Happy 4th!

I hope everyone in the states is having a fabulous holiday, and that those of you in other countries are having a great time as well!.

Now, onto the good stuff:

Stadium of Fire Video 2 hours (asf).

Stadium of Fire Video- 2 hours (wmv).

Thanks, ElvisBabe.

.

mojavedesertgirl’s GREAT Stadium of Fire recap is below the cut.

“# mojavedesertgirl Says:
July 4th, 2006 at 2:37 am e

Hi everyone! Goodness! With 130+ comments on top of me, this post will probably be buried

and no one will see it! Am I really the only ex-pat GC to see Taylor at the Provo concert?

Amazing – because the audience was packed with the Soul Patrol. I had LOTS of people (well, ok, women) all around me to get all fan-girly with. For awhile there I was truly 19

again…Here’s my best play by play…

First of all – this is my first time seeing Taylor LIVE. I have only ever seen TV and
internet video Taylor. I was so excited that I was literally jumping out my skin the 7 hour drive there, and the several hours we waited for the show to start. The only thing tempering

it was that I got up at 4:30 am – everyone who knows me knows that I am so NOT a morning person! I told my sister that I hadn’t been this wound up about a concert since I had 2nd row center seats for Bruce Springsteen about 20 years ago. I had so much nervous energy that if we’d had a flat I probably could have picked up the damn car and ran with it. But I had the well wishes for safe travel from so many of you – so safe we were. Thanks for all the you go girl!” comments – I read them last thing before going to sleep the night before. I don’t really know any of you, and you don’t really know me – but honestly, I felt like you were all in the car with me as I drove north on Interstate 15.

Have to tell you about 2 pre-concert incidents. First, we finally got to Provo about 4 in
the afternoon – got the tickets from will call, and went in search of an early dinner. Ended up down the street from the university at a restaurant called “Papa’s” boasting of “southern style BBQ” – which we thought fit the theme of the day quite well. Open the menu – first item: “Southern Ribeye Steak Slow Cooked with our Special Birmingham, Alabama Sauce”. I just rolled to the floor in hysterics – too, too funny. Waiter thinks I have lost my mind. Turns out the restaurant is owned by a couple who are orginally from Birmingham (do you hear “Its a Small World” playing in the background?). I chat up the waiter – but he is Taylor clueless. (And yes, I had the steak.)

Back to the BYU football stadium for the concert – and my sister and I settle into our 16th row seats. Well, settle is a relative word – my sister will testify that I did anything BUT settle. All I can think at this point – I’M GOING TO SEE TAYLOR PERFORM LIVE!!!! AND HE WILL BE ABOUT 50 FEET AWAY!!! I’m doing Soul Patrol shout outs to anyone I see in a Taylor T-shirt. In this midst of my pre-show frenzy, a woman suddenly pops up in front of me – could we trade seats? Her whole family wants to sit together…and suddenly we find ourselves sitting in the 12th row. The woman’s father thanks us for switching, and I quip “No problem! I’m just that much closer to Taylor Hicks!!” The man looks at me funny, and responds – “Since you said that, let me share something with you…” and pulls out his camera. Turns out his family WALKED INTO THE STADIUM WITH TAYLOR – and had a picture to prove it.

The man said it was a huge scene – Taylor was surrounded by “handlers” (his words) to keep the frenzy back. He said the screaming was unreal, as if The Beatles or Elvis were walking in. It was a great close up of Taylor, and I had a light-headed fangirl moment where I actually, much to my embarrassment, thought of only one word – yep, THUD. Taylor was stunningly handsome in the photo, but also looking a little wide and white eyed – very serious look on his face. After what I saw happen later, I totally understand the seriousness…but more on that later…

The stadium is completely filled – 50,000 people. I remember reading that Taylor said this show would be the largest live audience he would play for (although that all changes for him tomorrow with the AI tour) – and I’m feeling some awe for him as I look at the crowd. We all then do the WAVE about 20 times as the clock counts down to the start of the video stream to the troops in the Mid-East. And the show, FINALLY, begins. There is a lot of yadda yadda yadda to begin… the media, the show committee, directions on waving our little American flags (yes seriously – the Mormons do like their structure) (and hey no comments at me please, I come from an LDS family – I get to tease!), the invocation, the pledge, dancers performing to patriotic songs…all very patriotic and at times moving, but it begins to lull me into inattention as all I can think is “Taylor Live, Taylor Live, Taylor Live…” and then

SUDDENLY – BAM! There he is 30 feet tall on the stage screen playing his harmonica! My sister stops me from doing a backflip into the crowd trying to SEE him – because we can’t, he’s way behind us out on the field with the dancers and the marching band (300 drummers – they rocked!). So totally caught by surprise I can’t get my camera out in time – so I just watch Taylor dance and play his harmonica with all his heart for about 90 seconds. To what song? Couldn’t tell ya! The stadium is going WILD – the screams and cheers and calls of SOUL PATROL from all around me about knocked me over – goodness knows what Taylor is thinking at the reaction. Truly, the place went NUTS. I got in several “whooo hoos” from all of us.

