Ikaika Stone, 6, waited in line yesterday with his mother, Rene, and Ashley Kiaaina at the Blaisdell Arena random token seating station for the upcoming "American Idol" concert. Tickets went on sale yesterday with a crowd of several hundred people waiting in line to purchase them and sold out in four hours. The concert will feature the show's top 10 finalists, including Hawaii's Jasmine Trias and Camile Velasco.

‘Idol’ fans snap up
tickets to 2 shows

The four-hour sellout is the fastest
for any Blaisdell Arena event

Camile and Jasmine are bigger than The Rock.

Two "American Idol" shows, featuring the finalists from the Fox television show performing live, sold out in four hours yesterday, a record pace for a Blaisdell Arena event, and faster than any other show on the 52-city nationwide tour.

Of 12,000 tickets available for Sept. 28 and 29 shows, "99 percent were sold out at 10:45 this morning," said Barbara Saito, general manager of Tom Moffatt Productions, which is promoting the Honolulu shows.

"There were a bunch of single seats here and there, but now they're all gone," she said at 1 p.m.

Tickets went on sale at 9 a.m. at the Blaisdell box office, Ticketmaster outlets and by phone and Internet.

"This is the wildest thing I've experienced," said longtime concert promoter Tom Moffatt, who noted most tickets were sold by phone.

Moffatt said he called New York when all the Honolulu tickets were sold and learned that despite the time difference, Hawaii had sold out before other venues.

Shows will not be added, he said.

Having seen Hawaii's support for the state's two finalists, Camile Velasco of Maui and Jasmine Trias of Oahu, Moffatt asked tour organizers if Honolulu, the final stop of the three-month tour, could add a third show. They said no.

When professional wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson headlined with the World Wrestling Entertainment's "Tour of Defiance" at the Blaisdell in 2002, it took until 11 a.m. to sell out, said Moffatt. "But that was with one show. It's impossible to beat what happened today."

Thirty years ago, when the iconic rock band The Rolling Stones played the Blaisdell, it took several days to sell out, Moffatt recalled.

Of course, that was back in the days before speed dial, a technology that no group seems to have mastered better than Hawaii's "American Idol" fans.

Several hundred people were at the Blaisdell box office by 6:30 a.m., to line up for the 8 a.m. distribution of lottery tickets that gave them a place in line for the 9 a.m. ticket sales.

Many of those standing in line also were speed-dialing on their cell phones. If they got tickets by phone, they dropped out of the line, which had thinned to just a few dozen by 10 a.m.

Ticket-buyers ranged in age from teenagers to 50- and 60-somethings, spanning generations.

Tammy Cabral of Waianae bought eight tickets yesterday, the maximum allowed per customer, "but I wish I could get 16," she said.

Cabral originally tried to get tickets for the show's finals in Los Angeles for her mom, who turns 60 next month, and her seven siblings, but they were sold out.

Instead, she'll be taking her 4-year-old son, Tony, and other family members to the Honolulu show. Tony knows the finalists' voices so well, he can name them when he hears their songs on a CD, Cabral said.

When Tony's favorite, George Huff, was voted off, "he cried like his pet had died," Cabral said, but then adopted Trias as his favorite.

Like many other Hawaii families, Cabral said her extended family gathered each week to watch the show.

Stella and Leilani Cabebe agreed yesterday that Hawaii residents have been tenacious in their support of their local girls. After "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell berated Trias' next-to-last performance, it came as no surprise "that the people of Hawaii were behind her 100 percent. That's why she made it."

Jerome Sajulan and Hervie Rivera of Ewa Beach counted themselves fortunate to have tickets by 10 a.m. after waiting at the Blaisdell since 7:30 a.m. Both called La Toya London a better singer, but they praised Trias and Velasco for representing Hawaii well to the rest of the country.

"They shared what Hawaii is all about -- families and the aloha spirit," said Kalei Andrade of Kapahulu. "They love where they're from. I'm very proud of them."

Saito said she doesn't think the show's $48 price tag is unreasonable. "American Idol" performers "were seen by more people per week than see most major artists in a month," she reasoned.

And when the tour comes here, the mainland "American Idol" participants likely will notice, Saito said.

"We're louder cheerers, more enthusiastic," she said. "Performers who come here say they feel the aloha, they feel the love."


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