being reminded why I’m a VeteranJMacFan

my YouTube username, btw… yep…

I think I might have referenced this in part a few entries ago when I was discussing all the male singers and musicians in my album collection… just a little briefly

but when it comes to the people I get closest with and spend the most time with, I tend to be more criticial than with the people in the business that I don’t know nearly as well, usually cuz I only have one or two albums and I never really went the extra mile with them…

to be fair, though, what really is defined as the extra mile?
With me, it’s a number of things. The years I put in to anyone that I either idolize or just really enjoy spending time with them and their medium of choice… and often times because I am who I am, that extra mile is defined by how much of my sanity and free will goes out the window and as a result, I become extremely fanatical

Mainly because I’m more fanatical with guys than girls (despite the whole ‘bicurious’ thing I’m still putting myself through paces over), it’s usually the male artists in my collection that I just go nuts for…

Now I’m starting to think that there’s a little more to that.

Quite honestly, it was never really that way with Prince… not to the point where it was in the ‘mi casa et su casa’ thing… more like ‘mi corazon et te corazon’… whatever… don’t get on me about that whole thing, lol

Every now and then, I’ll let my mind wonder… okay, now I’m really off on my point…

I never really take it to the point with any celebrity where I fantasize going the whole nine yards with them… I already kinda made it clear how when Jesse took that route in his music and became a little more adult, I was against it

πŸ˜• now I’m kinda stuck… so what was I trying to say?

there’s a certain word I wanna say that describes what listening to Jesse McCartney on & off for the past 5 years… copasetic, maybe?… not even close to what I feel… sure, it’s a very satisfying high that he gives me… his music is a good reason why I call music my anti-drug… it’s a better high than anyone could possibly imagine… plus music is FREE… don’t break the bank 😎

More or less to define what it is with Prince, his music is stimulating on an emotional level as well as a philosophical one depending on what it goes into… infinite possibilities…

Although I wish it were more πŸ˜• sure, I can dream it and in my fanfiction I have “lived” it… Jesse for the past five years… I can be described him as one of the best friends I’ve ever had…
we can just chill any old day, he makes me smile, music helps relieve the stress and I will feel better after listening to it…

even in the darkest of times, the times where I’m not too happy with the music he’s dishing out, he will flip things around and get me back to square one…

Let’s see, here’s the story…

I was flipping through the channels to see if there was anything on. I went through the HD channels and saw that he had a concert on one of the HD channels, so I decided I was going to watch that…

I didn’t find out until it started which album he was promoting… and I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that it was his latest album… took place at the LA House of Blues in early 2009 (because he was talking about appearing on the Family channel show “Greek” that summer and he said it was 2009)…

Naturally, nearly every song he did was from his new album… there were… to be fair, only 2 exceptions… 2 other songs were actually in the extended version of the album (that I had refused to get, but after hearing them, I might end up going back on my word, lol) and one of them was completely new to me… :sigh: here’s the playlist so I don’t forget any

Freaky
Make-up
My Baby
Beautiful Soul
It’s Over
Rock you
Running away
Into Ya
She’s no you
Oxygen
How do you sleep?
Told you so
Relapse
Leavin’
(encore number) Body Language

I might be off on the exact order, but that’s very close to what it was…

so the concert started… and I remembered Jesse hanging around with these two black back-up dancers when he was performing on GMA the year before (2008) promoting the album… that was like his shtick, rather that him just being on stage with a band… he still had the band, actually and they looked really close to an actual band which is pretty cool, though I do kinda miss the early days when it was him and the band was made up of a couple of his friends, that I could actually name:
Dillion Konder (son of his co-manager, Sherry) on guitar, Pete on bass (I thought it was Pete Wentz who went to marry/divorce Ashlee Simpson, but different guy)… I forget the drummer’s name but it was something funny… Pip… his drummer’s name was Pip… then Katie Spencer was on keyboards…

so he was definitely starting to embrace the whole R&B/soul image he was starting to create and depart from his clean-cut pop image…

let’s see…

all honesty… and this is gonna sound kinda lame, but trust me, I don’t mean it in the way it appears…
I wasn’t really getting to the concert a whole lot until he performed “Beautiful Soul”… which will likely go on to be his signature song, the only song people know him for and he’ll have to perform at every concert he does… I’ve a lot of respect that even 5 years later, he doesn’t mind singing this song a couple hundred more times


it’s not NEARLY as well known and as old a song as say “Purple Rain” which Prince seems to feel compelled to perform at every concert… mainly it’s because people expect it… but I think he doesn’t mind doing it, not a bit πŸ˜‰

