by Scott D. Pierce
And it wasn’t just the teenage girls screaming their lungs out. In many cases, it was their mothers, too. “She wasn’t enormously embarrassing, just sort of,” said one teenage girl who was there with her mother.
And they had good reason for their enthusiasm. Archuleta, the hometown boy made good, delivered a fantastic performance, complete with the high-powered vocals that made him a winner on “Star Search” and the runner-up last season on “American Idol.”
“It feels so good to be home, you guys!” he yelled to the sell-out crowd. “This is amazing! This is awesome! I can’t believe how unbelievably crazy this is, my first hometown show.”
(Well, first as a headliner. Archuleta was part of the “Idol” tour that came through town last summer.)
Clearly a more confident performer now than he was then, Archuleta has nonetheless retained his boyish charm. He didn’t exactly give the hugely enthusiastic crowd the same aw-shucks response he gave “Idol” judges when they praised him, but he gave them an approximation.
Dressed in a white T-shirt, gray vest, jeans and sneakers, Archuleta performed with a four-person band — guitar, bass, keyboards and drums.
Archuleta was clearly having a great time throughout his 1:21 set that included 17 numbers. And so was the crowd. He had a huge smile on his face and laughed with genuine joy.
The crowd had a good time, too, judging simply by the screams.
They screamed when David bounced. They screamed when he flexed his bicep. They screamed when he played the keyboard. They screamed when he tried to express his feelings, partially drowning him out.
The girls and the women in the audience — who ranged from toddlers to senior citizens — were delighted. Some of the men, on the other hand, sort of looked stunned at what was happening around them.
Archuleta’s set included “Touch My Hand,” “Barriers,” “I’m Just a Little Too Not Over You,” “Somebody Out There,” “My Hands,” “Works for Me,” “Waiting for Yesterday,” “Your Eyes Don’t Lie,” “To Be With You,” “Don’t Let Go,” “Zero Gravity,” “You Can” and “Crush.”
And his voice was nothing short of amazing. There aren’t many performers a lot more seasoned than Archuleta who could pull off an a cappella song — “Como la Flor,” entirely in Spanish — and a two-song encore that was just David and the keyboard on “Thousand Miles” and “Angels.”
“Utah’s given me so much support,” Archuleta said, “and without that, I wouldn’t be here tonight.”
And there would have been a whole lot less screaming in West Valley.
Photo by Mike Terry, Deseret News