“American Idol” Winner Rocks Freehold

“American Idol” season 8 winner is unstoppable. Soulful pop singer, Kris Allen got the start of the weekend going at Encore Events Center in Freehold, NJ this past Friday night, Feb. 21. Allen made hundreds of his fans feel like they were in his living room with his setlist of new and old tunes.

Five years and even a broken arm later, he is still the down to earth guy he was shown to be on the popular reality tv show. Friday night, he even said that he wanted everyone to forget about what they had been going through or what had happened during the week and just enjoy the music for the night.

Allen opened with “Paul Simon.” As a new song, it was a risky but successful move. It got the crowd up and moving and the energy flowing in the room. “Better With You” was next, a popular song from his latest album “Thank You Camillia.” His strumming and vocals were one with perfection.

As the night went on, Allen and his fans continued to have more and more fun. He proved his “sweetheart” reputation when he sang “Happy Birthday” to multiple fans that were in the audience.

Along with his introduction of multiple new songs, Allen made sure he sang popular songs off both of his albums. Included were “Alright With Me,” “Out Alive,” “Monster,” and “Rooftops.” A few songs in, opening artist, Caroline Glaser, from NBC’s “The Voice,” accompanied him on his song “Loves Me Not.” Originally sung with singer-songwriter Meiko, Glaser did the job well and sang a beautiful duet with Allen. Their voices were simply soothing to the ear. Glaser is definitely someone to watch out for.

Allen’s new songs were not a disappointment. Sultry, smooth, and relatable; the songs had a taste of the Kris Allen we all know and love. Regarding his upcoming album, Allen told Markos Papadatos of Digital Journal, “The new songs are very real, and they are apart real things that have happened in my life. Last year was the craziest year of my life.”

He is almost done with the new album and plans to put it out as soon as possible. The reception of his songs seems to continue to get better and better. Allen hits the nail on the head with his lyrics to his new songs. From “It’s Always You,” a beautiful love song, to “Dance,” a fun party anthem, we see all sides of Allen and travel on many journeys with him.

As the night came to an end, Allen ended with his platinum hit “Live Like We’re Dying.” The crowd went wild and everyone was singing along. It was a reminder to live in every moment because time keeps moving on. The last song of the night was another new one, “Shut That Door.” The fans were enjoying the little time they had left with Kris.

To many fans’ surprise, Allen and his band came out for one encore performance. They sang a song called “End of the Show.” It was a funny, lighthearted song about the end of the show that left fans smiling as they walked out of the venue. He put a smile on every fans face. Allen’s future is still shining bright and there’s no end in sight.

Along with Allen and his band, Encore Event Center didn’t fail to impress. The sophisticated décor and friendly staff made the experience that much better. The crowd ranged from young children to older adults and everyone was very well behaved. Encore is used for various events from banquets and parties, to concerts and shows. It’s a place for everyone and you definitely feel like you’re not in NJ when you’re there.

A few steps down the hall there is iPlay America. It’s a place to have just as much fun as you would at an amusement park but it’s indoors! They have rides, go-karts, laser tag, arcade games, food, and shopping. It’s a combination of an indoor Jersey Shore and New York City’s Streets. Many people ran over to check it out after the concert and the place was buzzing with guests. I would recommend checking this place out, as it is becoming a favorite destination in NJ.

With a combination of an indoor amusement park and Kris Allen, Friday night at Encore Event Center was a win. Allen showed he has progressively gotten better since his win five years ago on American Idol. He has still kept his sweet-hearted, dedicated personality even after a broken arm last year. Allen has continued to prove his deserved win in early 2009. There is no stopping him!

PHOTO TAKEN from coveralia.com