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It wasn’t just another concert…It was a David Archuleta concert
I realized yesterday that going to David’s concerts has become more than just soaking in the voice and the music. For me it’s about all the people there. Who are they? Why are they there? How has David touched them? Somehow I end up connecting with a few special people at these concerts and find that I am touched by them and their lives and we make a life connection. David’s performance in Northampton was spectacular, as you all know by now. So my random musings here are about others and how the magnificence of David’s music brings immeasurable joy to so many.
I was laid off from Timberland at the end of January and just couldn’t seem to justify spending the gas, money for a ticket, a hotel and food to go. I’m (sorta) satisfied with attending “youtube” concerts, so I was at peace. Well….my sweet momma, Noni, called me a few days after the tour was announced to say “let’s go”! I hemmed and hawed and wrung my hands trying to think of a way to bring it up to my husband, Kevin, who would never deny me anything …really. I just had that guilt of being a slacker and felt that I shouldn’t “indulge my ODD”. But Noni asked and so I had to try to make it work…for her. She is my wonderful friend, my hero and has given me so many gifts in my life that I knew seeing David would bring her a little bit of heaven for a few hours. She has pretty bad rheumatoid arthritis and struggles quite a bit. What is a simple task for us can be brutally painful for her. But she rarely complains and keeps on smiling like a trooper and so YES, I would take her to a concert! My loving husband said, “I wouldn’t have it any other way”.
Fast forward to Monday, March 2nd . Wheelchair and Noni in tow, we trekked through the nor’easter of 2009 to Northampton, MA. The security folks at the Pearl Street Nightclub were beyond accommodating and took such good care of Noni. Much to her dismay and argument, 6, strong, burly and rather handsome strapping lads, hoisted her up the two flights of stairs in her wheelchair and deposited her up on a platform for safe keeping and a great view of the stage. We were seated next to a wonderful young man named, Michael, who has cancer (more about him shortly).
A woman named Linda, who had come with her daughter and her friends, came and asked if she could stand with us since her girls were standing at the edge of the stage. She didn’t think she wanted to be that close – afterall, she wasn’t a screaming teen ya know. When she started asking if I knew anything about David, I secretly rubbed my hands together and decided I was gonna get her hooked. As it sorted out, David managed to do that all by himself on his very first song. By the end of the show, Linda was hootin’ and hollerin’ like any good fangirl and thought she’d like to pop in her car and just take him home! She was delightful to say the least. She was so sweet to Noni and took care of her when I had to run to the ladies’ room. Her daughter may never come down from the ODD overload though. After the show, the techies gave her a half drunk bottle of water that had been David’s. Linda shared with me yesterday that all the way home the girls kept passing it around “smelling his breath”…now that’s what a teenage girl is supposed to do!
Alex and Eli came over to speak with us before the show. Eli especially was very compassionate to my mom. He checked on her a few times before the show, delivered a gift of 2 scarves for David on her behalf and waited outside with her after the show while I went to get the truck from the parking lot. This band of David’s represent him so well. Their personalities are an extension of who David is – the caring, the compassion, the concern for the fans. They are not only nurturing David in his first tour experience, but nurturing us as well. David can’t be out wandering the crowd before and after a concert, but they can and are. Answering our questions, asking what song we liked best, ensuring we have a wonderful time at the show. David and Jeff were blessed to find such a great group of talented, young people who compliment David in every way – on and off the stage. I will think of them fondly every day now.
We met Jeff when we went to the AI concert last summer and he was really warm and friendly. Just before the show, he came over to Noni and took her hand and asked if she was “Josie’s Mom”? Her face lit up and he chatted with her for a few minutes. She was tickled to say the least. He didn’t have to do that, but he did. I’m a huge fan of Jeff’s. He allows David to be himself, while at the same time looks out for his best interests. Not all managers do that, let alone parents. It’s quite clear that Jeff can communicate David’s wishes when he can’t. David will learn from Jeff and in time emulate these behaviors and Jeff will have done his job well-he will, when it’s time step aside and David will be just fine. Yep, I’m a fan of Jeff’s. Forever.
So the show began and David sang, Noni did some wheelchair bopping, Linda (my new friend) became one with her ODD and I just took it all in. I tried very hard to keep up texting and emailing to everyone because we are one big family when one of us gets to a concert, so spelling errors and all – I shared. Every age was in attendance. David’s fans are vast in diversity – young and old and everything in between, men, women, couples, boys, girls, entire families – you name it – we were there. People who just want/need to hear him sing live. Michael, who has cancer and was sitting next to Noni, will most likely never see him in concert again. He told me his one wish was to meet David and thank him. He got that wish thanks to another caring fan, Sheila and her husband. She worked with Team Archie to contact Jeff and it was arranged. David’s compassion was genuine for Michael. David held his hand while they spoke and I’m sure it’s a moment that will live in Michael’s memory for quite some time.
