Saturday, August 28, 2010

Casey James and the American Idol Tour in Chicago

Tonight the tour heads to the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, home of current American Idol title-holder Lee DeWyze. But when I think of Chicago I think of deep dish pizza, freezing wind coming in off the lake, and a week I spent there honing my trial skills. Well, I've put that, and my JD and my Master's, to good use now haven't I?

Chicago has many nicknames, but my favorite comes from an early 20th Century poem by Carl Sandburg:
Hog butcher for the world,
Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
Player with railroads and the nation's freight handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the big shoulders.
It makes it sound solid, dependable, yet free-wheeling.  Texas-born Casey James seems to fit very nicely into that description.  He hasn't missed a show, and from the video I've seen of last night, nary a beat either in putting it all out there for the fans. 

I know the place with be packed with Mid-Westerners probably geared to support their local boy, but if they open their hearts -- and their ears -- they should join Team Casey by the end of the show.

Any of Casey's twitter fans who are going, make sure to be loud and proud for Casey tonight!

First Photos (courtesy of MJsBigBlog):

 Photos 1 & 3 credit LeeDeWyzeArmy, Photo 2 credit amalama23

Photo Credit DeWyzeDork

Above 2 Photos Credit InvisiBel1

The first video is the first three songs of Casey's set including I Got Mine, Don't and HYERLAW

The second video is It's All Over Now

Group Finale (Don't usually include, but excellent quality and decent focus on Casey)

The Chicago Sun-Times reviewed the concert and while you might have expected it to be all-Lee, all the time, the reviewer actually seemed to utilize old-fashioned journalistic impartiality.  He wrote, about Casey:
The most entertaining guy on stage, though, came in third. Casey James can sing and play the bejesus out of his guitar. He shredded a solo in the middle of his opener, the Black Keys’ “I Got Mine,” and again for his closer, the Rolling Stones’ “It’s All Over Now.” His ballads sagged, even the duet with Michael Lynche on “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?,” but his rakish grin and studied nonchalance made him fun to watch, not to mention that Eddie Vedder quiver in his purr.
Let's just soak that in for a bit.  How nice, and rare, when a paid professional reviewer sees it the same as us amateurs, who have nothing to go on but our ears and our hearts.

Oh, and while we're reading the review again, basking in its positivity, I have a question.  For how long now have I been drawing comparisons with Casey and Eddie Vedder?  Well, I won't make you go back and reread all my posts (though if you haven't, you should -- darn good stuff there!) -- it's been a very long time.  I was not surprised to hear from BC what an influence Pearl Jam was on him and, being the good older brother, he introduced Casey to these guys who may have been placed under the "grunge" label, but were (and are) seriously fine musicians! 

On Twitter, fans tweeted praise for Casey's performance.

Indigo_15 said: U are officially the best guitarist EVER on Idol--and your singing tonight in Chicago was just as great! Thanx 4 a great show!

raisen06 wrote: You were awesome tonight in Chicago! I sure wish I could of met you! I hope you will be here again when you do your own tour!

Love_LeeDeWyze offered: Omg! You ... did "Have You Really Ever Loved A Woman" so beautiful! Honestly better than the original! =]

ChevyBear tweeted Casey: u have fans in chicago!!(: I saw u perform tonight at united center. u were amazing, as always. come back again&again please!

Over at MJsBigBlog, one of her reviewers, WJMTV, wrote up an interesting recap of the night.  Though not a typical narrative-driven review, it gives interesting tidbits about the night.  It's clear that this concert-goer was impressed with Casey:
Band’s Favorite Song: “I Got Mine,” Casey James. They didn’t try to hide it either. I thought we might need an ambulance for one of the backup singers. Oh, and the bass player is really hot.

