|He has his arm around me. !!|
In a word, it was; fantastic.
But first, let me back up a bit. For those that don't know, Kris Allen is the season 8 winner of American Idol. It was the last season that all the original judges were on the show (Paula, Randy, Simon and it was also that Kara lady's first season). Natalie and I obsessed over this season because of Kris (also, I haven't watched the show since he won because I feel like it won't ever be topped). I lovingly referred to him as the "Hal Sparks look-alike" and I absolutely, positively adored his voice. And him. He was kind and genuine and always seemed appreciative. I was stunned when he beat out Adam Lambert. Stunned but ecstatic. I remember jumping off my couch and squealing like a teenager. I was SO excited! I loved his first album, Kris Allen and listened to it on repeat (his second, Thank You Camellia is even better).
In 2010, Kris opened up for Barenaked Ladies at Pine Knob (I've talked about this disaster on my blog before). I could not have been more happy to go to this concert. I was thrilled to be able to see him live and so was my sister. Along with Carrie, we got our tickets and went to the show. Kris came out. There were very few people there at this point. Natalie and I stood and cheered and sang and danced. Then we got yelled at by the holes behind us to sit down so they could see the stage. I was appalled. I won't go into my irritation over this occurrence all over again, but just know that we were furious. Natalie was in tears and it ruined the rest of Kris's set for us. Sad times.
And let's be honest here; When would we ever get a chance to see this dude in concert again?
I'm glad you asked. Back in December, I got an email from some concert notification thing I signed up for months ago, alerting me that Kris would be coming to The Ark in Ann Arbor. THE ARK! I have decided that this place is my most favorite place to see a concert. It's intimate and quaint and the people who work there are phenomenally nice. Ridiculously helpful. I love it there. Anyway, Natalie's Birthday was coming up (February 2nd) so I figured these tickets would be the perfect gift. There was a meet and greet option. Do I go with the meet and greet? What would we say to him? What would we wear?! It made me so nervous even considering it. DUH. Of course I go with the meet and greet. OF COURSE!!
The meet and greet started at 6:45pm (the show started at 8pm). We were running late. We got there
(Walking up to him with my hand outstretched) Me: Hi! I'm Sarah, it's so nice to meet you!
Kris Allen: I don't want to shake your hand, give me a hug!
He gave me a genuine, honest to goodness hug and that boy is so skinny I thought I would crush him. I told him that he was my Birthday present to Natalie:
Kris Allen (laughing): Woah, wait a second. You're giving me to her?? Am I ok with this?
Me (turning beat red): Yeah, yeah. You're cool with it. You just have to sing to her.
He then picked up a Sharpie and wrote her name on his hand.
Me (to Kris): She's REAL nervous.
Natalie (who hadn't said anything up to this point): ................. Are you kidding me right now???
Kris (to me): She IS really nervous.
He signed our ticket stubs:
Kris Allen: Sarah with an "h"?
Me (swooning): Yes! Thank you so much for asking!
Then he signed "Happy Birthday" to Natalie on hers and we thanked him and went off, giggling like crazy, to go look at the t-shirts. So. Much. Fun.
Jillette Johnson (like the razor but with a "J") opened for him. She's a lovely girl from New York who was great at banter, had a delightful voice and a fantastic sense of humor. Her first record comes out in June and we had a couple of her super fans sitting behind us. These boys looooooooooooved her. I guess the only downside to the intimate setting of The Ark (it's like being in someone's basement), is that the people/fans can talk/shout/heckle the performers. The one boy kept telling her how much he loved her and every time she tried to set up one of her songs with a story, he would give the story away by shouting out the most important parts before she could get to it. In the words of the girl sitting next to Natalie "Chills, dude". She called him out on it "Dude! You're ruining my stories!" while laughing. It was cute but seriously dude, chills.
When Kris and his band came on stage, everyone cheered and clapped excitedly. He had a little
|He's totally looking at me in this picture.|
He was great with the crowd. He joked, he laughed and he made fun of a few people. He was relaxed and just in his element. He told us that our week would be better now because we were starting it off with a good rock and roll show and I believe him.
Halfway through the concert, he looked at his hand and said he had a few announcements to make. Natalie got all squealy. He started making Birthday shout-outs and then before you knew it, it was everyone's Birthday in the crowd. Then this happened:
He's pointing right at Natalie when you see him say her name. She was ecstatic and my face hurt from smiling. It was SO neat. So so neat!
It was a great show. Great seats. A great experience. Such great memories.
I love love love being able to go to something that you are so ridiculously excited for and having it go well. The workers were beyond nice, the show sounded fantastic, Kris was beyond appreciative. It was just a phenomenal time all around. I think it's safe to say that Natalie's Birthday present was a huge success!
Now we can look forward to next time.