When he stops playing, Taylor gives a big BIG smile into the camera and waves to the crowd on all sides. Big as life – yet a little shy at the same time. And he was wearing his peacock blue suit. Absolutely gorgeous in the stadium lights (it’s about sunset at this point – the thunderheads were pinking up behind him).

OK I’ve written a lot – don’t want to lose it so let me post, and I’ll continue on…
# mojavedesertgirl Says:
July 4th, 2006 at 3:41 am e

My story continues…

Now I have to sit through the opening acts…a local band…Miss America the emcee…a country guy…army dudes parachuting into the stadium (actually, that was very dramatic and very cool)…more people talking…a faux Queen, a faux ABBA, and a faux Beach Boys (the latter quite good)…Raven-Symone in some kind of food fight with 2 families trying to win a big screen TV…a bunch of other stuff that I really can’t remember…and then, and then, and then Raven-Symone is introducing Taylor and the crowd is again screaming so loud that you can’t actually hear her say his name. Spotlights on the stage – and Taylor demurely steps out from behind the curtain and is standing on the stage. I swear for a moment he held onto the curtain like he was trying to steady himself – and then that big gorgeous smile of his and he strides out to the front of the stage. Waving, intoducing himself (yeah, like we don’t know his name!), saying he’s happy to be there, a shout out to the troops, and then into
“Taking it To the Streets”.

He’s all over the stage – singing, dancing, playing harmonica.
Everytime he dances the stadium ERUPTS with cheers – and HE IS LOVING IT! Each times he rewards us with that HUGE smile, and the bendy Taylor move with his hands crossed over his heart – which of course makes us all scream some more. Yes, the music is a recording – but c’mon people, don’t be harsh. All I could hear was TAYLOR – his voice, his harmonica. Besides – it was all about the visual. He is so close, I feel like I can reach out and touch him. I can FEEL his ENERGY blasting off the stage.

Fellow SPers – I guess if you’ve had the opportunity to see him perform in person you probably already know what I’m trying to express. Remember, for me – this is my first time with Taylor Live. He is a big presence – electrifying personality. Again, I am astounded that he is not already established and famous. Next to me I can hear my sister saying, “Wow – what an entertainer! Wow!” It was so hard trying to focus my attention. It’s hard NOT to watch those humongous video screens, especially the camera close ups since he is just so darn handsome, especially giving us THAT SMILE. But I didn’t come 400 some miles to watch video Taylor – so I kept my eyes as best I could on that stage. All of us in the field seats
were on our feet, and the woo-hoos and the soul patrol shout outs and the Taylor shout outs nearly drowned him out. A sweet Taylor fan in front of me turns around – we grab each others’ hands and scream “THIS IS THE BEST!!!!” (If you’re reading this, hi Kay from Draper!).

TITTS ends and Taylor is endlessly thanking the crowd as a roadie comes out with a guitar and the holder-thingy so he can play his harmonica at the same time – OH MY GOD HE’S GOING TO PLAY HIS GUITAR – and Taylor says he’d like to do one of his own songs if we don’t mind – I believe he said “an original Taylor Hicks” – and launches into The Deal. Luckily, the crowd sits down – thank goodness, because I feel like my knees are giving out. How lucky am

I – I cannot believe it – I am watching Taylor perform his own song, and playing guitar. I thought I wouldn’t get to see that until he goes on his solo tour. And DAMN, Taylor is an EXCELLENT guitarist. Truly – I am not being all fan girly with my praise. There is great guitar work on Under the Radar, but I was never sure if that was his craft or his bands’ –

well, ok, no question now – he is indeed a serious musician. He knocked it out of the
stadium. And people knew the song – at least those of us in the field seats, because I heard a lot of voices singing along. Taylor kept looking, or really, squinting out at the crowd – I’m not sure if he was trying to see past the stage lights or if he was trying to take in the size of the crowd or trying to judge the reaction to his own music – I can’t say what he was thinking, but he was very intense and serious while performing The Deal. No smiles this time – just hard ass guitar playing and gritty vocals. Loved it, loved it, loved it. It was like a TASTE, a little taste of what’s in store for us when he finally hits the road on his own. This is Taylor Hicks, and here’s a fucking SONG!

Then, it’s DIMYP. Taylor dedicates it to the troops. Again, he’s singing along to the recorded music (I admit – too bad it’s not just him and a pianist, I really like that
simplified version the best.). As he sings he walks back and forth across the stage, making a point of looking to all parts of the stadium and waving – including the far sides that can barely see the stage. Not the big smile Taylor this time, but the gracious and grateful smiling Taylor – I felt like he was trying really hard to connect with the entire crowd, when it would have been so easy to just sing to the rows in front of the stage. Or easy to just let the cameras and video screen do his performing for him – but I felt like he was trying to be big enough for the stadium. Am I making sense? He was not taking it lightly or going through the motions – he was PERFORMING. And it was great. Amazingly great. He sang DIMYP so sweetly and sincerely. I cried.

