I‘ve lived in Santa Cruz for over 35 years and never seen such a huge celebration. It was wonderful and at times felt like a love in or peace rally from the sixties. The White Ensemble sang All You Need Is Love and Come Together and then James sang Will you Still Love Me Tomorrow, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Don’t Stop Believing. It had been cloudy all day, but the sun broke through shortly before James got on stage. It stayed sunny for the next few hours until it rained later in the evening.
James Durbin came back to his hometown and greeted the 30,000 plus crowd at the Boardwalk (as well as others along the parade route and community center), with sincerity and appreciation for the support and positive energy he’s gotten (and continues to get) from the city of his birth.
Here are several articles, photos and videos of James and the event.
JAMES DURBIN DAY or what is now known as James Durbin year.
James Durbin came in fourth on American Idol, which is the farthest a heavy metal rocker has ever gotten on the show. A great jazz musician and singer also made it into the top 10 (Casey). Now, James hometown is having one of the biggest home coming celebrations the city has ever seen.
American Idol released James for the day from his other Idol obligations, so he could come home to Santa Cruz. Idol says this is the first time they’ve ever allowed a contestant (who is not in the top 3) to go home for such a day, but they had such massive support for doing so from the city and thousands of people across the country.
James will be holding a press conference at the Louden Nelson Center around 3:30 today and visiting a number of youth programs that he was involved in growing up. Then, around 5, he’ll walk over to the Boardwalk and join the White Ensemble (who start playing at 4) for a few songs.
The streets of Santa Cruz are likely to be packed like never before, as there is already a large group that come from the Bay Area on the weekend to go to the Boardwalk. Add our amazing James performing (from the most watched show on television) and you’re bound to have an amazing crowd.
As far as Santa Cruz is concerned, James Durbin IS a winner and always will be, as is his fiance Heidi, who supported and guided him throughout the process.
WELCOME HOME JAMES.