I have my reasons for saying this… I own all of his major albums so it’s not like I hadn’t heard of these “Departure” tracks before… it’s in part because I preferred his older stuff to his newer stuff in that instance…

but the primo reason…

for the first three songs, he and his two compadres were performing in perfect synch with the same choregraphy… while wearing sunglasses inside a dark closed room…
it’s not even the sunglasses indoors thing, even though that was part of it…

Just as easily, he could have been any other artist that’s on the scene right now of that type… he could have been a Justin Timberlake-esque performer or a white version of Usher… I knew him, but part of me felt he was somewhat unrecognizable…

so yeah, for maybe the first three songs he did, I was thinking along the lines of “he doesn’t know who he is, he’s trying new things”… where I was kinda feeling put out. I hadn’t seen any of those two guys perform, but there were distinct similarities to that swaggin’ style

two things were kinda annoying me that more or less went out of my head when things changed up a bit… two things called his hands… He held the mic while keeping his pointing finger erect, which kinda distracted me a bit and with his other hand… he more or less didn’t look like knew what to do with it, but it was one of a few things that had me thinking he’s -izing Michael Jackson… I’m so bad with words today that it’s crazy, twice in the same entry now… not channeling Michael Jackson, but paying homage to it, I guess… I’ll stick with that for now

I doubt that sunglasses would have made a different from several feet from the stage, but I found it to be a clichΓ©d and very impersonal tactic… again, there’s another word… just watch, I’ll be at the end of this entry, listing the words I wanted to say but totally couldn’t put my finger on… GIMMICK…. good, I didn’t need to wait for that

so anyway…
I admired the sole fact that he had a pretty impressive band behind him and I loved how in synch he was with his compadres (I watched the credits for a number of reasons, those two aren’t even related and… yeah, I’m about to walk into another thing)

I could only guess that he had the sunglasses on in part because the lights were so bright… but I would have thrown a fit if he did the whole concert like that…

It was probably the biggest relief of the afternoon when he removed them and I got a good look at those eyes… that face is a face I’d trusted for five years and it’s nice to know… ahem, now that I can see it, that hasn’t changed…

“Beautiful Soul” brought back some sweet memories and he’s still elaborating a bit on the vocals to change himself a bit and keep things interesting… I usually prefer it when the artists sound very similiar if not the same to the album track… here, I didn’t mind so much at all…
my greatest relief, aside from the sunglasses thing… he sounded great… they recorded this concert the right way so it didn’t sound anything like the concert I went to when he sounded so out of whack

but to go back to the previous songs, “Freaky” was good to start with, but I kinda disapproved of it as I had with three other songs he did on the album the first rotation… it sounded like something that any other R&B/dance artist today could do… wasn’t very original…

“Make-up” had some pretty cool choreography that he had moving up and down the stage with the slightest of movement… feet together and just hopping backwards little by little

“My Baby” was one of three songs he co-wrote… I expected he’d take the glasses off then, but he didn’t… that would helped me get into it a bit more…

then, I guess after that, I was kinda sold… all of my skepticism went out the window and I was free to enjoy myself.

Interestingly, there was some good choregraphy, but it was rather minimal compared to what he did with Dream Street (trust me, I know)… though not nearly as intricate as Usher or Lady Gaga (trust me, I know that too)…
within that early time frame… between the choreography, the hot lights on top of him (plus he was wearing a gray jacket and tie… like that classy look that I’d seen Ne-Yo use a bunch of times in his early days)… he was sweating like crazy and seems kinda exhausted… but as always, the screaming girls made up the difference and gave him the adrenaline to press on…

oh man, I am gonna kill myself… eee… not cool, how about this… I’m gonna flip out if I can’t remember which song went with the most unique bit of choregraphy he had…

ok, so I said that the sunglasses was very gimmicky… and yeah, this isn’t?
He and his compadres picked up a hat and a cane each and they were doing choreography that had me thinking about either Charlie Chaplin with his “Tramp” character or Michael Jackson in the “Smooth Criminal” video… didn’t use the hats nearly as much, but the cane was a good prop they got use out of…
I’m going to assume… hope I’m right on this cuz I have no way of checking (Wikipedia only has an entry on the live CD that has this recorded, lol)… “Into Ya”… because that is a song that’s very R&B-ish, kinda like what a lot of songs sound like to me these days by male artist… it has some hip-hop elements to it…
but for whatever reason, I saw this and was loving every minute of it… thought it was a fun performance

