Looking at the line of eager and faithful Daughtry fans snake through the Headliners parking lot and down Gervais Street two hours prior to Tuesday’s scheduled door opening, I had this thought: “Where were all of you people and your cell phones the night Chris Daughtry was voted off ‘American Idol?’
As the night wore on, however, it became clear to me that despite what happened on that fateful night in season 5, and perhaps because of it, this crowd was determined to show up in force.
Daughtry, the name of Chris’s band, was the main attraction at the sold out show on May 29, bringing together an eclectic mix of college students and 30-somethings. Headliners has all the makings of the quintessential rock club. This is the kind of venue that Daughtry fans envisioned him singing in the first time they heard his raspy, rock-fueled voice.
As the faithful filed in and staked their claim on the perfect viewing spot for the night, the excitement of the evening was palpable. Every few minutes or so, spontaneous calls of “Whoooooo!” and “Yeah baby!” would rise above the cacophony.
Make no mistake, we were there to rock and be rocked. Promptly at 9 p.m., the first of two opening acts took the stage - Dove Award-winning and Grammy-nominated Day of Fire. The guys completely decimate any preconceived notions of what a Christian rock band is supposed to sound like.
The somewhat poor acoustic quality kept the vocals from being 100 percent clear; however, Day of Fire’s hard driving guitars and chest-pounding drum beats, help to loosen the stiff neck muscles of those who hadn’t had a chance bang their heads in a while.
The next group, wasn’t that original (what was the name again?), coming off as some sort of contemporary parody of every hair band I grew up listening to in the 80’s.
Despite not feeling well, Daughtry started his show with a bang, and a megaphone, as he launched into my personal favorite, “Crashed.”
The crowd sang in unison as they did with every song. With the help of a high platform and sometimes blinding lighting effects, Daughtry created an atmosphere where he was the pied piper and the crowd happily followed.
The set list was comprised of hits from the CD: “Used to,” “Gone,” “Home” and, of course, “It’s Not Over.” But in the middle of the set, the rest of the band left the stage to allow Chris to perform a riveting, acoustic version of Pearl Jam’s “Black” much to the audience’s delight.
After having sung his heart out for about an hour, Daughtry and the rest of the band tried to exit but the demanding crowd would have no part of it. A deafening, thunderous roar arose, demanding an encore. We were obliged with, the hard-hitting “There and Back Again.”
And with that it was, indeed, over. In your face Soul Patrol.