And as suddenly as it began – it was over.
Let me post this – and I’ll be back to wrap it up.
# mojavedesertgirl Says:
July 4th, 2006 at 5:23 am e

And now here’s the REST of the story…

I don’t really remember what followed Taylor – people talking, awards I think – I don’t know because I was wiping away my tears and giving myself some self-talk about growing up dammit, yer 45 not a little girl, and then Miss America is talking and GUSHING about how wonderful Taylor is and the crowd is screaming his name and whoo-hoooing again and my sister is
patting me on the back and telling me she got lots of pictures (which is good cuz I kinda
stopped – it’s too hard to watch and take pictures at the same time!) and I’m holding hands with the lady in front of me and her teenagers are rolling their eyes at us and I’m thinking this. was. so. totally. worth. it. (Oops, forgot the fashion report – for his set Taylor wore his silvery gray suit, I think the same one he had on when he did Leno the first time. Sorry, couldn’t make out his shoes – blame the dude with the 50 gallon white cowboy hat.)

Next, Lee Ann Womack is performing – which thrills my sister, and I’m happy for her – she knows all the words to all the songs and so she gets to have her own concert moment. (I didn’t know Womack did “I Hope You Dance” – I love that song, and that was a treat.) About 2 songs into Womack’s set, I hear this HUGE commotion off to my right – and I realize that women, teenagers to ladies older than me, are jumping out of their seats and running to the big aisle that runs between the field seats and the stadium stands. I hear calls of “That’s him! It’s Taylor! There he is!” It’s so loud, it tunes out Womack. I can see a large group of people are surrounding a person, and they are moving fast – ever seen one of those nature programs when they show a bunch of ants moving fast through the jungle floor carrying something in their midst? That’s what it looked like! – What was in the midst of the group was Taylor. I can tell you he is taller than his handlers and there is no mistaking that gray hair.

At this point I’m not really sure what’s going on – he is leaving? Is he being moved to
another part of the stadium? Is there more performing on the way? All I know is there are a lot of folk chasing after him – and I think back to the photo the man showed me before the show and how Taylor looked just the teensiest bit scared and I am instantly all mom-like with worry. Why are people chasing Taylor? Leave him alone! He just sang and worked his guts out for us – why isn’t that enough? But either he’s gone (I’m thinking, Taylor Has Left the Stadium) or the handlers have rebuffed successfully because I see women returning to their seats. I’m relieved to see that they are not carrying shreds of clothing, or body parts, with them.

And the end of her song, Womack does a Taylor shout out to the crowd – “Hey everybody, what did you think of that Taylor Hicks?” and the place goes NUTS – again! She says she’s very happy to be sharing the stage with him, that she thinks he has an amazing voice. She mentions that she has never watched AI – not her thing – but when she was doing a radio promo she heard a clip of Taylor’s audition song and she remarked that if someone with a voice like that was on AI, well then – she would watch! (Doesn’t that just sound like US?)

Continues to compliment his voice, and wishes his career well. I thought that was incrediblely gracious of her – she is the headliner, and suddenly all the media attention
was on HIM and not on her. She could have been snitty, instead she’s a fan too. Nice! (My sister had googled Stadium of Fire in hopes of getting a map – and got 1300+ hits, all of them about TAYLOR.) And how nice for him to get such a compliment.

Both during and after her performance, there are families being reunited with returning
soldiers and satellite hook ups so families in the audience can talk to their soldier dads
in Iraq and Afghanistan. Touching – beyond touching, words cannot describe the heartbreak and aching. (This war, this stupid stupid war.) Then Miss A and the country guy are saying goodnight – there isn’t anything left is there – and AGAIN the crowd starts shouting: TAYLOR! We want more Taylor! Soul Patrol! – his name was echoing around the stadium. Wow –

I’m thinking – wow-wee, our boy is bigger than I think we know…my sister and I looking rather big-eyed at each other when the finale begins – a fireworks show to end all fireworks shows.

Now people – I live in LasVegas, Sin City, Entertainment Capital, home to one of the
planet’s largest 4th of July fireworks show. Tonight my neighbors and I will be sitting on our front lawns (well, ok, my front rocks) sipping wine and watching The Strip explode. When it comes to fireworks, I admit to being just a bit jaded. Well, whoa nelly – knock me on my butt and call me Fannie. “Stadium of Fire” is not just some cutsy same for a show – I experienced the biggest, baddest, wildest, in your face fireworks show EVER. Take out Taylor, take out the whole show – just the fireworks alone were worth the drive and the ticket. Seriously. And we were in the prime seats – the fireworks went off LITERALLY over our heads. Firework DEBRIS rained down on us (and ow! sometimes that hurt!) – I was still getting the crap outta my hair the next day.

