A “Moment” in Rexburg
Travel is a bear for me lately, and I tend to avoid it. It’s complicated; but then, so is chronic pain. That said, David Archuleta’s next tour would begin in Rexburg, Idaho, less than five hours by car for me, and for whomever was willing to take me. I purchased tickets and crossed my fingers. Long story short: Rexburg happened. Oh, my goodness, did it ever!
Rexburg is an Idaho college town nestled in the mountains and framed by the Grand Tetons. It is especially beautiful in the late spring and summer, and there is always a gentle mountain breeze to keep things from getting too warm. However, you also need to know that in the winter, it becomes an arctic blast that can flash freeze your contacts to your eyeballs.
The local yokels will tell you that if the wind stops blowing, you will fall down. There was nothing last Friday night to dispel that premise. We walked across campus to get to the venue early, a chance to find fan friends. I used most of that time to let my face thaw.
As people arrived—thousands of people—the buzz of anticipation was louder than I have ever heard it. They love David in Rexburg. I have been to six of his concerts there, and it is worth noting that each time, a few more men attend than before. This time was no different.
Suddenly, there he was, smiling, waving, and singing his opener “Up All Night” to 100% approval from the crowd.
Admittedly, I am from the poodle skirt fashion era. but David’s concert outfit got an A+ from me. Unfortunately, I owe TOfan an apology for not providing an adequate footwear review. Boots? Dress shoes? I’m not sure. Whatever they were, they looked good on dancing feet.
David wore jeans with rolled cuffs, together with a royal blue shirt that was tucked in and secured with a wide, snazzy-looking belt. I assume rolled cuffs comprise a look that is au courant, but the fit of the jeans reminded me of those that made David’s thighs a celebrated topic of fan discussions, circa 2009-2010. (I am prepared to deny I ever wrote that.) A dark jacket with three-quarter length sleeves put the finishing touch on his regular dashing handsomeness.
I quickly noticed there was no keyboardist. Where are you hiding, Chad? Odd, but it later became obvious that some of Chad’s accompaniments had been recorded to use. A few times, there were technical sounds that simply made the background different than what was expected. A couple of times, the technical difficulties resulted in a technical dissonance. It didn’t matter; it passed in a nanosecond. Trust me, nothing took away from the fun on stage or in the crowd.
Someone snagged David’s official set list, but his set didn’t exactly end up as written. Toward the end, he announced he was going to change something (I have never seen that before). He consulted with his drummer, and then returned to the mic to perform. Maybe there was a technical change of some kind. All I noticed was that he didn’t sing the planned “Say Me.”
Don’t you just love a concert that has those “moments?” I tend to revisit them often, sometimes via fan video, sometimes just in my head. The venue video police were duty bound and diligent, resulting in a dearth of clandestine videos. Still, this concert was full of moments worth revisiting. Just a few:
• I think 90% of the audience knew all the words to “Something ‘Bout Love.” That song is older and maybe ready for retirement; but the crowd was instantly on their feet and engaged big time. Maybe that was the point.
• The venue made great use of special effect lighting with different colors and a big variety of patterns. It was consistently good and really added to the whole experience.
• As David sang a very moving rendition of “Spotlight Down,” fans gradually took to their cell phones until the entire auditorium was just a quiet sea of lights, almost like a show of respect for David’s point of view. ‘Twas lovely.
• David had his stories, and told them with an accent! It’s slight but southern. It’s real, and it’s completely charming, y’all.
• When “Parachutes and Airplanes” became “Thunder,” 4,600 people were catapulted beyond the decibel safety zone. The sustained applause and collegiate hooting was incredible, and incredibly loud.
• Oh, how I wish for a video of the big guy two rows ahead who was doing country line dance moves to the entirety of “Someone to Love.”
• A few of you already know that when David takes to the piano to do “My Kind of Perfect,” I tend to hold my breath until he gets through a particularly troublesome chord change. I have been more relaxed of late because I thought he had conquered that passage. Nope. He totally blew it Friday night, had to stop, tried to find the right keys, had to stop again. But that wasn’t the “moment” I will remember most. It was when he turned to the audience and calmly announced “I always forget that part,” and I realized he still had them completely in his corner. He continued to sing acapella until he could pick up the accompaniment again. When he finished, he said, “If any of you out there are my kind of perfect, you now have proof that I am not invincible.” I do believe the sound that followed might have been a few dozen coeds who swooned to the floor.
• David’s flashback medley included familiar songs from his first album, but right in the middle, he did eight bars of “I Wanna Know You” from Hannah Montana, and then pretended he had no idea how they got in there. Cute, David. Crowd loved it.
• Whenever David surprises us, it is always a “moment.” He did a singalong medley from The Greatest Showman (“A Million Dreams,” “This is Me,” “Rewrite the Stars”) that rocked the house. No troublesome chords in that number, my friends! By the time he got to the finish, he was bossing that piano like the reincarnation of Jerry Lee Lewis. Very impressive! I’m sure he had practiced with the band, but whatever he did at the performance really got their attention. They were all grinning and applauding. The drummer gave him a congratulatory salute with his drumsticks.
• I love “Postcards in The Sky,” and I really love it live. I envy those who will hear it at future performances throughout the tour because David is already feeling comfortable enough with the live version to add some of his own delicious enhancements.
• David spoke of the Valentine’s Day video release and joined with Nathan Pacheco via the video to make the duet happen in concert. It wasn’t exactly the version of “Perfect” I was hoping for, but he was in the original video by invitation, so it makes sense. David sang his part live. It was especially beautiful and coeds began dropping like flies again.
• A “moment” with Disney and the most powerful version of “He Lives in You” I have heard thus far. Add the extra drumbeats and the venue lights… Wowzer!
• The entire concert offered another upgrade to David’s dancing. There was even more awesomeness with Nunca Pense, which every crowd seems to love. In Rexburg, David not only served us salsa, it was hot salsa.
The evening ended with the traditional encore of “Glorious” and “Crush,” and with the audience singing along.
Where did the time go?
Does anyone want to drive me to Tuacahn?
Periscoooopes and videooooos! Thank you, iteachkidz22 & Shirley!!!!
[Invincible, Spotlight Down, I’m Ready, PandA]
Some nice clips if you scroll through…
Jay's viewpoint during Glorious pic.twitter.com/XfRtM4yL5U
— David Archuleta FOD (@FODFansofDavid) February 25, 2018