Backstage with ‘American Idol’s’ James Durbin

Hours before the Top 11 from American Idol season 10 took the stage at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, I had the opportunity to talk with a certain Idol contestant that was extremely excited and happy to be back in his neck of the woods.

Santa Cruz native, James Durbin and I sat down backstage for a pre-show chat, where he discussed getting the crowd up and on their feet during the tour, writing and recording for his album, and the episode of Idol that neither of us will be forgetting anytime soon.

So how does it feel to be performing in the Bay Area?

It feels great. We did Oakland last night, and that was insane. I’m really excited for tonight.

It has to be a cool feeling to have tried out for the show in San Francisco, and have this full circle kind of moment.

This place, HP Pavilion, I came to my very first sporting event here. It was the Sharks versus the Avalanche. I was five-years-old, packed arena, and out of every single person, my one seat, I won a CD player. And then a hockey puck got hit over [the barrier] and landed right next to me. Unfortunately the Sharks lost, but two out of three things ain’t bad.

I’ve been here so many times. I’ve seen countless wrestling shows here. I once waited for three hours and climbed on top of that cement wall to catch a glimpse of Chris Jericho. Now I have him on speed dial. We were just texting and he’s in Europe with his band touring. We went and saw Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Poison, and Motley Crue, and hang out all the time. It’s so crazy, it’s a full swing.

Very cool. Have you been able to get back to Santa Cruz while you’re here, or does everyone kind of have to come to you?

Everyone’s had to come here. I’m dying to go to Socrates and get a sandwich, but unfortunately not, which really sucks. It’s a twenty minute cab ride. I could grab lunch and come back.

So, how has the tour been going so far with the handful of shows you’ve done so far?

This will only be our sixth show out of forty-seven. It already feels like it’s been awhile, but it’s only been a blink. But, it’s gone really good; every show’s been great. Everyone’s been really receptive, everyone’s there to have a good time. Sometimes they need to be reminded that they’re supposed to have a good time. A lot of people have been sitting down.

You know, I’ve gone to a handful of Idol tours, and sometimes people treat the live show like they’re at home watching y’all on TV, instead of embracing the vibe of being at a concert.

I know some people get agitated if people are standing up, Sit down! We’re trying to watch the show! It’s a concert; you’re supposed to stand up! We enjoy it when you stand. That’s why when I come out for my set, I come out through the crowd. I want people to stand up! Stand up! Try and find me!

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