Monday, August 30, 2010

Casey James and the American Idol Tour in Indianapolis, Indiana

When Casey sings It's All Over Now, it'll be the truth.  Tonight, at Conseco Fieldhouse, in Indianapolis, will be his last American Idol concert.  It must be both scary and exhilarating.  Because what's next is the great unknown.  But that great unknown may hold great things to come.

Those of you luck enough to be at this concert, especially those who meet Casey before or after the show (assuming he's still able to do that), please share your experience with us here. 

Tomorrow will be the start of Casey James, released from the constrictions of American Idol.  Don't get me wrong, we are all indebted to American Idol for introducing him to us.  I'm not going to bash American Idol today, but thank them for the opportunity they gave an unknown artist. So tonight, enjoy all of the AI spectacle.  The cheesy group songs and the strict adherence to numerical order, all of it.  This is Casey's last performance with these nine people, so take it all in.  Today we celebrate American Idol -- the show that gave Casey James a chance -- and this tour that brought him to meet so many of his fans.

I Got Mine



It's All Over Now


The IndyStar.Com review was right on the money:
Near the top of the class, third-place finisher Casey James and runner-up Crystal Bowersox took advantage of being liberated from filming car commercials, begging for votes and making small talk with Ryan Seacrest.

Wielding top-notch guitar skills, James deserves the shot at rock stardom previously afforded to Chris Daughtry. James takes more risks and exudes greater swing than Daughtry, as proven on steamroller renditions of the Black Keys'"I Got Mine" and "It's All Over Now" (written by Bobby Womack and popularized by the Stones).

Last Words:
It will take a little time to process the end of the American Idol tour. Casey put it all out there every night. You couldn't tell that he was the third place finisher or that this was part of a reality TV show/talent contest. When he took the stage, he gave a rollicking, rocking star turn. Almost without exception, at each stop along the tour he not only exceeded the rather stratospheric expectations of his fans but he stunned and impressed and garnered legions of new ones. Casey made the most of the opportunity he was given and, I hope, that will set a precedent for how he handles the next phase of his professional career.


  1. Thank you, Shari. Without you, Casey's Fans journey wouldn't be the same. You are the champion of all of us and will be to years to come. To me, Think of Casey means think of you as well.
    Hopefully, Casey can recuperate fully before heading to Nashville and can make a best album ever. We will enjoy his new music and new journey with you...
    Thank you again and good luck with your beautiful daughter's new chapter! Have a precious time together!!!!

  2. Mothers, remember when they laid that precious new baby on your chest and you looked down and wondered how could you love this complete total stranger so much. And then you watch him grow and your love for him grows along the way. Everyone who has been glued to getting acquainted with Casey James since his first audition, knows that he credits his fans among those who have changed his life. His whole family, especially his momma and brother, always knew Casey’s potential. He has allowed us to experience the very beginning of a new chapter in his life and we are so proud to have been a part of voting hundreds of times, hating some of the judges’ comments, loving some of the judges’ comments, sitting on the edge of our seats during elimination nights, downloading each performance on itunes, seeing him live in concerts, worrying when he was sick, rallying when he felt better, and wearing the YouTube videos out. Casey just walked into our lives and from January to August, I’ve loved everything about him. He has certainly made my soul smile. He was ill when I saw him in St. Louis so I didn’t get to hug him or even say hello but that made me even more protective. I sob for my sake, knowing he’s moving on but I have to smile when I think of the wonderful things coming his way. Thank you Shari and Glenda for sharing so much with his fans and thank you Debra for giving us Casey James. And Casey, thank you for giving us so much pleasure and hope. You unwittingly let us into your private life and whether you like it or not, I believe we’re here to stay. I love you like a son and I want only the best for you because you have given your best for us. Karen Smith (kdsaa4 on Twitter)