So if you’ve hung in here this long reading my story, by now you are probably thinking – I didn’t really need to do the play by play of the ENTIRE concert, shouldn’t I have stopped talking after Taylor’s set…or at least after the Womack shout out? Well…I have another story to tell! As we leave, my sister and I stop for a pit stop – and being the woman’s bathroom of course there was a line a mile and half long. Plenty of time to look around. I spy on the woman in front of me – a yellow wrist band with the words TAYLOR HICKS emblazoned on it. I look at the woman – What does your wrist band mean? She grins a cat eating canary grin – “I met Taylor”. WHAT????!!! HOW????!!! Tell me, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeasssssssssssseeeeeeee!” – yes, no pride, no shame! Her daughter is on the show committee so set her up for a meet and greet
with our Taylor – autograph and actual conversation. I say – he seems like such a nice young man, and she replied “Oh yes, really nice – I said to him, you must be so excited about winning American Idol and all this fuss about you and he said to me ‘What I’m excited about are the fireworks! I can’t wait!” and she goes on to remark about the commotion over him during Womack’s set – I guess she could actually see what was going on. They had a place for him to watch the rest of the show, including the fireworks – but people saw him, and so freaked out that they had to move him – and she thinks they ended up moving him out of the stadium, but she wasn’t sure. Together we were both very upset for Taylor – that so much fan frenzy might have caused him to miss out on that incredible and public praise from Womack
AND to miss out on the fireworks show that he obviously wanted to see very much. (Thank you nice lady for sharing your story with me – sorry I didn’t get your name.)

I hope hope hope that isn’t true – I hope the handlers found a safe place for him so he
could enjoy. Ugh! C’mon people! Taylor is not a cartoon character, he’s not a wind-up doll – we get to go crazy while he’s performing, but afterwards, he’s done! He’s off the clock! He gets to be his own person! Yes we helped him to win AI, and we helped to make his dream come true – but that doesn’t mean we own him. If anything – doesn’t it mean we, above all, should be taking care of him? I know he has been wanting and waiting and working for this level of stardom for a long time – but I guess I worry that we’re just gonna wear him out. I want Taylor to have a long, successful, happy, and creative career – I want to be able to enjoy the man and the music from now until my twilight days. Man – fangirl to sniffling romantic

to den mom, Taylor sure can bring out a range of emotions in me. Gotta love him.

Our journey home included a two and a half hour drive from Provo to our motel room (closest non smoking under a $150 we could find!)…Under the Radar, DIMYP/TITTS, and the Nashville Sessions going full blast all the way – or as my sister came to call it, The Full Woo. After sleeping in, we spent Sunday leasurely exploring scenic Utah, playing Taylor and reliving the show all the way home. And we have pictures to share – be patient with me as I learn with my new computer how to post them to my website page that’s under construction. (Where was I most of today? Sitting here with my head buried in the MacBook manual, with off and on napping on the couch with the animals. I only pretended to be 19 – this road trip took a lot outta me!) My sister (who owns the better camera, and who also had much more presence of mind while Taylor performed!) has some great shots. We also have many many many hilarious shots of just “Taylor pieces” – an arm, a piece of suit, part of a guitar, the top of his
head. Why? BECAUSE HE MOVES SO DARN FAST AND HE’S SUCH A MANIAC ON THE STAGE!

It was a fantastic 48 hours of Taylor Trip. Thanks again for encouraging me shake off the chains of work and home responsibilities and just go be a fun fangirl for awhile. It was great. And you were all there with me, heart and soul. WHOOOO HOOOO SOUL PATROL!!!!!!

PS Thanks Taylor for giving Provo your all – and I really really really hope you got to see

the fireworks.”

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48 Responses to Happy 4th!

  1. J. says:

    mojavedesertgirl, Fantastic recap! I was there too. I know what you mean by the “Oh My God I get to see Taylor live” lack of sleep.

    Those of you who haven’t see Taylor in concert–

    Find a way. Any way. Just find a way.

    The Sign Story

    So G. and I got in to Provo Friday night. We decided to drive to the stadium and work out where we would park, etc.

    After figuring things out, we drove a couple blocks past the stadium to turn around. We were sitting at a stop sign when I spotted a big ole Stadium of Fire Promo poster with Taylor on it.

    Well, my eyes glazed over and G. said “No way are you stealing that poster.” (He knows me too well. I wish I had a picture of the looks on both of our faces–my eyes spinning and his rolling.)

    I swear I really was gonna yank that bad boy right out of the ground. G. was like “No you aren’t I don’t want to get arrested and if we do, good luck getting to the concert.”

    Then G. said, “Hey, What’s that on the ground?”

    The wind gods were smiling on me, because it was another poster, in cherry condition, just sitting there for me. MINE.

    I put it in the truck and laughed about how that wind just blew that poster right to me.

    Awesome souvenir. Now all I need to do is get Taylor to sign it.

  2. mojavedesertgirl says:

    Luv Tay Says: VERY grateful for your time! (you must have spent a LOT of money going out there!) Glad it was worth it. About the yellow bracelet the lady had on at the gas station.. did he give it to her? I think you posted she said it meant she met him.

    Hey LT – You’re welcome, I had a blast writing. What an interesting question re: $! I didn’t even think about it – so I just now added it up: $350. – ticket, gas, my half of motel and food. Welllll, ok, I spent another $100 at the park service book store at Cedar Breaks the next day, but that has nothing to do with Taylor. (I’m a book freak. I don’t do drugs, I just do books. Sigh. Guess now I have to start saying, I don’t do drugs, I just do Taylor Hicks.) I think the show folks put the yellow bracelet on the lady who met Taylor – their version of a backstage pass.

