‘Idol’ winner Kris Allen gigs at Fenway

Of all the cool stuff Kris Allen has done since winning “American Idol’’ — and there’s been plenty — performing on the field at Fenway might be the coolest. (Allen played at Sunday’s Picnic in the Park, the annual fund-raiser hosted by the Red Sox Foundation.) “It was awesome,’’ says Allen. “At some point, it started to rain and they moved us under the bleachers and that made it even better.’’ A native of Arkansas, Allen grew up a Braves fan, but he says a few more gigs at Fenway and he’ll be a Sox fan forever. He was also in town to perform Tuesday with kids taking part in the Berklee City Music program. A big supporter of school music programs, Allen told us his own musical education started in the fourth grade when he played the viola in the orchestra. “Especially now, money for music programs gets cut really fast,’’ he said. “But that experience really shaped me and was a huge part of who I am now.’’ What’s his advice to kids thinking about a career in music? “Just don’t give up,’’ he said. Allen says he still pays attention to “Idol,’’ and is sorry to see Steven Tyler go. “I guess Mariah Carey
is going to be a judge,’’ he said, pausing. “That should be interesting.’’


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