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Lauren Alaina Readies for Major 2012 Tour Announcement

To say that Lauren Alaina has been having a pretty great year would be putting it lightly. Besides winning over America on ‘American Idol,’ the country cutie released her debut album, ‘Wildflower,’ last month, which has already spawned two hit singles. Now, 2012 is already shaping up to be an amazing year for the soon-to-be 17-year-old. While she remains tight-lipped about the details, Alaina can promise that there’s be some exciting tour news to come.

“Some time next year, I’m going to go out on tour opening up for someone [big],” Alaina reveals to Taste of Country. “We’ll be announcing that some time coming up, but right now I’m doing a lot of promotion for my new album. I’m just trying to get my name out there a little bit more and be able to perform as much as I can.”

Plenty of music fans all around the world are getting to know Alaina and her music — so many, in fact, that her album debuted on Billboard’s Top 200 chart at No. 5 and at the top of the iTunes chart. “I was at ‘Good Morning America’ [when I found out the chart positions],” recalls Alaina. “My mom came into the room when I was getting my makeup done. She was so excited. She was like, ‘You’re album’s No. 1 on iTunes!’ I just had a fit! I was crying, and they had to redo my makeup.”

“That was really cool, especially for a new artist,” she continues. “I have to thank ‘American Idol’ for all of that publicity because a lot of people know who I am from being on that show. Things in the past year have really been going great for me. I’ve been super blessed. I am just very thankful to all my fans and my family and everybody who’s been supporting me.”

Alaina’s latest single from ‘Wildflower’ is ‘Georgia Peaches,’ which is the follow-up single to her Top 40 hit ‘Like My Mother Does.’ Her ‘Idol’ co-star, Scotty McCreery, will be hitting the road with Brad Paisley in 2012.

Source: Taste of Country

Albany, NY Idol Concert Rescheduled Due to Hurricane

Due to the US National Hurricane Center’s forecast that hurricane-level storms may occur in Albany, NY on Sunday, August 28, the American Idols LIVE! 2011 show at the Times Union Center on Sunday August 28th has been rescheduled to Sunday, September 4th. Tickets that have already been purchased will be honored on the new date. You can get further updates on this event by visiting www.timesunioncenter-albany.com or www.facebook.com/tucenter. Tickets are available for purchase at select Walmart Music Centers, www.timesunion.com, the arena box office or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Please be safe!

American Idols Live! Tour Photos – Newark, New Jersey

I’ve added some photos from the American Idols Live! tour in Newark, New Jersey back on August 14th. You can view them all in the gallery so check them out.

Gallery Link:
Concerts & Performances > American Idol Live! Tour 2011 > August 14th – Newark, New Jersey

Lauren Alaina talks about returning to Nashville

A little more than a year ago, Lauren Alaina started her American Idol journey at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, where she performed Saturday night. In this video interview from Saturday afternoon, she talks about how she almost went home before auditioning — and why she’s more nervous performing in Nashville than she was a few days ago in her home state of Georgia.

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American Idol ‘Idols Live’ season 10 tour at Gwinnett Arena: the kids are all right

“I’m home! Nothing beats the Georgia sky!”

That was Lauren Alaina’s joyous greeting to the sold-out Georgia crowd at the Gwinnett Arena Tuesday night. And it was hard to beat the depth and breadth of season 10’s talent. This year’s victory lap of a concert tour proved that across the board, from R&B (a not-too-screechy Jacob Lusk doing a fine Luther Vandross) to hard rock (a captivating James Durbin) to jazz (Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart sparking with “Moanin’ “) to dance pop (Naima Adedapo pulled off a far better “On the Floor” than J. Lo, though that’s not saying too much from a vocal standpoint.)

The audience included plenty of girls, ages 5 to 15; parents; and grandparents – the core audience nowadays for “American Idol.” There was a paucity of people who normally attend concerts in the age range of 15 to 35. Yet it’s always amusing to watch 70 year olds boogeying to a Guns ‘n Roses or Muse cover by Durbin. Durbin’s only misstep for me was uttering the word “Hotlanta” but he was the only person who did it tonight.

The crowd reacted strongly to the guys more so than the ladies, save for Lauren. Even Paul McDonald’s single solo cover of “Maggie May” got more audience noise than anything Pia Toscano did, though she was on stage significantly more and even threw us her so-so single “This Time.”

I enjoyed how they mixed the orders up and throwing in more group sings. It was less predictable than usual though just as scripted. It didn’t feel as dragged out as last year, though that has more to do with the talent. The show was about the same length: two hours, 20 minutes, with an intermission. The tri-level stage was simple, the back-up band proficient (and acknowledged only by Paul and Casey), the sound loud (and sometimes blaring) and the LED screens entertaining enough. Those screens even featured lyrics, matched up in sync with the music, as in Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone,” sung by Scotty (improvisation certainly not allowed in that case.)

Near the end, Scotty appeared and noted that he had seen his favorite baseball team the Atlanta Braves last night. And because there was a lengthy rain delay, he got to go into the back and meet the guys. He even got a picture, he said, with Chipper Jones!

