Daughtry - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
US talent show American Idol has proved an excellent launch pad for a variety of singers over the years, both for acts that took the crown and those who were “in it to win it” but didn’t quite get that far. One of the earliest success stories was season five’s Chris Daughtry, who with his band Daughtry went on to sell four million copies of their self titled debut album in the States alone.
Around eight years later, with four long players under their belt and worldwide album sales of over 20 million units, things still seem to be going well for Chris and his gang, as they’re currently engaged in a world tour, promoting album number four Baptized, performing a handful of UK shows, including two nights at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Daughtry were preaching to the converted at SBE, with many fans back for second helpings, having attended the first Bush show a week earlier, embracing the band’s no nonsense rock from opener ‘Baptized’ onwards. The crowd were on great form throughout and didn't need Chris's encouragement to join in with 'Over You' a few songs in, especially as he didn't expect them to be word perfect, proclaiming "If you know the words, awesome! If you don't, make something up"!
Crowd interaction continued during the acoustic section of the show, with the singer asking for requests but giving his faithful a few options as they'd benefit from him playing something he actually knew rather than some random song, with both parties settling on a few tracks including a shortened 'Start Of Something Good', 'Broken Arrow' and little snippet of Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’. A second cover was unveiled later in the evening in the shape of the Phil Collins classic ‘In The Air Tonight’, with the group's heavier version taking the audience by surprise.
Both covers went down a treat with the crowd but they were there to hear the Daughtry classics they knew and loved, and with four albums to pull from there were plenty great tracks on offer. Early highlights included 'Feels Like Tonight' and 'Traitor' (Baptized's "angry, pissed off, angsty song") but it was the run of songs that ended the evening that really made the night special.
Current album Baptized has a few stand out tracks, including 'Waiting For Superman'. It's a slightly poppier affair than the band's regular rocking output, with a bit of a dance vibe running through it and the Empire rendition sounded terrific. One of the group's biggest singles 'Home' followed, with Fix favourite and "Song Of The Night" 'September' closing the set.
Naturally Daughtry returned for a well earned encore, featuring crowd pleaser 'What About Now' and the very clever 'Long Live Rock & Roll'. The tune is a feet stomping, hand clapping gem of a track that manages to namecheck countless classic rock groups and song titles, with a huge chorus to boot! The audience were dancing, stamping their feet and singing along from the front row to the back of the circle for the song's duration. I imagine many crowd members left the venue happy to have double dipped. Who knows? - maybe they'll add a third night next time round!