“Beautiful Soul” if anything… gave him a good lead in for the next song, which would be his 2nd single “It’s Over”…
which I think, if I’m right, I’d only heard on the radio ONCE ever… on the other radio station I occasionally go by that has lower standards and does more Rihanna and Kesha than I’d care to listen to regularly… yeah, my main radio station sucks because it won’t even give him a chance to show his potential on a mainstream audience… oh well :groan:

“It’s over” was performed almost entirely sitting down… or at least it started that way, I think he got up at some point and started roaming the stage, but there was a lot of acting to go with it… the title kinda makes it easy to guess why that would be, lol… telling a girl that the relationship is over and to stop coming after him, lol

then after that, I heard something that had my heart stop for a minute… I could pretty much guess every song he did within the first couple bars… this one took an extra second and within that second, I was holding my breath, thinking “oh no”… it was that one hip-hop song that his album that I just completely… I’d say it’d be a career ending move from my standpoint, but within a minute of listening to it and my mind was just stuck on the intials WTF…
I swear to God it felt like the end of the world, I was going to have to abandon my favorite singer because he sold out to the Justin Timberlake hip-hop movement (“Sexyback” stay the hell out of my head!)… glaring like the words “ABANDON SHIP”

but to my utmost relief… a) it didn’t sound nearly as bad as I remembered (but he didn’t have Sean Garrett backing him up with his rapping) and b) it was only the beginning of the song… after the first several bars, it ended and he went right into the next song

huh… maybe “Runnin’ Away” was the song with the hats and canes… either way, whatever song that was… he had me right where he wanted me (hey hey, that’s the name of his other album…….. which he completely neglected during this entire concert)

between this song and “Into Ya”… swear to God, he had me eating out of the palm of his hand just about… I was head over heels the way I’d always been and just as things were getting super good… there was a quickie commercial break that lasted maybe just 2 minutes… so I got to thinking “they must know that I’m getting way into this and decided I needed a short break”…

he went into “She’s no you” the second single of his first album… one of the four songs he co-wrote… and I believe he wrote it about his then-girlfriend Katie Cassidy (yes, David is her father)… because she was in the video with him… kinda has a classy look to it too, filmed in black & white

so that song was really good and fun, a little bit of nostalgia…

nearly the whole time, he sang the songs as I remembered listening to them, except there’d be some cases where he sang in a lower key…

then came a brand new song I’d never heard before… and at first I was a little put-off cuz there was one word he was repeating (undoubtedly the title) that I couldn’t make out… by the end of the chorus, I deciphered “Oxygen” being what it was… and I figured that if I didn’t hear the song before, it had to be on the extended version of the album…

things kinda cooled down for a bit, the band was playing out… he was looking for someone to bring on stage with him to sing to… so naturally, my heart was racing… I think he did this once during the concert I saw… might have been during that song “What’s your  name”… something he also co-wrote on his first album, so it sounded a lot like it came from his teenage state of mind…

she was closer to the back, and some 5 minutes later (sure felt like a long time) he got her on stage…
now, I know Jesse can be a flirt… at least has the potential to be a major flirt, but I’d never seen anything like this before… I swear he was so close to her face that they were within inches of kissing… so after the fact I couldn’t help but wonder if that was his new girlfriend or he was just a MAJOR flirt…

If that were me and some cute guy was singing to me like that, I don’t know if I’d be conscious for very long… WOW…

my heart’s stopping just reminiscing about it, man… phew… I am so tempted to just shut the door and listen to him for the rest of the night, but I can’t, I’ve got American Idol coming up

he introduced what would be his newest single (which I heard maybe a handful of times, more than most, on that other radio station) “How do you sleep?” and I recalled hearing the synth line going into commercial during his time on GMA… I knew that would be a song I fell in love with because they were so 80’s sounding… beautiful synth hook… the charm just kept pouring on from that point

