David Archuleta has become known for his holiday tours. But when “David Archuleta: The More the Merrier Christmas Tour” comes to Arizona for two shows, the “American Idol” runner-up promises it will be more intimate.
“That’ll be interesting to see how that goes,” Archuleta says.
“I’m playing with the idea of just being me on stage. Usually, it’s a more of a grandiose kind of Christmas show experience.”
He’s playing Tucson for the first time on Thursday, December 22, at the Rialto Theatre, and the Chandler Center for the Arts on Friday, December 23.
“Being in a different place of life, instead of making it all big and epic and massive Christmas songs, I wanted it to feel more nostalgic,” he says.
“I want it to be like we’re reminiscing around the family room, just talking to each other. I want to reflect on the good times. I’m looking back on the wonder of Christmas from an adult perspective this time.”
Christmas is special for Archuleta. From spending time singing carols with his family as a youngster to performing for them, he enjoys the holiday season.
“I feel like the Christmas tours that I’ve done have been a highlight,” he says about his holiday memories.
“My family comes to the shows and it’s fun to create a magical world for people to step into. For me, the shows get me into gear for Christmas Day. I’ve had time to really savor the Christmas spirit and magic. It’s like I’m celebrating it almost every night.”
Archuleta became a star when he was 16. In 2008, more than 30 million TV viewers watched him place second in season seven of “American Idol.”
Soon after, Archuleta’s single “Crush” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the track sold 166,000 downloads in its first week in the United States and subsequently more than 1.92 million digital copies to reach double platinum.
Three months later, his self-titled album went gold, selling more than 750,000 copies in the United States and more than 900,000 copies worldwide.
The Nashville resident is spending 2023 reflecting on his life. Recently, he publicly said he’s gay and he’s taking a break from the Church of Latter-day Saints.
“I think I’m going to do a little more self-discovery,” he says.
“I need to get some inspiration to create more music. I need to explore cultures, tour, make new friends and visit other parts of the world. I need to pull from some sort of inspiration. I’ve been in a drought with creativity for the last year.”
Still, Archuleta is excited about coming to Arizona.
“It’s a great place,” he says. “It’s the neighbor of where I grew up in Utah. I’ve been able to go there a lot and make friends there. They’ve got some great restaurants in Arizona. It’ll be fun to go back.”
David Archuleta: The More the Merrier Christmas Tour
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 22
WHERE: The Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress Street, Tucson
COST: Tickets start at $59.90
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 23
WHERE: Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler
COST: Tickets start at $39.90
INFO: chandlercenter.org, davidarchuleta.com