“Not gonna’ miss even one of them.” This was the Tweet from former “American Idol” winner Kris Allen just hours after suffering a broken arm in a head-on collision on New Year’s Day, letting his fans know that his upcoming tour will go on.
Ironically titled the “Out Alive” tour, Allen will come to Jammin’ Java on Tuesday for a show he promises to be “full of life and laughter.”
“My concert is intimate. I feel like you get a lot of my personality,” Allen said. “There’s time to talk to the audience, there’s time for me to talk with the guys I play with, and we do a lot of three-part harmonies, and I think a great job of interpreting the songs from the records in a different way.”
Although there is a set-list, Allen often goes off book to tell stories and laugh with the crowd and make each one of his concerts something different. He recalls talking for 20 minutes once before one of his band mates had to get him back on track.
“I sometimes get lost in the moment. I always try to make the show special for each person,” he said. “You want everyone to feel like they are getting an experience that they want to come back and see. There’s a lot of laughing and having a good time.”
It’s been an interesting 2013 so far for Allen, who in addition to getting in the accident, also announced that he and his wife are expecting their first baby. Just two weeks earlier, Allen was talking about wanting to start a family and what it would mean to him.
Allen won the eighth season of “American Idol” and saw his post-Idol self-titled album rise quickly up the charts thanks to the mega-hit “Live Like We’re Dying.”
Last year, the singer released “Thank You Camellia,” and he’ll play tunes from both albums at the concert, as well as a song he just wrote for the victims of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
“It was important for me to do something and writing this just felt right,” he said. “For this concert, we’ll be playing some new material that’s not even on this last record, because I enjoy writing and am always trying to do that.”
Allen admits that he was thinking of the third record before even finishing the second and he’s planning on going back to the studio this spring — broken wrist and all.
The day after Thanksgiving, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter traveled to Kenya with World Vision as part of the organization’s True Spirit of Christmas tour.
“I loved this trip. We went out and the idea was to show people what you can do to change people’s lives — give them a gift of a goat or chicken or song, and we got to see the fruits of what you can do,” he said. “It was a very uplifting trip and I really enjoyed that.”
For Allen, it’s important for him to use his celebrity to bring important issues into focus.
“There are things I care about and I think if you’re not doing something like this, it’s a waste because we are able to do so much,” Allen said. “I’m not a huge star, but I have the chance to make people care what I care about and it’s been such a blessing. It’s so cool to have people jump on board with you and have people care about the same things you do.”
Even before finding fame on “American Idol,” Allen had some success as a singer, playing some small venues and releasing “Brand New Shoes” with some college friends.
“I was making money at it but there was no promise or hope that I could make a career of it,” he said. “It was a hobby, and I was on my way to going back to school and finding a ‘real’ job, but then ‘American Idol’ came.”
Fans know the story. Allen was persuaded to try out for the show by his brother Daniel (who did not make it to Hollywood) and he had little screen time during initial rounds. Still, as the competition went on, it was clear that he would be a force to be reckoned with.
Although it was only 2009, for Allen, the show feels like 20 years ago.
“The whole experience was just so fast and I feel like my life has completely changed,” he said. “Now, I’m making music and playing shows and doing what I always wanted to do. I remember the moments now a little better than I did then because things have slowed down. It was just so incredible and I love everything that has come about because of it.”
Allen will play Jammin’ Java at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets begin at $18.