A corner of elevated concrete, a warehouse fan and a keyboard were all that accompanied Tim Halperin as he played to a room of floor-seated fans Friday night at Embargo. Halperin, who made it to the top 24 of this season’s American Idol – only to be cut in the first results show – hasn’t let the early release hurt his confidence. The TCU graduate easily filled the Fort Worth bar with fellow frogs, friends and family. Everyone seemed to know each other, waving to one another from across the room and singing along to Halperin’s first song “She Ran,” one he recorded while still a student.
Halperin’s humble beginnings were apparent in his appearance and his lyrics: wearing simple grey converse, a worn black vest and singing about a girl who shops at Target and runs without an iPod in “She Sets Me Free.” It’s clear his low-key love ballads are still based upon schoolboy crushes.
Halperin had a hard time keeping his butt on his stool cushion. Whether it was enthusiasm, or his internal music moving him, something was causing him to constantly lock his legs and bounce in the air while he hammered on the keyboard. And although the chords in his songs seemed to be a bit repetitive, his repetition of high note holding was well executed and his incorporation of a whistle solo made for a unique mix up.
It could have been how Halperin’s cheeks blushed after every song, the way his eyes dropped in a thank you after each applause, or his clichéd tactic to make the majority of his songs about an unnamed girl, either way the audience loved it. Halperin announced a new song “I Wanna Fall in Love,” and as if on cue a feminine “awwwwh” erupted.
Haplerin proved personally knowing the majority of the crowd does have its benefits. While other musicians call for a crowd to clap, in hopes they can at least get an audible reaction, Halperin not only got complete cooperation, but was able to control their pace as he played “Crash Course,” calling for a slowed down golf clap as the song went into a whisper.
After his fifth reference to being let go from Idol it was obvious Halperin was bitter about getting the boot, but he’s not the only one. Halperin told the audience that Kidd Kraddick also believes he was wronged, and is going to prove so with a segment on his radio morning show called “Idol Got It Wrong.” Kraddick is allowing Halperin to come in every Thursday and perform one of the Idol songs from the night before, letting listeners vote on who’s best.