Interestingly, outside, in past years, Q100 and Star 94 had tents promoting “Idol.” This year? The only radio station that bothered was country station Kicks 101.5.

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Concert Review: American Idols Live! in San Jose, CA 07.13.2011

This week the American Idols Live! tour rolled through San Jose, CA to the delight of the masses who showed up to see one particular Santa Cruz native by the name of James Durbin. Just the mere mention of his name at the top of the show by season 10 runner-up, Lauren Alaina, resulted in an eruption of cheers from the crowd.

And I must say that Durbin didn’t disappoint. He appeared in a couple group numbers during the first half of the show, but it was his entrance for his two-song set that had the audience at the HP Pavilion on its feet.

Entering from the back of the building wearing a San Jose Sharks jersey, singing Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’Mine,” Durbin shook hands as he made his way up to the stage. Towards the end of the song he held his microphone out to the audience and, without any real prodding, they sang the chorus back to him. I have to hand it to Durbin. He’s charismatic, has great stage presence, and absolutely relished every moment of his solo performance, wherein he took the time to thank the fans for voting for him and for the overall support he received from the Bay Area.

But Durbin wasn’t the only Idol who amped up the crowd. Paul McDonald got the people on their feet in the first half of the show during his lively performance of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” Naima Adedapo’s rousing rendition of Jennifer Lopez’s current hit, “On The Floor,” complete with an African dance break, was one of the most well-received performances of the night.

Other highlights included a fantastic duet between Pia Toscano and Stefano Langone, who sang Rihanna’s “California King Bed.” Casey Abrams’ cover of Carlos Santana’s “Smooth,” in which he played his stand-up bass, was personally one of my favorite moments of the night, as well as Haley Reinhart’s flawless performance of The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun.”

The two Idols that really left me in awe of their vocal ability, though, were Lauren Alaina and season 10 winner, Scotty McCreery.

Last week Alaina sprained her ankle after falling down the stairs backstage during one of the shows. And throughout this night she was sporting a special bedazzled boot. A sprained ankle definitely didn’t stop Lauren from giving her all during her set, however. Her talent seriously cannot be denied. The notes she hit while performing her single, “Like My Mother Does” were chill-inducing.

One of the coolest moments of the night was a video montage of all 10 Idol winning moments, which ended, of course, with Scotty McCreery’s win. With excitement in the air, the 17-year-old hit the stage performing the Josh Turner song that started it all, “Your Man.” As soon as McCreery sang its opening line, “Baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low,” the crowd went nuts.

McCreery worked the stage throughout his five-song set, which included Alison Krauss’ “When You Say Nothing At All,” which was performed as a duet with Lauren Alaina. He closed his solo time on stage with Montgmery Gentry’s “Gone,” which had the audience up on its feet singing-a-long.

The show closed with all 11 Idols together on stage performing hits from the 1980s. After the Idols took their final bow, Durbin remained on stage even after the lights went out imitating Hulk Hogan’s famous hand-to-ear gesture, which resulted in some of the loudest cheers I have ever heard.

I have to say that season 10’s American Idols Live! tour is thoroughly entertaining, and is one of the better Idol tours I have attended in the past couple of years. With all the pressure of being judged no longer a factor, the Idols are performing at the top of their game. If you’re an American Idol fan, this tour is not to be missed!

The American Idols Live! tour will continue through the beginning of September. Check out the official tour website to find out when the Idols are coming to your town!

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Win Free Tickets To The American Idol Tour

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If you follow Lauren on Twitter, you will know that you can win free tickets to the American Idol Live! tour. All you have to do is “like” Lauren’s official Facebook page. Winners will get tickets for 2 to the American Idol Tour. They’re giving away tickets for multiple shows, so pick the venue that’s closest to you and enter to win tickets for that night! Only persons who are at least 18 years of age can enter. You also must be a resident of the United States to enter. This sweepstake ends on September 05, 2011 @ 12:59 am (EDT)

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to UMG Nashville and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for sending subscribers updates and announcements.

Click here to enter!

Lauren Alaina Injures Ankle During American Idols LIVE! Tour

‘Get well’ wishes are in order, as Lauren Alaina has sustained an injury to her ankle at the July 9 stop on the American Idols LIVE! tour. The tour only just kicked off last week, but Alaina is already walking wounded. With all the singing and dancing going on for this tour, it was only a matter of time before one of the Idols got hurt, even if in a somewhat minor fashion. Such is life on the road!

The perky blonde Season 10 runner-up tweeted a pair of photos of her extremely swollen and somewhat bruised ankle. It looks like it hurts like heck, but if we know anything about Lauren Alaina after a season of ‘Idol’ it’s that she is resilient. She suffered from throat issues right before the finale, which lead to rumors that she was unable to sing and that she would have to drop out at the eleventh hour. But the singer soldiered through it and would not allow herself to be sidelined.

In her first tweet, Alaina lamented, “Pic # 1 of my ankle! : ( it hurts so bad!!” She posted a second photo a few hours later, writing: “Pic # 2 of my ankle!! : (” The ankle looks a bit better in the second photo, as if some of the swelling had gone down.

