The top five competitors from the 2015 edition of “American Idol,” including winner Nick Fradiani, delivered a satisfying show Tuesday, Aug. 25, though only half the seats at McCaw Hall were filled.
Just as it enters its final season, the Fox TV show “American Idol” is getting the concert tour thing right.
The 2015 edition of “American Idol Live!,” which came to McCaw Hall Tuesday (Aug. 25), featured just the top five singers in the famed competition instead of the usual top 10. Skimming the cream was a great idea.
Though the show’s fading popularity was reflected by a half-filled house, the audience on hand (including a lot of parents and tween-aged children) was responsive and enthusiastic.
Nick Fradiani, the assured East Coast rocker who won the Idol crown this year, got the star slot near the end of the nearly three-hour show. But equal consideration was given to the impressive runner-up, blue-eyed soulster Clark Beckham.
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The other finalists — punk-lite singer Jax, teenage charmer Tyanna Jones and smooth balladeer Rayvon Owen — won plenty of stage time, too, in solo numbers and group efforts featuring all the performers in different combinations. It was sweet to hear pop tunes garnished with three and four-part harmonies.
Unlike last year, the show sported a live band, which helped keep the emphasis on the music, though there was also was a getting-to-know-you vibe, with the Idol favorites chatting disarmingly about their family backgrounds, love of music and how they landed on the show.
Daniel Seavey, a 16-year old Vancouver, Wash., singer and ninth-place 2015 finisher, was the local-boy-makes-good guest. In his enjoyable opening set of golden oldies by Hall and Oates and Smokey Robinson, he showed off a strengthened voice and 6-inch growth spurt.
Beckham not only uncorked powerful, bluesy vocals on such tunes as Maroon 5’s “Lie to Me” and Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason,” but also showed off strong guitar and piano skills. He’s a comer.
Jax skipped around the stage, doing her rocker-chick thing on The Who’s “My Generation,” while Owen’s silky falsetto was his strong suit, especially on a mash-up of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” and Katy Perry’s ”Wide Awake.”
Jones’ talent gleamed brightest in the group numbers, including a shimmering arrangement of the Sia tune “Chandelier.”
The oldest and most experienced of the bunch, guitarist-singer Fradiani, was sincere yet wryly self-deprecating as he drove home solid renditions of originals and songs by Jason Mraz and Tom Petty.