that plane plane and we we would have missed out on this beautiful, beautiful recap! I love every word. And, of course, you know you’re not alone in this malady. 😉

    • Jani says:

      Did I just type plane plane or can I blame that on my iPad, too? Double crazy.

      • Oliveoil says:

        Tofan , I wasn’t there but after reading your touching and funny recap, I feel like I was sitting in the audience right next to you and Dean K lol !! I love the way David responded so calmly , with humor, to all the big and little glitches. His voice and stage presence just keep growing and maturing with each performance. There’s more I could say, but you say it better. Hope you get over that nasty cold very soon. God bless.

  4. peppertara says:

    TOfan, what a fantastic recap! Certifiably insane….well, nah…..just one of those real go getters that David talks about, haha. Wow, with all those concerts you (and refnaf) must be filled with an extra boat load (or plane load) of Christmas Spirit (except for being unwell, do hope you feel better soon).
    Thank you for sharing all those wonderful details, so much fun to read. The videos are fabulous, thank you! Yes he certainly is “one endlessly fascinating person”. Love his maturity, humour, his inspiration and of course the voice and stage presence, such a trooper.
    Happy for you that you were able to manage the extra shows, what an experience, you are quite a trooper yourself.

  5. Spirit says:

    TOfan….I love, love, love this recap filled with your trademark humor, fantastic details, and heartwarming moments! You chose a perfectly stunning lead picture to top it all off! I’m sure that the Canadian customs folks took pity on your husband when he explained that you had to rush to Utah to be treated by Dr. Archuleta for your serious medical condition!

  6. tawna21 says:

    Love it TOfan! I was there Friday night, but not on Saturday. I remember David clearing his throat several times that evening. I mentioned to my friend sitting next to me (an ODD and beyond lady) that I was very concerned about the group of them getting sick because Nathan’s little guy had had a nasty cold. With the way David was acting it really brought out the ‘mama needs to make some chicken soup’ in me. I sure hope he is taking some time off during this short down time.

    Anyway, thank you for the, as usual, amazing recap! And, I hope you’re on the mend. It’s crummy to feel crappy when you’re so far from home. I came home from Layton with the starting of a cold, too, but I’ve managed to keep it at bay with my essential oils. *fingers are crossed it doesn’t get worse*

  7. dh says:

    Beautiful heartfelt-to-hilarious-and-back recap, Deb. Love it! The song the band played was Spain, by Chick Corea. Here’s my partial recording of it.

    • TOfan says:

      YES! Thank you, Donna, that was driving me crazy! Sooooo glad you captured that!

      (And I’ve updated the post with Muldur’s video of MDYK Friday night … MUST watch!!!)

  8. refnaf says:

    #blessed to be able to share the insanity with you (((TOfan)))
    Amazing how it all worked out that we could be there….. unbelievable really!!
    This recap is exactly right and perfect… I can not say it any better…. I can only add that having experiences like this one is THE BERY BEST!

  9. djafan says:

    TOfan, Your recaps are epic! I laugh, I cry, I read it all over again! Thank you for sharing your “insanity” with us but just so you know I think you’re perfectly normal 🙂 And that goes for you to refnaf :)))))

  10. TOfan says:

    How awesome is this??!!!

    (also added to end of post)

  11. Grammyj says:

    Wow, fabulous recap! Ditto to what everyone said above. You really need to be at all of David’s concerts to recap for the fanbase. I love all the extra details, and you are NOT certifiably insane – you just have ODD like most of us here lol.

  12. TOfan says:

    I would love nothing more, Grammyj! 🙂 🙂 🙂


    And hope this works… OHN & The Prayer from Logan last night… breathtaking.

  13. TOfan says:

    Partial MDYK with a cool little addition at the end… hoping he throws in the Spanish version of this when he’s in California. 🙂

  14. TOfan says:






  15. TOfan says:

    Looks as though they didn’t have that big screen/slide show last night…

    Full disclosure: I wasn’t a fan… David’s voice is the only special effect I need. 🙂

  16. TOfan says:



  17. TOfan says:

    So now he’s just skipping right over Canada… ‘natch.


  18. Anonymous says:

    Comment on one of D’s last FB posts: 🙂 🙂 🙂

    “When you were about 9 years old, you used to come to Orem Nursing and Rehab with your mom and aunt. I was at that time the recreation therapist. The elderly loved you. You had a voice so beautiful and still do.

  19. TOfan says:

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