Words by: Rudy Flores
Photos by: Sam Madnick
The House of Blues in San Diego set the stage Tuesday night for what was to be one of the most spectacular shows in recent history. Todrick Hall, the former American Idol contestant and YouTube superstar, brought a "Haus Party" of EPIC proportions to the main stage....which was way too small for what the evening held. Honestly speaking...there's probably not a stage that could contain all the amazing the is Todrick.
As fans trickled in they quickly began to fill the floor, pushing closer and closer to the stage. Everyone waited with bated breath for the show to begin as hits from Todrick's "Straight Outta Oz", the smash hit album/stage production/YouTube cinematic explosion released in 2016 played in the background. Now, not many artists could get away with playing their own jams before their own concert but hey... when you got it... For those of you that are unfamiliar with this album it can be summed up as follows: A-FREAKING-MAZING!! He told the story of his life so far to the backdrop of one of the best known musicals ever in a way that only someone with an iconic visionary sense could. Go get it NOW cause you won't be disappointed!
Now anyone that has ever seen Todrick's performances knows that he does nothing small scale, and this was no exception. Dancers in costumes that would make waves at NYC's Fashion Week hit the stage strutting their stuff almost as if in homage to a track from the aforementioned album, meaning that just in case some of you forgot who you were messing with or think that Todrick fell off, well you got the "WROOOOONG BITCH...BITCH!" Todrick wowed the audience with his first of many outfits that evening which was a dress made entirely of red solo cups because you can't have a "Haus Party" without those. Jokes aside, he definitely got our "ATTENTION".
Midway through the first act Toddy put in some "TWERK" with his performance of "DRIPEESHA" off the "Haus Party, Pt. 2" album. It normally has a guest appearance (at least in the video) by the hilarious Tiffany Haddish, but seeing as how she was busy that evening Todrick brought out his assistant Quantavius Rankins who showed the crowd just how to get down as he and the all of Todrick's ridiculously talented dance crew (Jenni Thomasson, Jazlyn Miller, Eliza Donahue, Taylor-Rose Walker, Jahari White, Antonio Harvey, Carl Flavell, and James Little) tore the stage up! To put it bluntly they don't "THINK" they can dance, THEY KNOW IT!!
A few songs before intermission, Mr. Hall appeared in a macabre black dress and pink wig and began to speak with the audience about some of the struggles he had the year prior and learning to love himself for who he is and how that is something we all need to do as well after which a few stage hands came out and helped him remove his wig and makeup. When he turned around, his face was bare but still had that light that everyone loved and he belted out a "different kind of love song" as he put it entitled "ENOUGH". The entire crowd could feel every bit of raw heartbreaking emotion and some even shed tears as they related to every single one of his words.
**LIGHTS UP 15 MIN INTERMISSION**
Act Two brought with it some crowd favorites from the "Straight Outta Oz" album like "NO PLACE LIKE HOME", "COLOR", and "DUMB". Quick versions of course, but more than enough to give those that might not have heard the new tracks something to sing a long to. He stopped for another moment to show love to a few his fellow LGBTQIA+ (If a group was missed we apologize) entertainer friends as well as his touring dancers. He tried his best to do everyone a solid by giving them a shout out on the big screen, giving their INSTAGRAM handles because being a performer in LA or anywhere really is tough and talent only takes you so far....after all it isn't just what you know its WHO you know.
Todrick held his mic out for the crowd to sing various parts and you could tell there was a mutual love from everyone in the room, the crowd loving Todrick and Todrick loving the crowd. He had everyone involved from the 9 year old girl in the front row (that he apologized to for all the swearing and whom he told he was going to release a Christian album, which got a nice laugh from the audience), to the big bearded concert reviewer from Shutter Hub Media...wink wink
While that was rolling on the big screen Todrick and Co. made one more of their final two costume changes (of which if memory serves there were 12 in total) into that of cowpokes and he proceeded to inform the crowd in a bit more detail about his "issues" from the previous year. Namely his ex-boyfriend and ex ASSistant emphasis on the "ASS" part, which led into the performance of "Y.A.S.!!" or "YOU AIN'T SHIT!!" an anthem for scorned lovers everywhere. The song boasted lines like...
"You ain't shit
Your dog ain't shit
You got a cute nephew
But his uncle a bitch
In short it was CLASSIC and after some "Rockette" style high kicks and beautiful ballerina moves we were onto our final song of the night... "NAILS, HAIR, HIPS, HEELS".
This is very much an "IF YOU SMELL SOMETHING FUNKY, WELL IT MUST BE ME CAUSE I'M THE SHIT" kind of song and the performance was 100% on point with that. When everyone hit the stage in the video's signature black catsuits and 80s colored heels and glove sets you knew it was time to "GET IT"!! Every swish of the hips, snap of the fingers, and pop of the tongue was met with hoots and hollers as everyone was having the time of their lives and bringing out their inner "Todrick" who during the course of this song was bringing out his inner "Todrick" as well because what is the point of being as fabulous as he is if he's going to pretend to be someone else?! Todrick called for "fans" and said "That's All!" and the crowd absolutely lost it!
To end this long winded review I'm going to do something I never do in reviews. I'm the type of writer that never uses personal experiences in my reviews but I have to in this case...so bear with me on this. I have been to many, many, MANY shows at San Diego's House of Blues and to date I have NEVER seen ANY crowd give the kind of standing ovation that happened Tuesday evening. The cheers and screams were deafening and almost overwhelming. The ovation went on for almost a solid five minutes and the look on Todrick's face was absolutely priceless. San Diego really let Todrick know that he was appreciated and loved in no uncertain terms. Don't miss the "HAUS PARTY TOUR" because it is so much more than a few hours at crowded venue listening to fun music...IT IS A TRUE EXPERIENCE that NEEDS to happen more than once in a lifetime. So check the dates below for your chance to have your mind completely blown!