By Ryan Zakin
Where: Beacon Theatre, New York City
It was 2006 the last time this casual listener had heard of the musical stylings of post-grunge rock star Chris Daughtry and his all-star band. The then-25-year-old singer turned down an offer to front for the rock band Fuel to instead record his debut solo record, released under his last name only. On it were a collection of songs that, as was determined on last Wednesday’s show at the Beacon Theatre in the Upper West Side, would stand the test of time and speak to a generation of people who would go on to associate the record with the best of 2000s rock and Daughtry with the best artists to be produced by American Idol.
It has been 12 years since the release of his debut album, and with four additional albums under his wing (including this year’s Cage The Rattle) it definitely seemed like Chris and his bandmates were in the best musical shape of their lives. After a brief introduction from the people at 95.5 WPLJ, the band blasted right into a new track, “Just Found Heaven”. The crowd almost immediately recognized every song the band threw out, with each one met by increased enthusiasm. After a series of new songs and old classics from what Daughtry jokingly described as “the good album”, the band began to jam on their hit “Breakdown”, with each band member having time to shine individually before leaving the stage.
After a brief pause, all the stage lights turned out as Daughtry reappeared with no one and nothing but an acoustic guitar. He then went into a rendition of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line”, a song and homage to a great controversy of his Idol days. Other covers of the evening would include Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and the last song of the evening, the late Prince’s “Purple Rain”. “I Walk the Line” led into arguably his most well known song “Home”, which was additionally resonating when the singer asked for all the audience members to shine their phones at him to light up the room. The band then reappeared, going into hits like “It’s Not Over” and “Over You”. The set ended with a three song encore, and the band appearing sincerely thankful to still be around and supported by the crowd.
A particularly memorable point in the concert was when Daughtry let out a small high-pitched yelp, meaning to replicate the sound of a screaming fan. He replied “You know, that’s the universal sound of a good time right there! Wooo! Not matter where we go, when we hear that we know you’re having a good time.” After 12 years of chart-topping hits, the humility and pride still shows in this Idol contestant.