January 9, 2015 Daughtry Acoustic Trio captivating at The Paramount Huntington, NY 12-14-14
It has been nine years since the world was introduced to North Carolina native Chris Daughtry on the hit television series American Idol. Leaving everyone very impressed with his talents, Daughtry was a finalist on season five of America Idol and since has become a bonafide rock star. Achieving a number one Rock album in 2006 with their self-titled major label debut, which has gone four times platinum since, the band known as Daughtry have justified themselves with a balanced and consistent career. Sharing the stage with mix of today’s hottest Rock acts, 2009 would be the first year Daughtry would hit the road as a headlining act, and they have not looked back ever since. In 2014 alone the band partook in two headlining tours in support of their fourth studio record Baptized. In an effort to keep their performances fresh and unique, Daughtry brought their act to The Paramount in Huntington, NY on Sunday December 14th of 2014 for the second straight year as a trio to perform a special acoustic set. Merely a week away for the Christmas holiday, fans filled the classy and festive venue to kick back and relax with some music.
As direct support for the evening, first to the stage was Bostonian band Adam Ezra Group. Winners of the 2013 New England Music Awards “Band of the Year” honor, vocalist/guitarist Adam Ezra and his band offer a unique, colorful blend of American Roots Rock. With a slew of releases under their belt now, including their most recent 2011 album Ragtop Angel, this band is ready to burst out from the Northeastern scene and into the national spotlight. As they took the stage and began to play, a positive vibe filled the air and spectators were moving and grooving to the music. Marking their second time the band has appeared at The Paramount in 2014, the first back in June opening for Kenny Wayne Sheperd, it was easy to see their excitement to be back in the New York spotlight. Performing their inventive rendition of Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” but rather making it their own, calling it “The Devil Came Up To Boston,” the group completely captivated the audience. As a fitting personality of a good frontman Adam Ezra continued to connect with listeners speaking of living in the moment, and even joking poked at the fact that he is ironically Jewish, playing a Christmas show. Closing out their set with “Steal Your Daughter” the band did a successful job of putting on a fun-loving set that was bound to win them over some new fans.
Primed and ready for the main attraction, everyone was buzzing to see Daughtry back at The Paramount once again. Stripped down, vulnerable, and open to human aspects, Chris, keyboardist Elvio Feranades, and guitarist Brian Craddock took to the stage ready to bare their souls in this acoustic set. Opening with “Baptized,” the moment the first chord strummed and Daughtry began to sing some of the younger spectators eyes widened in excitement. Going into hit “Feels Like Tonight” fans were swaying back and forth, humming along, and simply losing themselves in the music. While acoustic shows can often be both intimate and personal with the performer and audience, there can also be a sense of unified anxiousness by all, because no one wants to ruin the magic moments. Daughtry made sure to break that tension right from the start speaking softly and honestly with the room and cracking jokes about how he has played The Paramount so much, he practically has a residency there.
The perfect antidote between songs, Daughtry moved on into other fan-favorite “Over You” followed by “It’s Not Over,” enticed everyone to sing along. Popping into current single “Battleship,” the crowd participation continued as everyone amply shouted out the line “Boom,” when cued to do so. Giving followers more insight of their music – where it comes from ,and how it was made before going into “Witness”, Daughtry explained that the track simply sounded better stripped down. Confessing that the piece was tried with a more grand production, the organic, simple recording is what they decided to go with, and that is exactly what fans hear and know today. Sounding as warm and powerful as he does on the record, Daughtry’s voice shined bright with intense infliction projected with each breathe. Introducing the next song, “Wild Heart,” as one about his wife, it was evident to see the love in the words and emotion on Daughtry’s face as he performed it.
Acknowledging the Christmas holiday was a mere week away, Daughtry sprinkled in some holiday spirit with a soulful cover of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.” With so much energy flowing through the air no one could sit down for too long as many stood up and even danced when given the opportunity. Keeping that mojo going, Daughtry stated that the band’s mega hit “Home” was written nine years prior in fifteen minutes while he sat on his couch, never knowing the impact it would have on so many lives. Fading into the song moments later, a sense of comfort blanketed the room as everyone indulged themselves in the music before the set came to a close with Daughtry’s self-proclaimed favorite “September.” Simply not enough, fans cheered for more and received an encore that began with the seldom heard live “Crawling Back to You.” Certainly a nice present for dedicated fans, the surprises did not stop there as the band went into the Chris Isaak classic “Wicked Game.” Adding his own personal touch to the piece vocally, Daughtry admitted he wish he had written the track, but then again what songwriter would not. With everyone on their feet the night concluded with re-arranged edition of 2013 single “Waiting for Superman.” While the original is a very good track, the acoustic version stands on its own with a clean, compelling tone that ended the show on a high note.
Allowing each moment to sink in, sit inside the mind of the audience, and create a lasting memory, Daughtry put on a spectacular and vivid show. Performing acoustically is never an ease task for a band, as they do not have amplification to mask errors, or even themselves behind. Daughtry seemed to relish in the moment just as much as the fans, and in the process showed the heart of a true musician. With 2014 in the rear-view mirror and a new year ahead chances are Daughtry will be back on the road continuing to satisfy audiences.