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David Archuleta excited to return to eastern Idaho for his first concert this year


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IDAHO FALLS — David Archuleta has not stepped foot on a stage since last year but the American Idol star is gearing up for his first concert in front of a live audience this weekend.

Archuleta will perform at the Motor-Vu Drive-In in Idaho Falls Saturday night. Attendees can watch the show from their vehicles and enjoy a live concert in a socially-distanced environment. Tickets range from $125 to $300 per vehicle and can be purchased here.

Archuleta spoke with reporter Nate Eaton about performing at a drive-in, his new album, a memorable Christmas song he wrote and why eastern Idaho is one of his favorite places to perform.

Here is a lightly edited transcript of the interview.

NATE EATON, EASTIDAHONEWS.COM: David, you’re about to hit the road again with your first live show in months. How do you feel?

DAVID ARCHULETA: I’m excited. It’s my first live show of the whole year and it will be my first time doing a drive-in show. I’m excited to be coming back to east Idaho.

EATON: What can fans expect if they come out to see you at the Motor-Vu Drive-In Saturday night?

ARCHULETA: I released a new album this year called ‘Therapy Sessions’ so it will be the first time I sing these songs live in front of a live audience. I’ve done online shows but it will be nice to get to perform them in person for fans for the first time.

EATON: For those who attend the concert, you can have up to eight people in your vehicle as long as there are enough seatbelts for everyone. Once you’re in your stall, you can set up camp chairs or sit in the back of a pickup truck. It’s like the old days of going to the movie but the sound system will be so much better than using a car radio. David, I’m curious, have you ever been to a drive-in movie?

ARCHULETA: I have been to a drive-in movie. It was a Disney movie and then they played some other movie. I was a kid so it’s been a long time – probably 15 or 20 years.

EATON: You mentioned your new album. Your first single, ‘OK, All Right,’ has over a million views on YouTube. What’s the song about? It’s pretty catchy.

ARCHULETA: Basically if you’re feeling anxious and stressed out about life, you talk to yourself and say, ‘It’s fine, I’m fine, Ok, All right.’ The day we wrote it, I was on my way to the studio and I was having anxiety on the ride over. I just kept saying, ‘It’s fine, I’m fine, Ok, All right. It’s gonna be fine. No worries.’ When I got there, (co-writer Chantry Johnson) said, “What’s on your mind?” and I said, “To be honest, the only thing that’s been in my head is, ‘It’s fine, I’m fine, Ok, All right.’ So that’s what we started writing.

I wanted to make it move a little bit because my mom always says I need more music she can dance to. She’s from Central America, she’s Latina, and she likes to dance. So I said we need to make it moveable so my mom will be able to dance to it and so that’s how the song came about.

EATON: You’re playing in a drive-in on Saturday but you’ve played all over the world at different places. Is there a venue that is your favorite or one you’ll never forget because of the audience?

ARCHULETA: It’s kind of funny because it’s not too far from Idaho Falls but doing shows at BYU-Idaho are always fun. It’s an audience of young people who are about my age with the kind of upbringing I had in the Latter-Day Saint realm of things. It is really fun being able to perform there and how enthusiastic everyone there is.

I live in Tennesse and one of my friends, who is not of my faith, came with me to a New Years Eve party. He’d never been around people from my church and everyone was so hyper and energetic and having a good time. He was like, ‘This is nuts! Nobody here is drunk? Are you serious?’ It was one of the craziest parties he’d ever been too and he said, ‘I swear, these people are on something.’ I said, ‘Believe it or not, you don’t have to be on any kind of substance to be wacky.’

EATON: I bet you miss those types of shows.

ARCHULETA: To be honest, I get a little bit of anxiety when people are super excited. It’s so much energy but at the same time, about three or four songs into a show, it’s such great energy to work when you’re performing and it feeds you and you get more energized. It just takes me a while to connect to it but it’s something I’m looking forward too.

EATON: You hold a special place in our hearts here at East Idaho News because you helped us do a Secret Santa surprise last Christmas. Afterward, I went and bought your Christmas album, ‘Winter in the Air,’ and there’s a song I had not heard called ‘He is Born.’ I was so impressed with the song and I wondered who wrote it. I looked it up and it was you. How many of your songs are you actually writing yourself?

ARCHULETA: Most of the time, I collaborate with people because I’m not very good with words. I’m good at saying a lot of things but I’m really bad at summarizing. It takes me five minutes to say something when it takes somebody else 10 seconds. That includes writing songs. I write everything that I do these days. There were three original Christmas songs that I wrote on that album and I’m so glad you liked ‘He is Born.’ That was so special because I wanted to have the chance to share my testimony of Christmas – of what it means to me and why I feel it’s sacred. It’s a fun time, too, but it’s also a sacred thing with Christ’s birth and celebrating his life and what it meant for him to be the light of the world and prince of peace. To write a song about that is really cool.

EATON: We’re looking forward to having you back here in eastern Idaho this weekend. The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Motor-Vu Drive-In and tickets are still available. Thank you, David.

ARCHULETA:I’m looking forward to this Saturday. It will be great. Thanks, Nate.