The television juggernaut that is Glee continued on May 21, as the “Glee Club” stormed the Mandalay Bay Events Center playing to thousands of screaming fans. Merchandise lines were as big as I’ve ever seen pre-show. No surprise at the multitudes of teenage girls, but I did not expect such a large cougar contingency. It was as if Kristin Chenoweth’s April Rhodes character had come to life many times over.
The concert included a few video talk interludes from lead characters Mr. Schuester and Coach Sue Sylvester, but mostly it focused on the actors playing the high school students. A fine actress and a powerhouse singer, Lea Michele (who plays Rachel) is going to be a star no matter what she does. She crushed Katy Perry’s “Firework,” and her parts in My Chemical Romance’s “Sing” were better than the original.
The other bright spot was Amber Riley (Mercedes) who channeled Aretha Franklin for “Ain’t No Way,” which was both amazing on television and live. If only they would have reprised the Rachel/Mercedes “Diva Off” number, “Take Me or Leave Me.”
Yes, the guys were there, too. Although none of them would have earned a solo at Nationals (a part of the show’s storyline) if this night had been their audition.
The songs went by fast, using only snippet television versions as opposed to the actual full tunes. Also it would have been nice if they had worked up something we hadn’t already seen onscreen. Maybe next time, it should just be the Rachel–Mercedes Live Tour.