    EJ Says: “… it’s hard to resist the urge to join the hysteria. Kind of a hard-wired, animal instinct to run with the pack and chase after something you want …the most inane things came out of my mouth (wee love yooo Taylor- giggle)… Gush, chase, gush.”

    Oh EJ, I so totally get that. I too screamed I LOVE YOUUUUU TAYLOR during the show, and dammit, I SWORE to myself and my sister I wouldn’t do that kind of stuff. Came out anyway! And for goodness sakes, he made me CRY. NO BODY, especially not some guy that I don’t even know, makes me CRY. I have a terrible feeling, that if the day came that I were to actually meet our Mr. Hicks I would be like those people who got carried out on stretchers at his homecoming. And that my SP friends, is very – very – embarrassing! Yes, gush indeed.

  3. ellen says:

    cant watch thru sendspace. crying…whoooo, whoo..is there any other way of seing the video of taylor at the stadium of fire???

  4. Luv Tay says:

    Thanks Sarah… that gave me chills! Nice version.

  5. idolAddict_NW says:

    Margaux:

    Thanks for the info on the local scene. I’m very much interested in hearing about any local news coverage of the Idol tour. In fact, if anyone can record it on VHS I can make vids from it.

    What an exciting night!

  6. Sarah says:

    Speaking of Boston Pops last night…did anyone else see Ayla Brown performing Star Spangled Banner with them? HWC posted a link to the performance over on MJ’s and I hope it’s okay to post it here to share. She did a magnificent job!

    http://cbs4boston.com/video/?id=21898@wbz.dayport.com

  7. EJ says:

    Great recap Mohavedesertgirl! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    I have to say, though, having been inside a seething mass of fans when Taylor comes close by, it’s hard to resist the urge to join the hysteria. Kind of a hard-wired, animal instinct to run with the pack and chase after something you want 🙂

    In my infinite maturity, I was able to stop myself from actually trampling another human being, but the most inane things came out of my mouth (wee love yooo Taylor- giggle) and everyone else’s mouth although we had seriously discussed asking him serious questions like “do you read the message boards?” or “are you going to re-record any of your songs from UTR on your upcoming album?” All that went by the wayside in that moment where you have about 2 seconds to catch his attention as he goes down the line of fans shaking hands or whatever. Gush, chase, gush. I promise to do better and be more mature next time. I do I do I do.

  8. Margaux says:

    Idols in NH: I have heard a rumor on the scary board that someone saw idols flying in, but I’ve seen no sighting reports locally. The local TV news at noon just said there are press activities going on this afternoon. While I will not be here to watch it (I have plans this evening that don’t involve staying home to catch the idols on TV), I set up to record.

    If they were staying in Manchester, that city always has fireworks on the 3rd. There was a minor league ball game in town at a lovely new park, maybe they had a nice box to watch. Someone told me they thought most celebrities playing in Manchester stay in Boston cause there are really no first class hotels in Manch Vegas. In that case, they may have caught Steve Tyler, Joe Perry, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops for the big show there. But talk about mob scenes, I think maybe not..

    Margaux, who will be leaving for Manchester in a few hours herself.

  9. Luv Tay says:

    Sidebar- does anyone know if the Idols are in New Hampshire already… as in prior to flying in today? Did they have to go early to rehearse, thus putting them together there for the Fourth? If so what on earth did they do to celebrate? Curious!

    Mojavedesertgirl… thanks ever so for the recap. Felt indeed like we were there with you. VERY grateful for your time! (you must have spent a LOT of money going out there!) Glad it was worth it. About the yellow bracelet the lady had on at the gas station.. did he give it to her? I think you posted she said it meant she met him.

    I watched Walk the Line for the first time yesterday. Cash’s popularity with the ladies, and shyness reminded me a tiny bit of Mr Hicks. We really have no idea what those mob scenes can do to a person though.. and everybody wants a piece of him. I hope the fanatics will chill a bit as he goes forward. Buy HIS merchandise and music.. thats the best way to help him. Make sure he is the one profiting off the stuff you buy!

  10. Calimari says:

    Phoebe – I’m sorry my comment about Taylor requiring security ticked you off & that you think it didn’t “belong here”. It was in response to the posts about how he couldn’t even watch the fireworks without having to be removed from the scene because of the crowds. I thought that was obvious. I have read on many boards & heard on one interview (don’t recall if it was cnn or not) about his requiring security beyond the norm for an Idol. Maybe it was a misquote from reading from many sources, jeez – I certainly wasn’t going for the “T. is the only idol who —fill in blank of your choice” perspective. I’ve watched the show every year but I’ve never seen crowd reaction to other winners like I have this year. Then again, maybe I didn’t pay such close attention to previous winners.

  11. double d says:

    Pheebs – good points all.

    This fame phenomena is not a new thing and Taylor is not the first nor the most rabidly loved “idol” (of any kind). However, many folks today have not seen this kind of adulation for a star from his fan base, as well as pretty much everyone he comes in contact with.

