11:25 p.m. The band has finished their set. Most of the people have begun to leave, including those that bought their official “Soul Patrol” T-shirts in the lobby. The performance was incredible. Due to the problems towards the end with the camera, I’m going to post the rest of the images from home, most likely early tomorrow morning before my first meeting. Everyone in attendance had a great time, all talking as though they know Taylor Hicks personally. Bets and I will probably start packing up shortly to go home. I have a feeling that we’ve avoided most of the problems in terms of leaving.
I think that many of us feel that we “know” Taylor because he didn’t change during the competition: he’s the same guy who left to follow his dream. I have not been a regular viewer of American Idol; I don’t know if I ever will be. I do know that his love of music carried him to a recording contract. Living the dream.
For more, you may want to check out Wade’s post about Taylor’s win posted earlier this evening.
11:00 p.m. I’m guessing it’s about midway through the second set and the battery in the Ramblings camera is beginning to signal that it’s out of juice. We’ll take a couple more pictures while we’re enjoying the music. Many people are starting to get up and dance in the aisles of the theater. The band is having fun up there, including playing two horns at once and enjoying incredible solos.
10:20 p.m. There was a sudden rush of more than 150 extra people entering the theater space around 9:40 p.m. The Little Memphis Blues Orchestra took the stage shortly thereafter. There first set lasted for 30 minutes. 30 minutes of fun. People dancing all over the space. Just finished hearing words from the executive director of the beneficiary of proceeds from the event. She invited everyone to come out and visit the Studio. Awaiting the return of the band for the second set. They’re out here enjoying the night and happy that their guy “brought it home tonight!”
8:59 p.m. “SOUL PATROL!” Taylor Hicks’ first words as the winner of American Idol: Season 5. Loud racous response from those in attendance here at the Theatre. They’re now waiting for his old band, The Little Memphis Blues Orchestra, to show up for a 9:35 p.m. performance to celebrate. More pics from the crowds reaction shortly.
8:55 p.m. Well, it’s almost time, and the crowd is getting restless. I figured I’d take a look at if anyone else in the Birmingham blogging universe was even posting. The only entry I found was this cool one from Pretty Helmet. And now of course the viewers are enjoying McPhee’s and Taylor’s performance of (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.
8:37 p.m. I’m sitting in the Workplay lounge now, had a few connection issues with the laptop. The crowd’s getting louder with each Hicks appearance on the screen. There are some more pictures up right now. There should be plenty more in about 20 minutes when they announce the winner. We’ll see.
7:25 p.m. Light applause from the crowd in the theater for McPhee’s performance with Meatloaf. AP reporter is combing the crowd for interviews. Just finished interviewing Alan Hunter for the report.
7 p.m. The show has begun and the entire crowd is entire theater space is packed. More pictures as they become available during commercial breaks.
Well, we’re here.
Fox 6 is about to broadcast from the Workplay Theatre showing the benefit viewing party for Studio by the Tracks. Check out the post from earlier this evening to learn some more about the event, and click here to learn more about this great organization. We’ll try to post both here and on the photostream site:
Of course, Associated Press has a video crew here as well as our local Fox affiliate. The pictures should begin being posted within the next 5-10 minutes.