I did the math and calculated that there were 3, count ’em 4 songs on his album that he hadn’t done yet… and I thought he had to do a ballad next cuz he hadn’t done one in a while…

“Told you so” was probably the most death-defying of the choreography… there was a time he was so close to the stage’s edge that it looked like his compadres were gonna push him off and he’d fall into the audience…
I know this sounds a little amateur, but you weren’t there… at the climax of the song, he stood on a chair, one of his feet on the actual back of it, then he titled it forward so the chair would fall backwards and he did it effortlessly… that might be pretty routine for a lot of people who do choreography, but that was a first for me with Jesse 😎

actually I did the math right after he launched into that song… 3 songs left… I kinda forgot (conveniently) that he didn’t do his first single from the album yet…
I was happy when he performed “Relapse” my guilty pleasure track that I have listened to on repeat and sung a lot while walking with my CD player through the woods of my college campus… great choreography here too, kinda like what he did for the 2nd song… but every song had something a little different in it

he left “Leavin’ ” for last… naturally… it was pretty obvious and yeah, it was kinda sad coming to the end of the concert… because I had the best time I’d had in a while…

then he comes back out for an encore after his compadres got the crowd chanting his name for a couple minutes…

I was holding my breath for one last night, and it wasn’t the song I wanted to hear… nothing against “Body Language”… I have actually come across on the radio a couple times on that other station, but always in the middle… so I never knew how it started or ended, not to mention it was where the signal was bad so I only heard bits and pieces…

at this point, he was down to just a white t-shirt, pants and a towel…
he had a few “costume” changes throughout the show… he started with that grayish-blue suit & tie combo… then when the choreography got a little moreso, he went down to just the white shirt and pants… and I noticed that his shoes changed… he started out with probably the cleanest whitest shoes you’d ever seen… then he was in Nikes which helped him with that “death-defying chair leap”… lol

 

I had an awesome time watching it, but you know, I’m always nit-picking on stuff with him… there’s just no getting around I’m a jerk like that

and before I completely blow it off, my utmost props to his choreographer and his two compadres… the three of them up there were bangin’ with that choreography, so tight…

I have to ask why he didn’t do a single song from his second album… was it because the album was a total flop (which I somehow DOUBT and even if that were true, I loved it and one person is enough), because there were no singles he did from that album that got radio recognition (unless it was Radio Disney, which didn’t count)… cuz they aren’t as well known or strictly speaking… the majority of this was to promote the new album and there was only room for a couple extra singles

plenty of great songs on that album, I tell ya…

but I think my biggest disappointment came in the one song he didn’t do…
nothing against the extra song he did… I’m glad he did ’em…

but “Not your enemy” was head & shoulders above “Freaky” and “Rock you” no matter how much of that song he did…
not that there was a good place in the concert to put that song in, or reason behind putting it in… I’m thinking and that likely was the reason…

but in my eyes… that had more of a place than something that nearly had me abandoning ship and ripping myself apart over… because it was THE saving grace, the perfect song to put at the end of an album… becaue I was ready to call the whole thing a disaster…

then it convinced me to give the album another chance and sure enough, I lived up to that promise and it didn’t let me down after that… it was just a matter of getting used to the new material in front of me…

A lot of the cameraderie I have with Jesse goes with the territory of my thing of imitating voice… I started majoring in it with Dream Street where I could imitate every voice that group had… I can sing along in his key, sounding like him and just shooting the breeze with him…
I had to listen to that song afterwards so I’d feel perfectly set with the whole thing… which more or less, you’d hate for it to end cuz man… it just brought back so many memories and it was cool having some visuals to go with those songs now… makes me want to take the whole thing for a rotation again…

that magic still exists, especially with that song because my timing on it was perfect, especially at the very end… knowing where the notes are and when to come in…

I sincerely hope, if anything else, that I will come into Jesse’s next album… whenever he decides he’s done and wants to release it… it won’t be a struggle to get into it like the past three albums… that it’ll be as easy as breathing as it has been with him… provided I give his material the time to work on me

also look for my next “Purple Rain” entry… I’m going to release it later after it’s finished and it’ll be directly below this one on my blog’s front page

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