Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 for Kris Allen and Fans - a Wrap-Up Post



It is time for one of those year-end posts all the blogs do! I thought this year I'd take a look back at some of my favorite Kris performances and memories. On Twitter, I invited you to do the same, and you came through big time with some great photos, videos and tweets! I'll be including them in this post. Not to mention that I actually got in three Kris concerts in person in one year, tying my record for that! (Some of you really put me to shame with how many shows you get to!) So let's take a look back at 2016 for Kris Allen and fans.

January 2016: The year started out quietly for Kris and fans, with no shows or performances, as he finalized work on his fifth album, Letting You In.

February 2016: Kris performed in a charity benefit in Nashville with the theme of 1989, where you could either do a Taylor Swift song or a song from 1989. We got his fantastic cover of Wicked Game, and he got a standing ovation from Taylor Swift's mom. Final touches were put on Letting You In for its March release. On February 19, Kris released the first single off the album, Waves (official video below came out in April).



March 2016: There was one event at his alma mater, University of Central Arkansas, in which Kris gave his first Ted talk and sang some songs, including a live performance of Waves.

More important was the March 17 release of Letting You In. And for a site like mine that focuses on his live performances, even more exciting was the kickoff of the Letting You In headlining tour in Birmingham, AL on March 31!

April 2016: The Letting You In tour continued through a wide swath of the country. (Click that link to see show posts for the month.)A fun aspect of it (at first anyway) was the nightly request number, where fans got to request their favorite Kris songs. While casual fans requested Idol tunes and Alright with Me, to the point that Kris added Ain't No Sunshine into the regular set list, we did get some fun obscurities out of this from the hardcore fans! The complete list of request songs from the tour is here. Hardcore fans like me figured out the best way to get the good stuff was to ask for it to be the VIP song, lol.


Kris fans also made good use of the app Periscope to share the shows with fans worldwide, and those who did scope the shows were much appreciated.

Beyond the tour, Kris released a free download of acoustic music on April 6 (including his amazing cover of Wicked Game) and also got to participate in the finale of American Idol:

This lucky gal won a contest and was there in person!

But after Idol was done, the touring continued. My pick for best show post of the month of April overall would be the Manchester, NH show, which gave you a ton of media, including a full set of mp3s. The New York show post was also extremely lively and chock full of media. Not to mention some of my favorite Kris fans!




Here are some more favorite memories from the April leg of the Letting You In tour:

This fan came all the way from France and went to the Pawling, NY show! Her video of SMAYA is below. Many of you know @Sahsouha1 and she came from Egypt for the same show and submitted the Lost video below.



Photo by Ang of Lulu from France and @sahsouha1 from Egypt getting a hug for coming so far to see Kris and KAB!


Some thoughts from two of our best New England area fans!



One of the funniest tour videos I've ever seen, below, from the Londonderry, NH show! That show got a few mentions!



Nice pic from the Rochester, NY VIP


Watseka, IL- I'll also remember the kindness all the Kris fans showed this particular Kris fan this year!


The Nashville show got quite a few shoutouts:




May 2016: The Letting You In tour headed west (click here for May show posts). My picks for best show posts of this month would go to Los Angeles, Sacramento and Napa, CA.

But first, a stop in Texas brought us the lone time that Kris has performed Move (a fan favorite from Letting You In).


Kris also joined Voice stars Barrett Baber and Luke Wade in Bentonville, AR for this tribute to Prince:


We got the live premiere in Napa of a new song, Venice!


Here are some of your favorite memories from May:







June 2016: The Letting You In tour wrapped up by heading back east (June posts here). 
Here's a fan's memory from Philadelphia - a show that was livestreamed by Yahoo!Live
I was so excited when Kris performed my request for VIP (Letting You In) in Washington DC that I forgot to take a good full video of it (this happens a lot to me and it's one reason I'm so grateful for those of you who do share, not to mention IG which is good for taking short video clips!) The DC fans are all friendly with each other so it gives those shows a fantastic vibe. Not surprised they had some great memories to share:
Kira represented for us all at the AM TV/radio things!
Another friend of mine got to take Kris on a tour of the Pentagon and here's the Pentagon-approved photo Kris shared on IG that she took:


The meet and greet was a blast! We need to acknowledge how awesome a tour manager Max was. Kris needs to hire him every time. He took some great photos of all of us at every show!