    There was Elvis and many of us remember more the older Elvis than the younger, hotter Elvis (except in the lame-o movies) and after that, The Beatles — but that really was a group and not one person. Since that late ’60’s, there hasn’t been an artist who has caused such a cross-generational stir. Add to that, the proliferation of the internet and the ability to share video, audio and information in near “real-time” (think Marc on performance nights), and you have serious “fan girly”.

    Taylor appeals on many levels across the spectrum. For some, it’s the American Dream factor — toils in mediocre jobs for years, being rebuffed at every turn but continues to work through it, takes a chance, big win, etc. — story of heartache and then redemption.

    For others, it’s the musical appreciation and talent, simplicity of the song — SOUL. The belief and commitment to his talent without compromise (save maybe AI, briefly), standing up to TPTB via PTFMWB, etc., is very compelling to many.

    And for others, still, it’s that he’s different, talented, sexy and alot of fun. For many, it’s a combination. Point being, because he has various levels of appeal, it’s not likely to go away any time soon. I do think that he is more popular with more people than any other previous American Idol (even Clay and Bo) and most recent recording artists. Most of those with “rabid” fan bases have been in the business for decades (think Springsteen, Stones, etc.).

    Consider this: Taylor has only scratched the surface. He has yet to begin to explore his possible popularity in Canada and overseas. I could be mistaken, but I don’t think any other idols have had such an “international” reaction. He certainly has expanded AI to audiences that haven’t previously been watchers, mainly to see Taylor.

    This relatively sudden fame is a powerful thing and can be overwhelming. This is why it is so important for Taylor to surround himself with people who keep his feet on the ground. He HAS to keep it real or it will get away from him….too much precedence for ‘star implosion’.

    However, I keep going back to the fact that Taylor has had a VERY long, hard time to think about exactly what he would do and how he would do it. I believe that if anyone can “keep it real”, it’s Taylor. The next year will be a very interesting ride for him, and will set the stage for his real music career.

  12. Robin4T says:

    Off topic–If you want to “play”– MJ has started a “spoiler” thread based on the followng clue she received:

    Taylor will sing something by a male singer who he mentioned as being a “favorite” quite a few times.
    Not Ray Charles or Sam Cooke.

  13. catwood720 says:

    Mojavedesertgirl, thank you SO much for that awesome recap, that was great, I felt like I was there!! What a wonderful time you had! Love “The Full WOO” that will definitely be the new phrase, won’t it?

    Elvisbabe, thanks for the video, I had signed up to watch on Pentagon but the times they were showing it I had to be at work – figures, doesn’t it?

    Ash, love your collage, love this place. Thanks again for having a place for us all to share this great adventure!

    (and while I was typing this they showed a commercial clip promoting the GMA summer concert series… “coming up July 21st Taylor Hicks”… WOOOOO!!!!)

  14. aerinphil says:

    >>We also have many many many hilarious shots of just “Taylor pieces” – an arm, a piece of suit, part of a guitar, the top of his
    head. Why? BECAUSE HE MOVES SO DARN FAST AND HE’S SUCH A MANIAC ON THE STAGE!

  15. Ms Ei says:

    Thanks for the recap, mojavedesertgirl! And happy 4th of July everybody…

  16. Phoebe says:

    Sarah, whether you wish to call the individual who accompanies you everywhere you go for your safety the general term ‘security’ or specifically ‘bodyguard’ is just splitting hairs, in my opinion. Same diff.

    I only mentioned the subject here (where it doesn’t really belong) because it was brought up in a comment above (“…previous Idol winners did not need a bodyguard.”). That was the umpteenth time I’ve read “Taylor is the first….”, “Taylor is the only….”, “No other idol has ever….”, about the bodyguard thing, on GC.com and here, and it simply is not the case. If you wish to guess or debate about exactly what point in time in the contest previous contestants were assigned personal security and for how long they had it, than you’ve got me….that’s way too much trivia for me. But I suppose one could research other contestant’s fansites and find out just about anything.

    Clay Aiken’s first bodyguard, starting prior to the end of the show was Pachelli or something like that, now is Jerome. Bo Bice had someone prior to the end, may be the same person he has now, named Rydell. Carrie Underwood had someone, I know no details. Ruben had someone for awhile.

    Taylor’s talented and attractive — I’m a LLT — but he hasn’t cornered the market on the rabid fan thing and what that entails. Maybe it just seems like it because season 5 is freshest in peoples minds and AI has grown into such a behemoth in the last couple of seasons.

  17. Maryqtpi says:

    Thank you for sharing, mojavedesertgirl! You recapped so well. Written from your heart. Felt like we were there with you from your writing. Got to watch it on the Fourth, made my holiday. It was worth watchin till he sang. He did great, it must have been such a rush in front of so many.
    Sadly with fame comes the price, your anonymity. Dolly Pardon has it right, all her make-up and wigs, she strips that off and doesnt flash it up she can go where she wants discretely.

    NO doubt, Taylor has a fabulous career ahead of him. Fabulous to watch him on his journey. I am so there to see him live when I can. Yah gotta love him, he is so real. All alone on stage with only a curtain, for all to see and pulled it off.

