Rapattoni credited the music education company School of Rock for fostering his love of music, telling the crowd that "nothing of consequence" happened before he began taking lessons at the school at the age of 11.
"I am glad we are doing the tour because I am getting used to performing again. On Idol we would do a minute and thirty seconds every week, and I didn’t realize until the first date of this tour how miserably out of shape I was," Rapattoni told Billboard backstage. "It was tough to do five songs at first, but it's good for the future because I'll be able to do an hour long set."
By then, Rapattoni will have all new material to premiere from his forthcoming record, which he plans to release in the fall on his own label that Rapattoni and his team are currently forming. For touring, he said he is working on playing return engagements in the cities he has already visited as well as Middle America.
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Watching in the wings was Blue October bassist Matt Noveskey, who produced the album and hinted that the new material is going to surprise fans expecting a reprise of the Texas native's post-Idol single, "Strike a Match."
"It's very different," Rapattoni said. "The songs are not like stuff I have ever done before. You don't want to do a show like Idol and come out with music that everybody expects you to do, because they have already seen that on the show so you are not giving them anything new."
Rapattoni is set to perform tonight in New York City at the Highline Ballroom. The School of Rock Tour concludes in Chicago on August 2.
Watch video from Mexicali Live below: