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Concert Reviews
Daughtry wsg/ Cavo & Lifehouse
(Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI - April 10th, 2010)

With the Joe Louis Arena barely half-sold, the rest of the empty seats hidden behind giant hung black cloths, the atmosphere inside was still above average - the teenage screams for Lifehouse far out-piercing those of any other band this night!

First on were Cavo. A hard rock band from St. Louis, Missouri, they know how to command a stage with their, albeit screamed, yet radio-friendly songs. Indeed, at times their songs even sounded a little 'post-grunge,' but I digress. Vocalist Casey Walker prowls the stage, back and forth, working the audience, as the band make their way through the near entirety of their major label debut, Bright Nights Dark Days.

Walker is a highly capable vocalist whose harmonies are scattered throughout every song they perform, but as a whole the band are a very tight musical outfit. Songs such as 'Let It Go,' 'Blame,' and the first single release 'Champagne' have everyone up. And as much as Cavo's lyrical content didn't necessarily amaze those here tonight, every song was well received.

Next up were Lifehouse. Doing this tour as part of their own Smoke & Mirrors (new CD) tour, the trio (plus hired drummer) - who came to prominence in 2001 with the hit single 'Hanging by a Moment' - all take the stage at the same time, instruments playing, heads down. Out to prove themselves as a credible rock band, not just a band known for writing sappy pop ballads, Lifehouse get down to business quickly. 'Halfway Gone' is followed by 'Nerve Damage,' which in turn is backed by the album title track.

The boys from Los Angeles then introduce us to certain new songs from their new album, explaining the reason behind the lyrics. Indeed, during one of these new songs, lead singer Jason Wade takes it upon himself to walk the seated aisles of the JLA! Rock 'n roll 101 at its grass roots finest. 'Whatever It Takes' brings the screams louder from the crowd, before both 'Wrecking Ball' (sung by bassist Bryce Soderberg), and the ultimate crowd-pleaser, 'Hanging By A Moment.'

Daughtry, as you all well know by now, is Chris Daughtry (former American Idol season 5 finalist) and his chosen band of merry musical men, who are trying to bring good old-fashioned American rock back to arena's everywhere. The trouble is, well, sorry, but he just doesn't have the persona big enough to do that. With his brand of cookie-cutter rock 'n' roll, Daughtry may well have proven his place on the billboard charts, but live he is just aiming too high.

Daughtry come on stage - after an eternity of waiting for them, with what sounds like incidental Batman music beckoning their imminent arrival - with 'What I Want' and 'No Surprise.' "Detroit Rock City," Daughtry bellows out, but follows it with nothing else. The ballad 'Life After You' is next, which is followed by the first real hit of the night, 'It's Not Over' and then 'Learn My Lesson.'

Sure Daughtry know how to take a stage, how to pose, how to throw down the songs, even the lighting is precise, orchestrated, but it's Daughtry's own frontman banter, complete with nervousness that make you sink a little into your seat. But then, we get one of the highlights of the night. Daughtry steps to the front of the stage ramp, guitar in hand, bathed in a red/blue spot, and soberly sings Phil Collins' 'In The Air Tonight.' Complete with multiple thin lime-green laser lights that shoot out, scatter, and pulse brightly upon every notable drum beat thereafter, the song truly deserved the standing ovation that it received.

Then singing a leftover from the last album, 'What We Have Become,' 'Over You' is next and is quickly followed by the sing-along set ender, 'Feels Like Tonight.' After a long, too long delay in getting back to the stage, and with people leaving by the dozens, the first encore of Billy Idol's 'Rebel Yell' is pure cheese - and actually shows that Daughtry's voice is starting to break up. 'Home' is sung to an every depreciating crowd, before the show finale, 'There And Back Again.'

In truth, if this was a mission to resurrect the corpse of arena rock, and if it solely sat on the shoulders of the fourth-biggest-selling American Idol, I have to say that said corpse barely moved. Indeed, and with regard Daughtry in general, the so-called Resurrection had not found many believers here tonight.

Review & Photos by:
Russell A. Trunk

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