So obviously the Washington DC concert was my personal Kris highlight for June, but I'd suspect Kris would say that the June 18th birth of daughter Rosie was the high point of June:


July 2016: As expected after a new baby's birth, July was quiet, with only one private event appearance where Kris performed some duets with Idol alumni friend Melinda Doolittle.

August 2016: Even quieter! Quite understandable, new baby girl and all. But no worries, Kris had some plans for the rest of the year up his sleeve.

September 2016: September saw Kris do some private concerts for colleges and a charity. My pick for best show post would be the charity one, thanks to lots of Facebook videos and great pictures taken by Kris' booking agent.

October 2016: October brought a fun appearance at the Moon River Festival, as well as a few concerts for colleges and charities. (October show posts here.) My favorite performance of the month was his cover of Still Crazy After All These Years at a charity benefit.


November 2016: Krismas ramped up, as Kris released his own Christmas album, Somethin' About Christmas on November 4. Kris followed that up with his own mall tour to promote the album. I was excited because he played my local mall. It's rare for him to play the DC area, much less twice in the space of a few months. It was a really fun show and a personal Kris highlight of the year for me and some of the DC area fans who were able to make it. You can find all the November shows here, including the mall appearances and a writer's round. 



Kris sadly remembers Virginia for fake pelting snow at this 65 degrees weather show,
but hopefully Parachute will fix that for us!

It was announced in October that Kris was the vocalist on Jim Brickman's Christmas single, A Little Bit of Christmas and would be a guest vocalist on Jim's annual Comfort and Joy holiday tour. The single ended up charting on AC radio during the holiday radio season. Here's a video of a live performance of that song from the tour: 


The last week of November brought the start of the Comfort and Joy tour in Sarasota, FL - luckily near my vacation home, and luckily, a fantastic airfare and a cool boss allowed me to be there. Kris was in great voice and it was fun to chat with him while starstruck Sarasota residents worked up the nerve to approach him after the show.

December 2016: This month saw Kris, Jim and the Comfort and Joy tour play some gorgeous theatres across the country. (Comfort and Joy tour show posts are here.) During a stretch where the violinist wasn't able to appear, the rest of the group invented "Stump the Band" - really an excuse for Kris to sing a few extra Christmas songs, including a fun version of Blue Christmas (Elvis Presley):


Numbers, Stats and Lists: Overall I had 96 posts in 2016, including this one, and the great majority of them (80) were about Kris shows! Kris also did some fun collaborations with some of his support acts and other artists; those are on the various show posts and I'll try to highlight my favorites and link the most notable ones. If you want an overall count of what Kris sang, here's the spreadsheet! Obviously we had a bunch of premieres: the live premieres of most of the songs from Letting You In and Somethin' About Christmas, as well as a new song, Venice. We also got some great new covers, including Morning Has BrokenStill Crazy After All These Years, and Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Not to be omitted are the songs he performed for the Comfort and Joy tour. All of these are included on my master list of songs Kris has performed, with links to the videos from when he first performed them.

In terms of posts, some of the most popular posts this year were show posts for the Letting You In tour and my number one post for 2016 was this one for the tour premiere in Birmingham. Also especially popular: posts for a charity concert in February, the April New York tour stop and the May Denver tour stop. Of the holiday shows, the most viewed show post was the one for Tysons Corner Mall in McLean, VA.

So that's my year-end recap for 2016. If I missed anything, feel free to comment below and share it! My disorganized and incomplete playlist of my personal favorite videos from 2016 is here. Thank you for clicking on my posts, following the twitter lists and the tweets and most of all, sharing your live Kris experiences with all the other Kris Allen fans out there! Pretty much my favorite thing of 2016 Kris-fandom wise was meeting a lot of you!

Best wishes for 2017! See ya on the Getaway Tour!

KAL