Live Review: American Idols Live at HP Pavilion, 07/08/08

Where’s Simon Cowell when you really need him? Aidin Vaziri | The shrieks filled the room well before the first spike of Archuleta’s hair rose from beneath the stage, with the singer sitting behind a fog-shrouded piano for a low-key cover of Robbie Williams’ “Angels.” The 17-year-old crowd favorite seemed genuinely terrified by his surroundings and struggled to get his fragile voice heard above the din, even as he boldly mashed up Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” with Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls.” Season 7 winner Cook seemed just as overwhelmed but worked hard to compensate with exaggerated rock bluster and effusive gratitude. “I’ve waited 25 years to stand right here,” he said, bowing his head as audience members held up signs that read “Marry Me” and “Cougars for Cook.” He’s certainly a capable rock singer, not all that different from Chris Daughtry, but Cook’s decision to throw all those chugging riffs and sweaty metal vocals behind limp songs by Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson and Diane Warren seemed like the kind of thing that would have got him a round battering on the actual “American Idol.” Where is Simon Cowell when you need him? Continue reading.

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