Hey guys, sorry for being AWOL.
I’ve had some personal family stuff that’s been weighing on me… in fact, it’s one of the reasons I wanted… no, needed… to go on a David Archuleta road trip last week.
Seeing David live buoys me like nothing else. And last week it really was a life line. Giving me a reboot to help me come home and be there for the people I love.
But as much as I feel beyond blessed to have gone to the Northampton, Hartford, Bayshore and Pawling shows, I issue a stern warning to anyone else planning a similar ArchuPalooza.
Prepare to become completely overwhelmed. To get home and suddenly realize, “Wait, what do you mean I don’t get to see David Archuleta today??”
To float through your home, office, grocery store as if in a dream… with song lyrics whirring around your head like fidget spinners … your eyes more glazed over than Ozzie Osborne’s.
But no complaints here… NONE! It’s just that it takes me a long time to process even ordinary happenings, so the intensity of a David show stays with me for weeks. Not even kidding.
So to help me put everything in perspective, I’m going to try and share my overall impressions.
It was very eye opening to see so many shows in a row. To see David with different crowds, different venues.
The Northampton venue was small, intimate and could double as a Hells Angels clubhouse… I loved it!
Infinity Hall in Hartford was a pretty jewel box of a theatre with magical stars as a backdrop… and I loved it, too!
Bayshore was a restored old movie theatre with character and history and… well, you get the picture.
Daryl’s House was designed to look rustic but was as polished as could be… perfect acoustics and layout and run like clockwork.
One thing all these venues had in common was that David could actually see people in the crowd and interact with them… with us.
In Northampton, he (surprise) lost his train of thought while introducing MKOP and when he said, “Where was I?” a bunch of people tried to help him out by telling him where he’d left off, but they were all talking at once so he couldn’t make out what they were saying. So one man bellowed in a deep voice, “THE BIG WIGS WERE TRYING TO TELL YOU WHAT TO WRITE!” … which got him back on track.
But what struck me was that (a) so many people called out trying to help him, and (b) everyone knew exactly where he’d left off… because we were all hanging on every single word.
No chatter or whispering that usually happens when a performer talks between songs. None of that. He had each one of us in the palm of his hand.
I noticed this at all 4 venues. Remarkable.
At Pawling, I’d look around every so often just to see the huge glowing grins on each and every face… transfixed. Warmed my heart to know that those were the smiling faces David was seeing… giving him their full, undivided attention.
Each of the 4 VIPs were special for different reasons.
In Northampton, when we were led down to the basement, the thought, “Are we about to be murdered?” crossed my mind. (Yes, I do watch too much X-Files.)
But it was quirky and relaxed and when David said to Refnaf and I after Kari took our picture, “I hope you enjoy the show,” I blurted out, “Oh, we will!”
When I asked my question, “How do you know when a song is finished?” I could barely get the words out so he just gently cupped his hand to his ear to let me know he couldn’t hear me. It was such a small gesture. But so kind. So David.
There were more people at the Hartford VIP, all ages, and several guys and couples, and we sat in the theatre seats.
This time, I tried to speak up when I asked my question… if he could go back and give his 16-year-old self advice before his Idol journey began, what would it be?
“Adults don’t know everything” he said. “That’s the advice I’d give my 16-year-old self.”
I thought the expression on his face spoke volumes. As if flashbacks of the know-it-all “adults” he’d had to deal with back then flashed before his eyes.
Other questions there included (I’ll try to paraphrase):
Q: What are two things on your bucket list?
A: I have two states I’ve never gone to for a show, Vermont and North Dakota… does that count as 2? [laughter ensued]… also, going to Japan.
Q: How do you cope with feeling overwhelmed on tour with so many people around and all the craziness? (The lovely Vidya’s question.)
A: I’m getting better at handling it. I try to get alone time when I can… whether it’s just in the bathroom or back at the hotel.
Q: How do you like Nashville?
A: Love it… the people, the music world, everything. [his face lit up answering this]
Q: Could you sing some of Aiming for Hope? (The lovely Muldur asked this for her little granddaughter who I could hear singing along to every word… so adorbs.)
A: I could do a verse and a chorus.
And he did!
When we lined up for pictures, I ended up beside the sound board where Jay was chatting with the sound engineer. I told Jay I liked his cool glasses and he told me he was just about to tell me he liked my boots … that he has the same ones. We proceed to bond over the magic of Blundstones and I am now considering changing this blog to FOJ: Fans of Jay. No, I’m not kidding. YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT FOOTWEAR, PEOPLE!!!!!
[Sidenote: Desmond (aka @splinter_) is also lovely and amazing … if you get a chance to talk to him after a show, please do, he’s so nice and funny and warm, and if he’d complimented my boots, he’d be my favourite… just sayin’).
At picture time, I had one of the words Archuleta Peru had asked some fans to give David for their special video message. But after that, David looked at me like he was expecting me to say something else… I was expecting to say something else… it completely vaporized from my brain. I said “thanks, David” and practically walked into the wall.
Luckily I was near enough to hear the lovely and amazing djbell and River (Debbie and Mari) (pointing to Ref & I ) tell him that they’d made so many international friends because of him. He has no idea, lol.
It was so great to reconnect with dj and River after 7 years (wow!) and to get to meet other amazing fans I’ve only known online up until now (Vidya, Kristin, Astrid, amb4da, Nicola, and more … ’twas awesome!!!), and to share it all with the illustrious Refnaf and the ever-glowing TerryTampa.
