The American Idol Live summer tour kicked off on Friday night in Detroit and it’s safe to say that Phillip Phillips fans were in for a surprise: they had to wait until the end of the second act for the Season 11 winner to make his first appearance. Still, they were rewarded for their patience.
Phillips, who battled kidney problems during his run on the show, treated the crowd at the Joe Louis Arena to a four-song set that included a reprise of his audition song, Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition,” and a haunting encore duet of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” with Elise Testone.
It was a night of triumphant performances (Erika Van Pelt reportedly had a standout, not-to-be missed moment singing Pink’s “Glitter in the Air”), numerous duets (Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet paired up for George Michael and Aretha Franklin’s “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me”), party-rocking comic relief (we’re looking at you and your Zebra stripes Heejun Han) and crowd-pleasing anthems (Skylar Laine raised the roof once more with “Stay With Me” by The Faces).
The concert also included songs by X Factor judges and former contestants (Hollie Cavanagh covered Demi Lovato‘s “Give Your Heart A Break” while the top nine paid homage to One Direction), songs by judges on The Voice (“Moves Like Jagger”), group numbers, a healthy dose of Deandre Brackensick and his well-utilized falsetto (Colton Dixon and Brackensick backed Phillips on his coronation song, “Home”), arena rock (Testone rocked Led Zeppelin) and a potentially star-making set by Dixon, singing his original number “Never Gone” along with “Piano Man” by Billy Joel.
Third place finalist Ledet chalked up his eighteenth standing ovation after a solo turn in the second act. The Louisiana native, who did in fact earn a record 17 overtures over the course of the show (led by judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler), had the crowd on its feet after rousing renditions of his Season 11 centerpieces: the James Brown classic, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby.”
Runner-up Sanchez, recently signed to Interscope Records with a scheduled appearance on Fox’s Glee this fall, showed off her urban side with covers of Prince (“How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?”) and Beyonce (“Best Thing I Never Had”). She also provided backup vocals for Phillips and his version of “Volcano” by Damien Rice.
The tour continues on Saturday in Illinois at the Allstate Arena.
See the complete set list and watch some shaky video of “Volcano” below:
Top 9 – “Sing” My Chemical Romance
Deandre Brackensick – “Master Blaster” Stevie Wonder
Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh – “Undo It” Carrie Underwood
Erika Van Pelt – “Glitter in the Air” Pink
Colton Dixon, Erika Van Pelt, Joshua Ledet, Hollie Cavanagh – “Moves Like Jagger” Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
Heejun Han – “Green Light” John Legend
Heejun Han with Deandre Brackensick and Jessica Sanchez -“Party Rock” LMFAO
Boys – “Everybody Talks” Neon Trees (Without Phillips)
Elise Testone – “Whole Lotta Love” Led Zepplin
Elise Testone (backing vocals by Erika Van Pelt and Deandre Brackensick) – “Rumour Has It” Adele
Colton Dixon – “Meant To Live” Switchfoot
Colton Dixon – “Never Gone” (Original Song)
Colton Dixon – Piano Man by Billy Joel
Top 9 – “Just The Way You Are”/”What Makes You Beautiful” Billy Joel/One Direction (Without Phillips)
Jessica Sanchez– “Best Thing I Never Had” Beyonce
Jessica Sanchez (backing vocals by Deandre Brackensick and Joshua Ledet)– “How Come You Don’t Call Me Any More” Prince
Jessica Sanchez (backing vocals by Deandre Brackensick and Joshua Ledet) – “Proud Mary” Ike and Tina Turner
Skylar Laine – “Gunpowder and Lead” Miranda Lambert
Skylar Laine – “Stay With Me” The Faces
Hollie Cavanagh (backing vocals by Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt) – “Rolling in the Deep” Adele
Hollie Cavanagh – “Give Your Heart a Break” Demi Lovato
Joshua Ledet (backing vocals by Elise Testone, Deandre Brakensick, Erika Van Pelt)– “Runaway Baby” Bruno Mars
Joshua Ledet – It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” James Brown
Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez – “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” George Michael and Aretha Franklin
Phillip Phillips – “Superstition” Stevie Wonder
Phillip Phillips – “Nice and Slow” Usher
Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone – “Somebody That I Used to Know” Goyte
Phillip Phillips with Jessica Sanchez – “Volcano” Damien Rice
Phillip Phillips with Colton Dixon and Deandre Brackensick – “Home”
Girls – “Raise Your Glass” Pink
All – “Glad You Came” The Wanted