On Sunday afternoon, "American Idol" champ Kris Allen tweeted out of nowhere, "Who wants to go to the beach and watch some guy play some tunes? Hear he's ok." Three hours later came a follow-up to Kris's mysterious tweet, as he posted: "How bout the pier in Santa Monica? 8 pm. You...me...couple tunes...ocean breeze...birds pooping on us. It's gonna be great."
And it was great--until Kris's semi-secret Santa Monica show was shut down! Turns out it was a pier police officer, not any birds, that poo-pooed on Kris's parade.
Kris managed to play an almost full set for a Santa Monica Pier crowd of both ardent fans and amused passers-by (overheard tourists' conversation: "Hey, honey, that's the guy who won 'American Idol'!" / "No it's not, it can't be!"). Among the originals he performed were "Better With You," "Rooftops," "Out Alive," "Live Like We're Dying," "Shut That Door And Keep That Devil Out," and his latest single, "The Vision Of Love." (Note: I'm sure it wasn't easy for Kris to hear himself above the clinky-clanky din of the nearby Playland Arcade, but he sang in perfect pitch--with no in-ears!) He also played a few covers by request, like Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise," Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You," Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around...Comes Around," and a mashup of Rihanna's "We Found Love," Katy Perry's "Firework," Lady Gaga's "Just Dance," Adele's "Rolling In The Deep," and Brian McKnight's "Back At One." When one fan called out for him to play Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark," he admitted he didn't know it well enough, but he had a girl from the crowd strum it on his guitar instead, while he clapped along.
Kris's crowd continued to grow--his acoustic performance was even livestreamed on the Internet by one resourceful fan--until an officer swooped in and interrupted the show, right in the middle of a brand-new ballad, "Should I." But this of course only made the event seem a little cooler--almost punk-rock, even. Immediately afterwards, "#freekrisallen" became a top trending topic on Twitter. (Best tweet of the night came via Arkansas from Kris's own mother: "Dear Pier Cops, Don't make me come over there! #RathofMom #freekrisallen"
Here's the full "Should I" performance; skip to around the 1:30 mark in the video below to see more of what went down during the police bust:
Of course, no one was actually arrested, and everyone dispersed quickly and peacefully. Kris later tweeted: "Well I wasn't expecting anything from tonight but that's not what I expected. Getting stopped by the cops never crossed my mind. Thanks to everyone that came out. Had a good time. And to the people that just stopped...thanks for stopping. Btw I didn't mean any disrespect to other street performers out there. I respect them so much for what they do."
I personally think that cop should be stripped of his badge for committing the unpardonable musical crime of not letting Kris finish "Should I" (or for not shaking Kris's hand!)...but hey, I don't make the Santa Monica laws.
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