I Can’t Believe I’m at a Cheesy American Idol Concert: Casey’s guitar solo during “It’s All Over Now.” I’m telling you, people, we’re gonna be saying, “I knew him when.”
That was my favorite line, "I knew him when."  How many of his fans have thought that, each claiming to be the first to discover him and see his potential?  What's interesting about this is I can see a time when we forget how we first were introduced to him, forget he was some guy on a TV show, and just think of him as an amazing performer who never disappoints.


  1. As a midwesterner, I love Casey and his rockin, bluesy music. I like Lee and Crystal-- but Casey's style just connects more with me. I feel him invest so much in each song that nuances of meaning leap out of each note. I discover a newness with each listen. Hope Casey is feeling better soon. Must be awful to be sick and away from home.

  2. Midwesterner here, always following Casey James now wherever he lands. All the best to Lee, but Casey is the real deal!

  3. I love Casey's rockin, bluesy sound. If the hometown crowd of Lee's listen tonight they will hear what so many of Casey's fans have already come to know..his amazing awesome talent,style and sultry blusey voice..and they too will join the Casey Team..He is a shining star and we all love him! Knock em dead tonight Casey!

  4. I hope Casey can KNOCK EM DEAD TONIGHT. I know how sick you are with bronchic boarder line ph. Oh my God... Ive been there. Im just praying that he plays and sings like he did in DALAS..

  5. I was at the Chicago show last night and Casey
    was incredible! I really wish that I had a better
    view - I was so high up in the risers it was hard
    to see him! We waited outside for an hour and a half, but only three of them came out (not Casey:(. I remembered later that there was some backstage meet with the idols, so thats probably why they didn't come outside. I'm not sure if Casey was feeling well enough for that even I had tickets. If he was sick though, you would never know it as he rocked it out as usual! I sure hope he makes it back to Chicago when he is
    finally doing his solo music - love him!

  6. I love the last comment. What most people who love all kinds of music like me, get is the ROCK AND ROLL, BLUEZY , COUNTRY sound.. Im so glad he could show them what they missed on american idol .. Im a midwesterner Michigan... I love Casey James, he has it all.. and am looking forward to his album and seeing one of his concerts when they start....

  7. I also knew him when! So extremely happy and proud for Casey. That's about all I can say now. Despite all the illness and adversity before and during his "tewer", he's managed to knock everyone's socks off with his music, talent, grit and soul. Well, everything's been said already. All I can say is how happy for him, even though I must admit I cringe at the bashing Lee took, especially from a reviewer from his hometown. No one pouring out his heart and soul on stage deserves that. Too bad those reviewers can't be more gentle with their daggers.

  8. Casey continues to kill it despite being sick... so much determination and awsome skills - he is literally a part of his music and guitar playing - they are ONE!!! Can't wait for MORE... will buy every album and attend any show close by... ROCK STAR!!!!

  9. CASEY JAMES is The best thing to come around in a long time.I've loved him from day 1.Sounds corny,but him just standing there reminded me of Johnny Depp & Brad Pitt.He had the charisma & stage presence form the first.Voice and guitar playing-best I ' ve ever heard. Love you Casey!

  10. I love the fan comments, he is gaining new fans with every show! Thanks for the great recaps Shari!

    Patti @CaseysCrew205

  11. Not much more to add on to all these awesome comments, but I will say I knew as most of us knew Casey James will make it big. He is a very powerful performer who has it all and draws the love from people who witness his amazing performances.

  12. It's like Casey is in a league of his own compared to the other idols. I'm not saying he should have won because he is better off that he didn't, but he is by far the best ENTERTAINER of the top 10. I was very disappointed that I didn't get to see him in concert since the one in my area was cancelled, but I know he has enough talent and charisma to go far in his music career and I have faith that someday I will get a chance to see him in a concert of his own or as an opening act. His music has brought a special joy to my life and I know I'm not alone in feeling this way!

  13. Shari, as i've been describing him to people unfamiliar with him:
    "looks like Brad Pitt, sings like Eddie Vedder"...and that's when they ask me to show him to them on youtube. not one of them as been disappointed yet.