  3. congratulations casey james you are now in the big made it!I use to wonder why you never tried out for before,but you might not be the person you are understand what its like to struggle trying to hang on to that dream and not giving up on it.remember its not only your dream it's your moms your brothers and your pawpaws many people try all their lives to have their dreams come true,your story is one of the few.i wish you all the are one of a kind for your music can't wait to hear 1st single then cd

  4. Congratulations Casey! I will always remember how patient you were at Staples as I fumbled to get a picture of you with my sister. I'm so proud and honored to have met you and I will continue to adore you from a far as you venture on to the next phase of your music career! It could not have happened to a better person! I WILL be at your first concert!
    Love you always,

  5. Casey, I couldn't be happier for you than if you were my own son!! Your are one of the most precious people I've ever seen or heard! You won me over the day I first heard you! I saw in your eyes the desire to be given the chance to show who you are and what you do best!! We ALL know now and I am so thankful to be a part of your journey and always will be!! I will be a fan/friend forever!! Thank you, your Momma, and Billy for allowing us to be part of your life and sharing your faith and so many details that has made us feel like family!! I will continue to pray for your journey!! I love your voice, your guitar...I've only followed one other artist in my life and their person was sincere like you!! You're amazing and I feel so blessed to be in your life via media and one day live in your concerts! Can't wait to buy your 1st will be a treasure...because it's YOU!!! I know today is the last day of tour and I will miss getting to see you every day, but I will listen and watch you on all the vids I have, over and over!! Thank you for staying true to WHO you are!! Love you always and forever!! MAE777

  6. Casey, just wanted to say thank you. I have been a silent participator (not into tweeting etc), but I have been with you every step of the way. You had me at "hello," as they say. I watch AI (mostly b/c I grew up singing with friends and around town, etc, and am intrigued at the star-is-born aspect of it), but there is only one person from that show whose music I would actually buy, and that is yours. Or whose concert I would actually attend, and that is yours. My husband and son (who is 13 and is discovering the joys of his uncle's hand-me-down Fender Strat, and who is very picky about who he will listen to) are also into your music. You are extraordinarily talented, have really good taste in music, and your voice makes me weak in the knees. Your passion inspires. Your integrity inspires. Your love of animals inspires. And your tenacity and dedication inspire. You are constantly thanking your fans, but I want to thank you . . . And to let you know that I am looking forward to your album. Many words, and much love :)

  7. Thanks for covering the tour so thoroughly, Shari.

    I for one will be spending this week immersing myself in good country music and reminding myself that the wait for new music from Casey will be well worth it.

    For those also interested, NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" is devoting the week to country music and is playing back a slew of great interviews with a gaggle of country legends. Terry is one of the best interviewers around, and I bet there's stuff here that might even surprise Casey. The show is available on podcast via iTunes if you can't catch it in real time:

    Here's to a bright future for The Man From Cool!


  8. Well this one is a mouthful - sorry for taking up so much space. Here goes...

    Casey For Me

    For the past few months, I have been trying to analyze, pick apart, dissect backwards and forwards, frontways and sideways why I am so mesmerized and taken in with Casey. This is nothing that I have ever experienced before, and I am quite surprised by my own reactions. Luckily, I have BurnThisToo to turn to - my computer group therapy or hot line, if you will.

    (I am from Israel, and I honestly don't know how many fans Casey James has here. I don't have anyone to connect with in my amazement with Casey from Cool Texas and his music – so I turn to the U.S. sites and You Tube. So, thank you, Shari, for making it possible for me to identify and share with so many others – from all over the world. From the U.S., Philippines, UK, Egypt, Norway and a million other places. American Idol is not that popular here – at least I don't know so. We have our equivalent A Star Is Born show - but I don't watch that.)

    When I first accidentally saw Casey on my TV screen, I had just come back from a month's trip in South India - cut off from technology, TV, phones, etc. I happened to be winding down, turned on the TV and just caught Casey's audition. I noticed him immediately. The camera captured him from the side, caught his look in those blue eyes as he was studying Simon's reaction and stopping to sing as he realized that he had lost Simon's vote. That's it, I was smitten.