  18. abbysee says:

    Mojavedesertgirl that was an amazing recap. I felt I was with you all the way. This 46 year old Brooklyn girl has finally gone totally fangirly over Taylor Hicks. This ride has been so much more than I expected. I am so glad you got to enjoy this experience. I waited all day long to read this! What a great way to top off a wonderful holiday!

  19. mojavedesertgirl says:

    Dana Says: Taylor DID get to the see fireworks… and someone said they could see him watching them gleefully and dancing by himself, which I had to admit, was such a really sad image/story to me.

    I’m so happy that Taylor got to see the fireworks – but dang, the image of him enjoying by himself…I know he is having the time of his life, but it looks a little lonely from over here. Well – he’s got lots of good peeps in his life, and I know he knows we love him so hopefully it all balances out. Amen to Sarah’s comments!!!

    Was listening to Paul Simon’s Graceland today – and that line, “It’s a turn around jump shot, it’s everybody jump start/Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts” made me think of Taylor.

    And Bamakat – I’m sure it was the same guy in the white hat, which was huge and made me think – hmm, compensating for something dude? We were to the right of the stage, and that man was about 2-3 rows ahead of us. I wish I could view the video – but it wouldn’t load for me. Me and the technology, always at odds. Oh well – the experience was pretty much flash fired into my synapses. I actually dreamed it again…and I’m really looking forward to reports back from the AI concerts!

    Hey Julie – love you back atcha. What – doesn’t everyone say whoa nelly? 😉

    Thanks everyone – what a wonderful audience you all are. Send me out into the field again – I’m ready! Have a great week y’all…

  20. mac_fae4taylor says:

    Thanks so much ! the write up was great. I had just finished watching the video again when I read this and was just jumping up and down with you. Eternally jealous !

  21. Meggie says:

    Calimari, the same thing happened to me. It is interesting to peruse the entire thing.

    I see what you guys mean about Taylor losing his breath. Those of us from the deep South can have problems with high altitudes… and, after all, he is 29-years-old! 😉 Did not seem to effect his singing voice, or his sweet dance moves. I would have gone CRAZY if I had been there for “The Deal.” I guess it was a good thing I was not in attendance!

    manders, I think I may have one upped ya. Ironically, I just came across
    this. Should I call the ASPCA? Only in America!

  22. Sarah says:

    Phoebe – I may be mistaken, but I think that was first reported by CNN or Larry King. Can’t confirm since I never saw it, but the general gist as far as I heard was that Taylor is the first contestant to have needed a full time personal bodyguard during the run of the show. Seems a little unlikely he was the first, but maybe others have usually just had general security personnel?

  23. Phoebe says:

    Happy fourth, with liberty and peace for you all.

    Don’t know what the first collage was but this is a very nice choice of images.

    Re: a comment above, I’m not sure where the idea came from that Taylor Hicks is the first AI contestant to have security or a bodyguard — it’s not correct.

  24. Calimari says:

    I downloaded the “Taylor only” portion of the video, but ended up w/ the whole 2 hour show. User error? Did I do something wrong?

  25. Sarah says:

    It’s exciting to hear how loved he was in that stadium, but I, too, was so saddened to read about Taylor having to be hurried away and watching the fireworks on his own.

    Do you know what I hope? I truly hope that some of those fans who shrieked and mobbed and grabbed at him came onto the boards the next day to read about the result of their actions. I know sometimes people are overcome and not thinking, but it really frustrates me that once someone is in the media, some fans tend to forget they’re still a person like anyone else. Fame asks a heavy price.

  26. Great post…..I can’t wait to see him in Gwinnett (ATL).

    Thanks to everyone for keeping us informed. I love the stories, everyones creativity and personality make this site worth coming to. Keep supporting Taylor and keep him on top of the world.

    Good night to all, and to all a good night!!!
    Prom Date Brooke

  27. Pamela says:

    Happy 4th of July from here in Asia! 🙂

    mojavedesertgirl: great story!! thank you. 🙂

    dana: your recount of him watching from his trailer is tugging at my heartstrings 😦 the man needs his freedom!

    Greetings again to everyone!!

    Much love,

    Pam 🙂

  28. Basenji says:

    seriousmelophobia: Philly cheesesteak, lobster rolls, clambakes, clam chowdah (red and white), blueberries, cranberries, maple syrup, the original Toll House Cookie, the original Fig Newton, Vermont Cheddar cheese, New York pretzels, delicatessens and everything New York Jewish: bagels, cheesecake, corned beef sandwiches, pastrami, dill pickles…and that doesn’t include the “other” North (Mid-West) which has wild rice, everything Scandanavian up there, Wisconsin cheeses…

  29. Calimari says:

    Thanks for the great recap! My pulse is racing just from reading it. I’m looking forward to seeing him on the AI tour, but can’t wait until he tours alone. I’ve seen Elton 8-9 times, so I know if Taylor keeps putting out good music & touring, I’ll see him over & over again.
    The crowd reaction & fan rushing reminds me of the Beatles’ movie, “A Hard Days Night.” I find it fascinating that previous Idol winners did not need a bodyguard. Heck, Carrie Underwood went back & finished college. What an experience for Taylor this must be.

