It was on a Friday night in Chicago that David Cook took the stage on his Digital Vein tour which was to promote his new album with the same name. I had only previously seen Cook on the American Idol Tour and was pretty excited to see him in a more intimate venue. The room was packed with fans on both levels that were anxious to hear his raspy rocker vocals sing some of their favorite songs and when the lights went off so did the fans.
With loud cheers they greeted Cook onto the stage where he strapped on his electric guitar and kicked off the show with “Heartbeat”. The energy in the venue lit up far more than I expected too as fans began to cheer. Throughout the track the sound of a heartbeat was heard which gave small yet interesting different feel to the song. Without losing a moment, Cook took off into “Paper Heart” which was met with by fans passionately singing along and made it clear that they not only knew the lyrics but that they connected to them on an emotional level.
Cook then processed to talk to the audience in a much laid back style that made the show feel intimate. It was during this first conversation with the audience where a fan started to scream out for Cook to play his American Idol cover of “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey. Bursting into laughter Cook then joked that “It was not on the set list Bro” bringing the situation into a light hearted joke that would continue to run for most of the concert.
After a moment of laughter, Cook began to perform “Broken Window” another track from his Digital Vein album. His vocals where able to be showcased to the best of their ability and resonated his signature rocker sound which were also shown while singing “Hero”, “Carry You” and “Declaration”.
With a little intro story about how a fan told him the following song was their favorite David Cook song, and I must agree, Cook introduced “Laying Me Low”. The song, although it seemed to be one of the tougher tracks on the album, did not show to be a challenge for Cook who slayed the vocals.
Throwing it back to the beginning of the show, the fan who wanted to hear Cook cover Mariah Carey kept trying to get his attention. Here is where Cook really stood out on his love and appreciation for his fans. Unlike other artists who might have found the fan rude and disruptive, Cook played along and seemed genuinely entertained by the whole situation. Things got even more interesting when the fan offered Cook a shot of alcohol for him to play “just one verse and one chorus”. David jokeling asked the fan “if that’s all I am worth to you?” but gave in and played the highly requested cover of “Always Be My Baby”. One of the best moments throughout the whole concert, it gave a glimps of his humble beginnings and love and dedication to his fans for going off the set list and actually playing a request. The crowd sang along appreciating this rare moment and cheered when Cook finished up by taking his shot of Patron Silver.
Staying on track with songs he normally does not play, Cook decided to perform “Permanent” a decision that was not met by any protests from the audience. Also among the tracks played that night where “ Kiss and Tell”, “Wicked Games” and “Better Than Me” off of the Digital Vein album and a cover of “Billie Jean”, a song made famous by the King of Pop: Michael Jackson.
The moment finally came for Cook to perform his hit song “Light On” and he wanted to make sure the audience enjoyed it. Before singing, he took to the mic to ask the crowd to take out their phones. Of course they were happy to oblige only to be told to put them away. Cook explained how to him nothing ever recreates an actual moment and seeing music live is better than re-watching it on video. The audience got the message and everyone was singing along and appreciating the moment of watching David Cook perform “Light On”.
In the end Cook closed the show with as much energy as he opened it sixteen songs earlier. His final song was the first single off of his Digital Vein album titled “Criminals” and served as the perfect track to close the show.
David Cook gave the type of performance on Friday at The Abbey in Chicago that you wish every artist would give all the time. The venue offered itself for a more personal intimate feel and Cook delivered just that. Not only where his vocals strong, fluid and with that well known raspy rocker tone but he gave the audience more than expected. Cook was fully attentive and engaged with the audience which allowed them to feel an actual connection with him, something that you do not get from most artists on any scale. Through laughs, shots and sing-alongs, the audience got a great performance from David Cook and if his Chicago stop is any indication on how the rest of the tour will go, The Digital Vein tour will be one Cookie fans won’t be able to forget.