Season 8 of American Idol was one of its best as it featured some of the best talent the show had seen in a few seasons. That group of talent eventually boiled down to the over-the-top front runner Adam Lambert and the perpetual underdog, Kris Allen. And in a result that shocked everyone, including fans and detractors of the show, the judges and the ultimate winner himself, Kris Allen took the American Idol crown and soon after released his first, self-titled CD. The CD featured songs he had written during his pre-Idol days, the hit single Live Like We’re Dying, and follow-up singles Alright With Me (which was heavily featured in Ford commercials during season 9 of American Idol), and The Truth.
Kris Allen is currently touring, usually as the opening act for bands like Barenaked Ladies or Maroon 5. But on August 7, 2010 Kris Allen was the headliner at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. The convention center he performed in was far too small for his talents, but the energy in the room from both himself and his fans would have been enough to fill any arena.
His set was non-stop playing the majority of the songs from his debut album, including Live Like We’re Dying, Alright With Me (which is even more fun live then it is on record), The Truth and Red Guitar. He also played new songs, which had more of a rock-tinge than usual, hinting that he may be heading in a new, and even more suitable and welcome direction for his follow-up CD. He also played songs that he had done as an Idol contestant, including Heartless, the song that just may be responsible for his winning American Idol, and mashed it up with Coolio’s hit song Gangsta’s Paradise so well, that it flowed flawlessly and his cover of the Beatles Come Together, which went underappreciated on Idol, but he showed that his voice has a very powerful aspect to it, and that he can tackle any song, even a classic, and succeed.
His opening act, Chris Nathan, who has a similar sound and laid-back style as the other Kris, was just as fun and energetic. His songs Spin and Sunshine & Alcohol made you want to dance and sing, even if you didn’t quite know the words.
But Kris Allen was star of the show. As he played for approximately an hour and a half he sounded amazing live, played guitar and piano and lived up to his nice-guy reputation, whether he was signing autographs for fans as he sang, doing an off-the-cuff cover of Jump by Kris Kross, or telling the audience he didn’t mind if they knew Alright With Me because they brought the album or just heard it in the commercial.
Randy Jackson had once voiced concerns that he was unsure if Kris would be able to fill big stadiums. He should not have ever worried. Kris Allen is a remarkable talent who will hopefully one day no longer have to play such a small venue, unless of course, he wants to. He was that good.