Sunday May 31, 2009
By KAVIDHA NATARAJAN
A die-hard American Idol fan lived out her dream of getting up, close and personal with last year’s finalists.
ALL the latest trending topics and buzz has been about American Idol’s Kris Allen and Adam Lambert. To be honest, aside from the finale, I haven’t watched a single full episode of Idol this year. It’s probably because I’m still stuck on last year’s American Idol, or more specifically on the two Davids who stole my (ears and) heart.
This year, I got to talk toDavid Cook and David Archuleta, and see them both live in concert. What an experience!
They’re charming, affable, and pleasant to be around. Thanks to the fan website Archuleta Avenue Malaysia, I got to meet David Archuleta who is this tiny boy with a 1,000 watt smile when he was down here in April for a showcase.
He answered our questions, took photos with us, and autographed everything we gave him. He made us all happy just by being happy to see us. He really enjoyed sampling our Thai cuisine and did a fair bit of shopping while here (he looooves shopping!).
Then, in May, Sony Malaysia called up the Word Nerds (fans of David Cook) and said: “Hey, we’re gonna do a video conference with David Cook; interested?” Umm, heck yes!
As a result (and after lots of OMG OMG OMG’s!) the Malaysian Word Nerd team sat down at the Sony office in KL to stare into the face (via the wonderful technology of webcams) of one David Cook.
We got to ask him fan questions, from the serious ones on his music and his charities to the downright silly questions (Why do you hate mustard?) It was a very fun experience, and we miraculously kept our composure during the interview. It was made easy by David who is easygoing, charming, witty and funny.
So, that was my David-squared experience. Or so I thought, until I found out they were both going to perform in the region. Another session of OMG’s ensued.
Admittedly, it’s the older David that caused me to abandon my sanity and fly to Manila, Philippines to catch him live.
I travelled with my three other Cook-crazy friends, and we arrived one day before the concert to get used to our surroundings. It was our first time in Manila, and I must say the Filipinos are friendly.
The entire Mall of Asia (which is ridiculously huge) was buzzing in anticipation of the concert; every store had posters of the two Davids and their songs were blared continuously. By the day of the concert, we were jumping and flailing about, ready with our Cook T-shirts, banners, and lyrics.
Archuleta came out first; and he performed even better than he did at the KL showcase. He was bouncing about on stage, his voice soaring even though he was still recovering from flu. He did 12 songs, and got me out of my seat, dancing and bouncing when he sang Zero Gravity.
After his set, the stage crew worked swiftly to set the stage for Cook and his band. The crowd, however, was too busy being entertained by an awesome display of fireworks to pay attention to the stage.
Cook made quite an entrance, coming up from under the stage equipped with just an acoustic guitar, launching straight into The World I Know, a song he performed during the American Idol finals. The crowd was silent as everyone just stood in awe, absorbing the beautiful timbre of his voice. After that, Cook’s set was a high energy, rock-your-socks-off session as he was joined by his talented band. He performed songs from his debut album David Cook and his indie album Analog Heart.
Cook seemed to be a lot more at ease with the audience, he bantered and cajoled them to sing along with him. He even strolled down to the barricades, pulling funny faces as he took cameras from the fans and began taking clicking away.
The best part of the night though was when Archuleta joined Cook on stage on his last performance of A Daily AntheM, their voices harmoniously blending together as the song soared to its ending.
The crowd went wild and Cook was visibly affected by 75,000 people singing back the words he penned as a tribute to his brother, Adam Cook, who succumbed to cancer early this month.
When the two Davids hugged and walked off the stage together, it felt like my Idol journey has come full circle.
* For pictures and recaps of David Archuleta’s visit to Malaysia and the Philippines, visit www. archuletavenue.wordpress.com/
For pictures, recaps and the interview with David Cook, visit www.mywordnerds.wordpress.com/.