Robert Lockaby Staff Writer
Last Thursday, Sept. 13, the Campus Activity Board brought American Idol star Tristan McIntosh to campus. The talented 18-year-old quickly made a name for herself on the public stage when her American Idol audition performance of Mickey Guyton’s “Why Baby Why” brought the judges to tears and earned her a golden ticket to Hollywood to compete in the final season of the long-running television series. She went on to become a fan favorite and finished in the top six, earning praise from country music star and Idol judge, Keith Urban. Eastern had the pleasure of having McIntosh perform in the Student Center Cafe.
McIntosh’s set contained covers of songs from the likes of Paramore, Alicia Keys, Fleetwood Mac, and Ed Sheeran in addition to some of her own original songs, such as “I Don’t Wanna Lie” and “Normal People.” Even though McIntosh did not have that much to work with on a very small stage, she managed to make the most out of a piano keyboard and an acoustic guitar. Her music is fun and youthful, but it also conveys deeper meanings about being yourself, no matter who you are.
McIntosh was successful in gaining the audience’s energy who were consumed by the beauty of her voice. She set a very relaxed yet fun atmosphere. Some students played a game of pool in the back and others chatted with friends in the front. She was also very interactive with her audience and tried to maintain a conversation. Everyone cheered when she mentioned she had never been in a relationship!
Her covers were very stripped down. Her version of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” was especially interesting. While the original version posts angry and vengeful feelings towards the hardships of unfaithful relationships, her version reflected her own character and sounded calmer and sadder. McIntosh’s Nashville country accent also captivated the audience and many sang the lyrics with her. She could also belt out high notes as though the audience was back in the 2000s listening to Alicia Keys. Her musical chops on the keyboard were excellent as well and the strumming style she displayed on the guitar further proved her talent as not only a singer, but a true musician. It was also very telling that she was having fun and wanted to be there, which contributed to the atmosphere.
Although she opened the show admitting she was very anxious performing in front of a crowd that was pretty much her age, McIntosh had nothing to fear. She successfully captivated the audience with her charm. McIntosh’s voice is incredibly developed and hopefully her career in the music industry and her upcoming album will show everyone what she has to offer.