Reality Rocks - Archive

American Idol Tour Finale Totally Awesomely Channels ‘Rock Of Ages’

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

The Idols Live Tour is now officially underway (it kicked off Wednesday night in Salt Lake City), and while I'll reserve final judgment for when the tour blasts through my native Los Angeles next week, I do have my issues with the whopping 31-song setlist: James Durbin doesn't get any pyro, Naima Adedapo doesn't get to do African dance in the background of every single number, it doesn't seem very fair that Pia Toscano gets to perform her new original single, I kind of miss the old tour format in which each contestant got to do his/her own mini-concert-within-a-concert...and most importantly, there's not enough darn Paul McDonald. That last one is inexcusable.

But I do know what I like, and I LIKE THIS: The splashy arena-rock finale of this year's Idols Live Tour is a massive pop-metal medley, like the "Rock Of Ages" musical come to life with Durbin filling in as ex-Idol Constantine Maroulis's more-than-capable understudy. Regular readers know that I have long rallied for a Power Ballad Night on "American Idol," and this may be as close to my rock 'n' roll fantasy as I'll ever get. I'll take it.

It's awesome enough that this medley powers up with James Durbin and Lauren Alaina dueting on Whitesnake's perennial power ballad "Here I Go Again" (this would only be awesome-er if Haley Reinhart sexily rolled and cartwheeled atop the hood of an onstage Jaguar car throughout). Or that Haley, Paul, and Casey Abrams then warble "Faithfully" by Journey (I'll have my illuminated cell phone, or maybe even an old-school Bic lighter, at the ready for that number). But then the top 11 pay homage to "Idol" judge Steven Tyler with a bit of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," and then they sing even MORE Journey, rocking out to the very end with "Any Way You Want It." And this is the way I want it, thank you very much.

America loves its hair metal, so this is a smart song selection by the "Idol" crew. This medley will be a killer crowd-pleaser night after night after night. But can we please get some pyro for the L.A. show?

Until then, please raise your devil's sign for this bonus footage of Durbin (or as I like to call him, Dürbin) singing the '80s metal classic by Guns N' Roses, "Sweet Child O' Mine":

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