    It was like - oh yes, I know you, I've seen you before. (Excuse me for sounding a bit childish but I am not as sophisticated as some of the other bloggers..) You're the prince from the fairy tales my mother would read to me. One of Sir Lancelot's knights. Or even the face I had seen in churches being a lover of Christian art.
    I knew him because he was living in my imagination way before I even met him. Just looking at him on my TV screen pulled me in and grabbed my full attention and I wasn't really caring or giving credence to how he sounded. I also had a hard time seeing anyone else, because my eye would just go back to him.

    End of Dafna's Part 1

  9. Part 2

    As the show progressed, I immediately (starting with Dr. What's Ailing Me) became impressed with Casey's voice, talent, song interpretations, how he "rolled with the punches" - and that was from watching his 5-minute patch once a week. Casey has one of those voices that I feel in the middle of my chest. Some voices evoke a mental response. I know they're beautiful but it seems technical and I don't connect. I usually physically feel the raspier, edgier, multilayered, less polished voices that trigger an emotional response and take me somewhere else (and sometimes places where I won't go here).

    The thing with Casey is that he keeps changing. He never even looks the same. He has so many different faces in photographs and interviews. The same with his music, it's such a fusion. Not just a blend of Texas rock, blues, country which as he says are contained in a wide open space, but a blend of emotions and subject matter. Sometimes, often, he's sexy, dangerous, wild, channeling, internalizing, externalizing supernatural energies, and other times he is subdued, soft, spiritual, sweet, poignant – so much so that I want to cry. That perhaps is what makes him so attractive and I think he will appeal to many, many people across the board and all over the world with his music. He is so multilayered. A fusion where all the ingredients are essential to create the whole. It's not just his gorgeous exterior beauty, it's not just his music, it's not just his guitar genius, it's not just his sweetness, his smartness, his funniness – it's all of them fused together with his humility and goodness being the glue.

    Let me give you an example. I make a cup of tea every morning. Half a cup of milk, half a cup of water, one teaspoon of loose black Ceylon tea, almost a spoonful of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ginger, a dash of cloves - all slowly simmered in a small pot over a low flame. (Don't forget to sweeten after straining into the cup.) The slow heat is what brings all the ingredients together – and you can't rush it, each ingredient by itself is not remarkable. It takes about 15 minutes to make, but is well worth the wait. If I may, I hope that's how you make your album.

  10. Dafna's Part 3

    Casey, you are a warrior. I don't mean a warrior in the sense of fighting others, but a warrior who fights inner demons and outer demons and someone who conquers his own weaknesses. That is the image evoked for me when you play "I Got Mine".

    To connect with your marvelous and infectious sense of humor – a Captain Scream - someone who can overcome his fear of heights and fly.

    Another thing that I find so amazing and endearing about you, Casey, is your grit, your won't-give-in-ness. Shari's interviews have helped to set my imagination on fire. I can't forget the story of your accident when you flew into the ditch strewn with angel feathers. It seems angels have been lining your path at different stations. You are really special. The fact that you have to go through pain and to overcome it in order to use your hand to play may also add another dimension to your music. You are not vapid. You can't take things for granted, because while flying through the air you might have realized how precious this life is. So, you seem to suck every ounce you can. And that reflects and is immersed in your music. I can also see the adrenaline rush you get from playing, it takes you to another place.