  30. bamakat says:

    Mohavedesertgirl, thanks for taking the time to write down your thoughts. I very much enjoyed you (and your sis) for taking me along for the ride. When I watched the clip from SoF made by the Armed Forces I saw a man w/white hat near the front to the right of TH. The people near/around the hat were too dark, because of the bad lighting, to see clearly, but I imagined that I was near there thanks to your great description of the event. 🙂

  31. sasgeorgia says:

    Mohavegirl, thanks for taking the time to share. [everyone wanted to know what the heck happened to you – now we know. ‘Glad you made it home without suffering a cardiac on the field when he came on stage!]

    We are all so glad for you, and congratulations: you will now be receiving full credit for a new term: “The Full Woo” LOL! Your sister was a good sport.

  32. AliceinWonderland says:

    Thanks so much, Mojavegirl! Your play-by-play is much appreciated by all of us. You did good!

    ElvisBabe, thanks for the capture.

    Taylor, thanks for the good times.

    Happy 4th, y’all!

  33. Lee says:

    WoW…so freakin cool….thanks for the story and I did feel like I was there with you. Great writing.

    I feel Soul Patrol Proud. Taylor is my “Forever Man”.

  34. Dante says:

    I just watched the Stadium of Fire video and I see what you mean about Taylor being out of breath due to the altitude – poor guy!!! He still sang the heck out of all three songs. and THAT SMILE – to die for!!!!

    Go Taylor Go

  35. Sarah says:

    Happy 4th of July from Canada to everyone in the US!

    And thanks so much again for your wonderful post, Mojavedesertgirl. 🙂

  36. Meggie says:

    Manders, thank you!!! Kitten in tacky patriotic hat… nothin’ better! 🙂

    I HEART America!!!

  37. Chris (MacTwig) says:

    Happy 4th of July to everyone!

  38. Dana says:

    Mojavedesertgirl, thank you for capturing the entire essence of your evening. In case you can’t tell, besides being appreciative and in awe of your recap, we are all very happy for you.

    And I wanted you to know in case you didn’t read it, I read in an article or another recap. Taylor DID get to the see fireworks. You were right, he did get mobbed trying to watch them in the audience so I think they said he was taken back near his trailer to see them, and someone said they could see him watching them gleefully and dancing by himself, which I had to admit, was such a really sad image/story to me.

    But thanks to you and your story, now I am happy… knowing he got to see those fireworks.

  39. katja says:

    And Thank you ElvisBabe for the video capture!

  40. katja says:

    The recap is GREAT! I felt as I were there too eventhough I’m like…wait…4300miles away. Whoo!

    I agree with JaxNative (completely and utterly):
    SOUUUUUUUUUUUL PATROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!

  41. Julie says:

    Mojavedesertgirl I love you. This is the best and most moving picture of seeing Taylor live it kinda made ME cry (oh man how embarrassing to admit that!) When I saw him at City Stages it was so powerful that I still haven’t been able to put into words the experience of sharing a space with him and watching and hearing him live…I had given up even trying to describe the myriad of emotions at seeing him for the first time. Thanks for doing it for me.

    And I love hearing you use the term “whoa nelly”! Where you from girl? I only know one other person who says that.

    I look forward to hearing about many other “Full Woo” experiences in the next few month – this is just the beginning.

  42. Thanks for the re-cap, Mojavedesertgirl! I felt as if I were there.

  43. manders says:

    This is for Meggie:

    🙂 Happy 4th, everyone! Please remember (in the words of Billy Ray Cyrus)… “some gave some, but some gave all”.

  44. Meggie says:

    Ash, no kitten this time?!? Come on!!! 🙂

    To me, today will be everything that is America: personal explosives, food and beverage containing excessive carbs and Taylor Hicks!!! Happy 4th!!!

  45. mmmm… cheesecake…… drool*

    😉

  46. JaxNative says:

    Why is the Soul Patrol the best fan base there is? One of the many reasons is the recap above. Knowing we could not all be there in person, Mojavedestergirl brought us all along in spirit. What a great ride, as you sister said “The Full Woo”! I felt the same emotions … “Fangirl to sniffling romantic to den mom”.

    Thank You Thank You Thank You !!

    SOUUUUUUUUUUUL PATROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

  47. Deb says:

    seriousmelophobia,
    Happy 4th everyone. Pizza, bagels, crab/lobster rolls,chowder, egg creams, chinese,barbeque w/vinegar, cheesecake mmmmmmmmm ;0)

    Good Eats & xx00

  48. “The Full Woo” – Ha! I missed that the first read.

    Happy fourth to you all! Calling myself the luckiest northerner today! Our neighbors moved in a couple of months ago – they are originally from the south somewhere and came up to open a bbq-like resturant! They have been grilling ALL day and came and brought us some ribs and steak – uh it was fantastic!

    And really – is there any food that the north is known for? I really dont think so…

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