Fans offered their digital support for the teen, creating a ‘Get Well Lauren’ hashtag where Idol watchers could send her get well messages.

Alaina is certainly using Twitter to give fans an insider’s views of the goings on at the ‘Idol’ tour. Just a few days ago, she tweeted a photo of herself and tour mate Pia Toscano planting a smooch on Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery‘s cheeks.

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American Idols Live! tour kicks off at Maverik Center

The 11 finalists from Season 10 may no longer be “in it to win it,” but if the opening night of the American Idols Live! tour at the Maverik Center in West Valley City was any indication, the also-rans are all past the agony of defeat.

Where the No. 1-rated television show comes off as a grueling, nerve-fraying competition, with each week climaxing in the dismissal of another teary contestant, the annual nationwide A.I. Live! jaunt is more of a celebration, designed to showcase the individual skills of its stars, if not to capitalize on what will likely be their short-term celebrity.

And just as the TV show underwent a major overhaul this season, so has its followup tour received a revamping in format. Past tours have featured finalists appearing in mostly solo showcases in the order in which they were voted off the show, building up to the arrival of that season’s winner. The current production, however, takes on a distinct variety show vibe, with the former contestants seamlessly coming and going at will while appearing in solos, duets and larger production numbers.

One of the strengths of the most recent “Idol” season was the diversity of its finalists. From the country crooners (champion Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina) to the rocker (James Durbin), the sultry songstresses (Haley Reinhart and Pia Toscano) to the soulful (Jacob Lusk), and from the heart-throb (Stefano Langone) to the comically quirky (Casey Abrams and Paul McDonald), this edition of “Idol” certainly had variety. With that in mind, the keep-things-switching-up pace of the live show serves the production well. If a certain performer or genre isn’t necessarily your call to text, simply hang tight and something different will be on the way.

At least on opening night, the women of “American Idol” logged overtime in comparison to their male counterparts. Despite being on the low end of the 6-5 breakdown of the sexes, the women were onstage way more often. Naima Adedapo’s six appearances, for example, were the low mark for the women but equaled the same amount of sightings as the champion McCreery, although the latter’s time on stage was more solo-oriented. Toscano (11), Reinhart (10), Thia Megia (9) and Alaina (8) all outdistanced Langone (7), the male leader. Getting short shrift were McDonald (4) and Durbin (5), who, judging by their crowd reception Wednesday, both deserved additional stage time. Perhaps their roles will evolve as the tour continues.

The show was split into two sets, divided by a 20-minute intermission. The performance included 31 numbers that lasted two hours and 35 minutes from start to finish. Song selections were heavy on recent Billboard hits, although a trio of Idols – McCreery, Alaina and Toscano – each performed their own debut singles.

The concert kicked off with a performance number of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” featuring all five women. Other early highlights included Langone’s take on “Grenade,” all the men minus McCreery doing “Animal” by Provo’s own Neon Trees, Abrams ironic tackling of “Smooth,” and an incendiary “Firework” by Alaina, Toscano and Megia.

One thing born out by Wednesday’s live performance was that Toscano (ninth) and Durbin (fourth) were the two contestants clearly voted off before their time. Toscano’s soaring vocals were on display during a duet on “California King Bed” with Langone, and she also shone during solos of “Empire State of Mind” and her own debut single, “This Time.”

The first set closed with a somewhat cheesy song-and-dance ensemble number of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” featuring everyone (again minus McCreery) dressed in matching red suit coats and pants. It was somewhat painful seeing the hard-rocking Durbin relegated to performing choreographed dance moves, but, hey, on this night the “Idol” mantra appeared to be one for all and all for one.

Durbin was more in his element during a pair of back-to-back, second-set solo numbers. Appearing at the back of the arena and working his way toward the stage, he ignited the crowd with “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – immediately earning the first full standing ovation of the night — and followed it up with a powerful “Uprising.”

Going on after Durbin’s high-energy set was a bit difficult for the R&B-influenced Lusk, who was nonetheless well received on “Never Too Much” and “You’re All I Need to Get By.”

McCreery finally made his first appearance two hours into the show. The 2011 champ performed a five-song showcase that played to his skills. His rich, deep vocals were on display in “Your Man” and he accompanied himself on acoustic guitar for “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?” He followed that up with his single, “I Love You This Big,” and a duet with Alaina on “When You Say Nothing at All.” He closed with an upbeat and invigorating version of “Gone,” which included vampy backup vocals by Alaina, Toscano, Reinhart and Megia.

The show ended with a brief medley of combined performances before everyone hit the stage for a rousing closing rendition of Journey’s “Anyway You Want It.”

Although one gets the sneaky feeling that everything is a little too produced – from the backing band opening the show by playing the “American Idol” theme music to the well-placed individual pre-taped video messages on the big screens from each “Idol” judge and host Ryan Seacrest – there’s no denying that this year’s crop of contestants has some serious vocal chops. Season 10 fans should take full advantage of their chance to show their love for these “Idols” while they can, however, because if past seasons have proven anything, it’s that most of these performers will struggle to have a career in music beyond this tour.

That’s just how it is, dawg.

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