Live Review: Daughtry — Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles
Tue, 04 May 2010 08:37:39
Daughtry knows how to properly put on a rock 'n' roll show.
In fact, the man should teach a college course in the subject. Class was in session last night at the sold out Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, and there were all kinds of hits on Daughtry's hard rockin' lesson plan. His set list came to life with a massively heavy guitar crunch and, at points, Daughtry channeled the same slick swagger that Scott Weiland emanates.
Before the show kicked off, a white curtain covered the stage. Each band member's shadow shone on the curtain as the theme music from Batman piped through the PA. Once Daughtry grabbed his mic in the center of the stage the curtain fell to the floor in perfect unison with the opening strains of "Every Time You Turn Around" from Daughtry's stunningly stellar sophomore offering, Leave This Town. The singer stalked the edge of the stage, perfectly powering through the song's massive hook. On a twisting and turning "What I Want," Daughtry grabbed an ornate megaphone and belted out the song's undeniable chorus. As he leaned into the megaphone after smiling at the screaming crowd, it was clear that Daughtry's got the kind of energy that can bring any audience to life. Crooning through the megaphone should be enough to get him the Velvet Revolver gig if he wants it...
However, Daughtry's own material is so strong that he really doesn't need it. "Ghost of Me" began with big bent lead notes that resounded ominously from Brian Craddock and Josh Steeley's guitars. The two axemen flawlessly locked into every riff and groove—channeling everyone from Slash to Jerry Cantrell, while injecting a tangible charisma of their own. Daughtry prefaced Leave This Town hit, "No Surprise," asking, "You guys still in a singing mood?"
The capacity audience's response was an overpowering, "Yes," of course. "It's Not Over" ignited one of the most explosive sing-a-longs of the night, and only a guy with Daughtry's impenetrable rock star charm could get an L.A. crowd to chant along that loudly. Steeley and Craddock sharpened the hit with a metallic edge that reverberated all the way to the back of the theater. In addition, the heavily female audience was refreshing, as it seems like rock's become too much of a guy's game.
Like any unforgettable show, there was room for ballads, of course. Daughtry belted out a poignant, "September," soaring through the song's poetic lyrics. He introduced it announcing, "It's probably the most personal song on the record for me, being raised in a small town. I knew I very early on I was going to have to leave that town to make something of myself."
He's more than made "something of himself," as proven by the packed venue. It's that sensitivity that adds another level of classic, classy charm to the Daughtry live experience and any and all young rockers should take note. There are a few fiery covers as well. Daughtry finger-picked the intro of "In the Air Tonight," as green lasers shot out from the stage over him in brilliant fashion. Then he ripped through Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell." Drummer Robin Diaz bashed out a big groove without missing a step as the frontman got the crowd fist-pumping and chanting along to the classic track.
Daughtry capped it all of with a heavy cut, "There and Back Again." Fueled by Josh Paul's simply dazzling bass playing—think Primus gone wild-the barn-burner of an anthem carried the show off with one final aural homerun.
Daughtry's got it all—massive, energetic hits, A-level stage production, a flawless band and lasers. Who's more rock 'n' roll than that? Don't miss another class or show, when he hits your town.
Have you seen Daughtry on this tour?