Singer-songwriter David Cook got his first big break in the music industry on the American Idol television show. David was a crowd favorite with his edgy, rock arrangements and eventually went on to win the entire competition in 2008. Cook has come a long way from his American Idol days with his post-Idol debut album going platinum and successful follow up albums along with a whirlwind of headline touring dates over the years. David has been busy promoting his latest EP “Chromance” with a string of acoustic dates and made a stop in Charlotte at the historic McGlohon Theater.
The McGlohon Theater is a unique venue that was originally the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church and still retains some of the church architecture including the stained glass windows and Byzantine dome atop the building. The venue is intimate, providing a spectacular view from every seat in the house with terrific acoustics making it a perfect place for an acoustic tour. Before the show, I had some time to hang out in the lobby of the theater and meet some of David’s long time fans, many of whom traveled several hours to get to the show. Everyone I spoke with had nothing but the best to say about David not only as a musician but as a human being and it was clear that he had a very special bond with his fans. The evening kicked off with “The Lucky Ones” from the “Chromance” EP and from the very first song I knew it was going to be a special night. David was under the weather for this show, joking about his pharmacy setup on a stool with tissues and throat drops, but you would never know he wasn’t feeling his best based on his outstanding performance. His vocals have never sounded better with his voice resonating across the theater. His songs were interspersed with heartfelt stories that were felt on a personal and deep level throughout the audience as he spoke about the loss of his brother and his decision to continue the tour and spun tales of loves lost. There were more than a few fans getting choked up especially during an audience sing along to David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Unfortunately for David, his cold wasn’t his only ailment, having broken his wrist just two weeks before the tour. Instead of cancelling and disappointing his fans, Cook’s guitar tech took over, learning the set list in a little over a week to help fill the void. Although I would have loved to see David play, it didn’t affect the enjoyment of the show. At the end of the night, it was all about the songs and David’s connection with the audience. There were funny moments as well when David talked about finally listening to his brother’s recommendation on new music to listen to before launching into a cover of Noah Gunderson’s “Day Is Gone.” At one point later in the set, David acknowledged a fan in the balcony with a huge sign complete with glow sticks so everyone could see it. Dawn was the fan and she was over the moon at getting the chance to speak to David and kept asking him to sing “Billie Jean,” a Michael Jackson cover that really made him a stand out during the American Idol competition years ago. Although it wasn’t in the original set list, Cook obliged with a shortened version of “Billie Jean” much to the delight of everyone in the theater. It was one of those special fan moments and something I’m sure Dawn will never forget. Although it was an acoustic tour, David did bring a backing band with him and even joked that he was so confident in his abilities to do an acoustic tour that he had to bring a band with him. Cook closed out the night with an uplifting version of one of his biggest hits “Come Back To Me.” He then exited the stage for only a moment before coming back out laughing and saying it was pretty dumb to do an encore on an acoustic tour before giving the audience two more songs finishing off the evening with his new single “Death of Me.”
This was my first time seeing David since the American Idols Live tour and it was amazing to see his growth as an artist. Not only did David sound great, but he was able to achieve that intimate connection with the audience making for not only a beautiful night of music but memories that would last a lifetime.
The Lucky Ones
Wait For Me
Kiss & Tell
Heroes (David Bowie cover)
Goodbye to the Girl
Billie Jean (Michael Jackson cover)
Day Is Gone (Noah Gunderson cover)
Come Back To Me
Death of Me
We would like to thank Ken Phillips from the Ken Phillips Publicity Group for the credentials to review the show.