    I know your passion from my oldest son. He's a handball player . He's about 6"2 which is tall enough by most standards, but a lot of the players tower over him and also have much more weight. (He is one of those people who struggle to put on weight. Eats a lot – reminds me of someone.) His strength as a player is his agility, speed, high jumps, ability to see the game moves ahead like a chess player. But that doesn't keep him from getting knocked around on the court. He's had a lot of injuries, one of them nearly cost him his life. While jumping in mid-air during a game, one of the players accidently knocked him out in mid-air. He fell without breaking his fall, crashing forehead first onto the floor and swallowed his tongue. Luckily, there was a paramedic on the court, one of the players is a doctor, and they quickly extricated his tongue. He did suffer brain hemorrhaging, was hospitalized, and two weeks later got a case of encephalitis. Well, he recovered from all that - thank God - and what did he do? A month later (having finished the army and before starting university – that's what our kids do here), he was off trekking in the jungles of Central America, swinging from ropes over rushing rivers and all sorts of things that as a mother made my heart skip many beats. (Fortunately, I never saw him doing that in real-time but only later in photographs.) Yet, at the same time, I was so thrilled at his love for life, wanting to soak the world in as fast and as much as he can. That's also where I connect and why I admire you so much. Getting up after you fall, up on the stage when you're sick, summoning up the strength to give a killer performance, and doing what you love – what makes you happy.

  11. Dafna - Part 4 and end (sorry had a lot to say)

    And you, Casey, also bring out the mother in me. I feel like scolding you and telling you to slow down and take better care of yourself. Make sure you sleep well, eat the right foods, because your body is also your tool. Watching you on the stage, you are like an athlete. You burn up the stage and play the "bejesus" out of that guitar. (I love that word – had to look it up after reading your Chicago review.). And you need to be strong to continue to play and create music for many, many more years to come for the world to enjoy.

    You seem to have so many facets to you. You bore your heart and soul and let us in to see who you are. And it's very, very beautiful to see. Forgive me if I am presuming too much, but as an artist you are a medium for igniting our imaginations and seeing what we want.

    What a lucky guy you are! I believe your spirituality and belief in God will keep you safe from corruption, you won't forget your core values, and you will stay grounded and firm in what really matters.

    Now, I realize that I have created a fantasy Casey who may not exist. And I realize the awful pressure that you Casey could feel of suddenly being shot out into the blogosphere and exposed for the whole world to see, people who think they know you, people saying such amazing things about you, and the pressure to live up to those expectations. Maybe it's easier to deal with being ripped apart. I just want to say to you, Casey, that I don't want or expect anything from you. Except - if I could have my way - I would want you to have a joyous life, find the love of your life, always feel that life is an adventure, you should have as many beautiful children as you want, and continue to express yourself and share the gift of your music. Oh yes, health – lots of health. That would do it for me.

    Dafna, your lifelong fan

  12. I had so much to say that I wrote my own blog...
    THANK YOU Shari for being so on top of things here..

    My blog with pics, video links, picture book links from Keys HomeComing and Dallas AI Concert and more.

  13. Dafna, your commentary was just beautiful and said what many of us would like to say. Casey really is a special person and, I feel, will live up to our expectations. Ready to fly!!

  14. Don't know what I'll do without my daily "Casey James fix." In a way, I'm relieved... It takes up headspace! Thanks for your site, Shari.

    But, as the good book says, "To everything there is a season, and a purpose under Heaven." And, so it is with Casey. As he enters this new season, this new phase of his career, it is only fitting that we might quiet down a bit and let him quiet down a bit and rest and reflect so that he can create the very beautiful music we know he's capable of.

    One of the hidden blessings is that Casey didn't win American Idol. He is not rushed to put out an album. He has time to reflect and make the music he wants to make. He can (hopefully) do it his way.

    What we love about Casey is that he is thoughtful, introspective and mature. I have faith that he will continue to be all of those things, and think we do him a great honor as fans by giving him the space to be.

    In the meantime, we would do well to listen to most of his songs of the day. The respect for this guy will not fade. After all, he had me at "Too Sweet for Me." Yeah, that was pretty sweet!

  15. I have been looking for the tol. ind. cvg show,s of casey and CANT FIND ANYTHING... I cant believe there were no fans at these show.s especialy that these were the last 3.... Im so sad that I cant see the ind one where he tells the fans good by for now...
    WHATS UP?????