I am at peace knowing that Noni will have this memory forever (and hopefully more), Michael now has a wonderful memory with David, Linda has lots of new things to learn about David (thanks to me – I will be sending her to my favorite websites) and everyone that went Monday night will talk about their experiences to anyone who will listen. It wasn’t just another concert…It was a David Archuleta concert.
David falls in love with every new audience he sings to and we fall in love all over again. The music pours out of his soul into ours and our love for him is renewed – taken to new heights. This journey will be as much his as it ours and our lives’ will be connected forever.
“I felt like the Postal Service. Even a nor’easter blizzard that lived up to its hype could not keep DJ and me from mushing up to MA and getting on line at 2pm. There were 25 hardy souls ahead of us, some arriving at 9 am. The bus (amazingly they are ALL in one coach) and trailer was parked across from us and we watched the crew and Lesley’s band struggle in with their equipment. Kendra, Mike, Eli and Alex would periodically come by and assure us we were crazy. Ray, the adorable tour manager, asked those going to Buffalo to wait til 3 pm to line up per David’s request. DJ and I were impressed to see the handicapped were helped into the building early and given a spot near the soundboard that was elevated.
Inside, we were parked in front of David’s mike and his keyboard. It was a warm, young, loving crowd lustily singing “Crush” before he came on. Once he bounces onto the stage with the megawatt smile you are carried away for his long set of perfectly performed songs. He chats, he jives and jumps, he looks perfect and he works the stage like the pro he’s become. Each song was sung with confidence and perfect tone and on occasion as if he was transported and it drew you into a magical place.
The band is the perfect foil and support for him. Once while he was remarking about the weather he broke into a song snippet, as we all know he loves to do, and the band cracked up. They cheer him on and when you talk to them (and they love to do photos and chats after the show) they all say how thrilled they are with his growth and being a part of this magical tour. We were able to spend time with Ray, Alex and Mike and we talked about their lives too and the excitement ahead with the UK and Asia. I went to shake Jeff’s hand as he was still occupied with those with special needs. He’s quite remarkable too and I don’t want to ever hear any negatives about this patient, caring father.
In looking at my photos I see that I really didn’t capture all that I hoped to, but there is one of him singing to me that will be my wallpaper forever. During Angels he looked at me and I tapped two fingers on my heart and he smiled. He knows how much we love him and that’s all that matters to me. DJ and I expect we will never be this close again and this has been a privilege… ‘just to be with you.'”
“….David has grown by leaps and bounds (and he is doing a lot of leaping these days) in the span of less than 7 months since I first saw him live. While I so appreciate all the fans who take videos for others to see, there is absolutely no substitute for seeing and hearing David in person. He grabs your heart, body and soul while taking you on an intensely personal yet all encompassing journey before gently sending you on your way with the caress and the prayer of his intimate encore songs.”
“Wow…Just back to Hotel Northampton.
Flawless. Joyful. Perfection. R-e-a-l. David.
Am high. And sad at the same time that it’s over.
But it was just wonderful. And I got pretty up close…and I wasn’t expecting to…about 7 ft. from stage, dead center. Could see his every nuance. He was “feelin it”, crowd was so responsive (ROARING with love) and David so authentically relaxed and appreciative. David invites you into his joy of music, like in his living room. The kid redefines it all up there, his style….
ps. I think this kid can redefine it all…no matter if he plays to each demographic, different times in different ways, (Care Bears and all)…I believe he’ll make it all work, and it’ll actually be cool. He’s not “above” any of it, and it’s not big enough to bring him down or define him. He’s solid. I felt faith in that (again) tonight. JMHO. We’ll see.. ”
Touch My Hand – djbel13
Touch My Hand – pkmu5791
Barriers – djbel13
Barriers – pkmu5791
ALTNOY – djbel13
My Hands – djbel13
My Hands – pkmu5792
Somebody Out There – djbel13
Works For Me – pkmu5792
Works for Me – djbel13
Waiting for Yesterday – djbel13
I’m Yours – dzdpanda
I’m Yours – tglgtc
To Be With You – djbel13
To Be With You – fa3ryg1rl1
Don’t Let Go – djbel13
Zero Gravity – djbel13
Crush – djbel13
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