The Bayshore VIP was smaller, probably because a lot of people weren’t able to make it because of the weather [including our T.O. friend, Connie (@CADTHU) who, sadly, got stuck on a PA highway for HOURS due to highway closures 😥 ].
In fact, during the show, David acknowledged that and suggested people move up to the front if they wanted… “unless you’re comfortable where you are” 🙂 … there was some shuffling and I heard one girl exclaim, “We are SO CLOSE!!!!”
Okay, back to VIP… I asked what was the best concert he’d ever been to. He thought it over so long I thought he was going to say he couldn’t choose just one, but then he said Imogene Heap. And that he rarely goes to see a performer twice but for her he’d pay to go see her again. (Oh, the irony… in fact, at picture time, Refnaf told him how funny it was to hear him say that considering we go to multiple shows of his and he said that was a huge compliment to him *sniff*). He went on to say that Imogene doesn’t so much give a concert as say, “Here, let me experiment for you onstage.” Cool.
Q: What song do you have on repeat lately?
A: To be honest, I’ve been listening to a lot of Christian music lately and one song in particular, “Reckless Love” … because the lyrics say:
Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me
And that’s how I feel, that God’s been so kind to me (and then during picture time, he arranged for it to be played over the sound system so we could hear it… WHO does that???)
Q: In Nashville, have you been to the music conference [sorry, can’t remember the name of it].
A: No, I don’t like crowds. But I did go once because a friend asked me to.
Q: How did you choose Chile for your mission?
A: I didn’t. It’s chosen for you. And then your friends and family gather round and there’s a big envelope reveal and they film it but I didn’t… I didn’t like cameras at the time. [Somehow I think it was probably more that he was trying to keep it on the down low at that point, but who knows?]
Q: Do you still get vocal coaching? [The lovely Jenny/Victoria asked this Q.]
A: I’d compare it to going to the doctor for checkups… [he demonstrated the lip roll vocal exercise] … I work on breath control, which is really important for notes to sound good.
I’m sure you’ve all watched videos from the shows by now, so I’ll just share this one from djbell… I tried to videotape it myself and 16 secs in, my battery gave out… grrrrrr… and my instincts were correct… it was amazing… I felt what this song meant to him like never before… here, judge for yourself:
Because of my brain freeze in Hartford, I made a vow to myself that I would say what I wanted to say in Bayshore, which was to thank him for including all 16 songs on the album and not cutting anything. I told him I listen to it from start to finish, that I find something special in every song, they’re so rich in meaning and feeling, they’re like soul food. After I breathlessly got all that out, he said, “Glad you like it” … “I love it” I added. Which just popped out because, well, it’s the truth.
During the show itself, there were about four or five guys sitting together not too far away from me and I’d glance over every now and then to see them rocking out to all the songs… in fact, they leapt to their feet when David said he was going to sing songs from his debut album and we all followed suit and stayed standing and David shook some hands from the front row during “My Hands”… ’twas awesome. It was also the only show where everyone stayed standing when he came back for his encore and stood and cheered for the rest of the show. Also awesome.
And the moment when he brought AnnaMarie out was incredible… he just bolted off the stage suddenly in the middle of Nunca Pense and no one knew where he went except there was some commotion behind us in the crowd… I think everyone was too shocked to swarm him or anything… and when they returned to the stage to dance, the whole place erupted in cheers and shrieks that I can only describe as the sound of pure joy… it was magical. He sure is full of surprises, our David. 🙂
It really struck me at this show how far to the edge of the stage he likes to get… as close as possible to everyone… so close, in fact, that during Nunca Pense, when we were standing in front of the stage, he literally almost socked me in the forehead when he did one of those run-forward/crouch-down air punches… my lightning fast reflexes saved me from a concussion… would NOT have wanted to miss the rest of the show. 🙂
[Sidenote: I find it hilarious that David tells such wonderful stories to explain most of his songs but says nada about a song that isn’t even in English. 😆 😆 😆 oh, David.]
One last thing about Bayshore… after the show, Ref & I looked around for someone to give our autographed VIP pictures to… I spotted a super-cute young girl in a David T-shirt, with her mom, but I couldn’t find where I’d put my photo, luckily Ref had hers handy, so she asked the girl’s mom if she’d like the picture. Well, we thought this girl was about 12 years old. Turns out, she was a lot older but had developmental challenges … she’d been a huge fan of David’s since Idol and wanted to meet him but VIP was sold out by the time they heard about the show. She was so happy to have that picture and the way she gazed at it… I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
This has turned into a novel, lol, so I’m going to talk about Pawling in another post… and new things keep coming back to me, so maybe I’ll remember everything by then. 🙂
Overall, I have just been trying to cherish every moment we get to see David in one of these intimate venues… it’s SUCH a gift… as is how he shares so much of himself at each show. I see other concerts and the songs can be great, but absolutely NO ONE I’ve seen shares as much as David does. His stories and humour and heart could melt the Polar Cap, I swear.
As much as I love listening to him sing and talk, what I also love about these shows is hearing and feeling everyone’s reaction… the deafening screams, the cheers, the laughter, the sighs, even the “MARRY ME!!!!”s… all of it.
Trouble is, now I want to do it all over again. 🙂
So what do you guys think??? What have you thought of this tour so far??
A special note of appreciation for Kari… to stay she’s a treasure is a vast understatement… how she manages to keep her cool and stay as warm and friendly as she is, and so patient with all of us crazy fans, all while juggling a million balls in the air is beyond me. ♥♥♥
Love this Atlanta interview! “muffin top” *DEADDDDDD*