Sunday, July 9, David Cook and his band returned to Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT for a show. For people who love attending such concerts and are always on the lookout for great music shows such as this one, Cheapo Ticketing could help in getting tickets at discounted prices.
After the song Heroes, he stopped to have a conversation with us. I tried to transcribe it from a recording as best I could…While the schedule looked like they had a few days off, David mentioned that they had left their show in Philly, flew to Las Vegas, drove to California to perform for the troops and had left that morning with a layover in Detroit to get back to CT, getting to the venue around 5pm for the show. The VIP M&G was held after the show instead of before the show due to this. David was also complaining of a sore throat all day to his band, but he sounded great! (He has since had to cancel several shows to be on vocal rest though, poor guy!).
“We have a lot of music to play but we have to have a conversation first. So, our last public show was… the 6th in Philly and so to people looking at the calendar they’d say hey awesome they have 2 or 3 days off that’s pretty cool. On the 7th we flew from Philly to Las Vegas and drove 2.5-3 hours to Ft. Irwin Army base in California. We composed some custom songs and played it for the veterans there at the Army Base. But we got lost on the way in the desert which is already a great end to the story… we were like maybe 20 minutes off the highway and the map was telling us turn left… there’s a cactus there we can’t turn left so in the middle of the desert literally an oasis there was a monastery St Anthony’s monestary and the other side of the fence is just the most lush green you’ve ever seen like they just took all of the water. So we turn around and are going to go back to the highway and all of a sudden this Honda Civic just comes tearing ass over towards us flashing lights at us honking and we are like ok this is like some breaking bad shit. He pulls up beside us and is just like pull over, pull over, it’s this bearded guy. Bearded dudes are suspect. So we pull over which is obviously the smart thing to do in this scenario, so we pull over and its one of the monks from the monastery and it’s like he knew what we were doing and he was like are you guys trying to get to Ft Irwin and he says oh follow me and we are like no! so we get back on the highway another 45 minutes, get up the next day to play the show and its 110 degrees I think… gross! Oh it was 114 excuse me. So we play the how it went well and then 1am his morning pacific time we got up, I got up later I overslept, get in the van drive back to Vegas for a 6am flight to Detroit, in Detroit 40 mins get here at like 5… but listen… it leads me to this point, so we are sitting here waiting for the show to start and I’m just like I want a day off, and then you guys start singing Hereos back to us… that is FUEL. So I don’t know. That’s it”
The girls behind me also had a sign… David took it from them and read it out – Here for Kyle, no longer in the band. Here for Neal, no longer in the band. Here for Andy, no longer in the band, here for Monty, no longer in the band. … David. He thought maybe they were questioning if they were there for him or not and they said no, they weren’t questioning it they were settling. So he gave them a guitar lesson on how to turn a chord into a power chord which was basically just giving them the finger. Then he was teasing how he was #5 in his band there was only 4 guys on stage.
He hung it up on the keyboard but later signed it and passed it back to the girls in the crowd.
Before one of the songs he said he had to be careful what he said because when he’s over tired he gets emotional and no one can sing beautifully with snot running down their face. I think he was going to mention something about his time on Idol but decided not to.
For the encore, he started off with Light On, his first single post-Idol. He told a story about how they told him that it was going to be his single and he was disappointed because he was hoping he could write his own song. But then they told him that the song was co-written by Chris Cornell who was one of his idols growing up so he agreed to it. He talked about how the arrangement of the demo was basically the same as he plays it – but the vocals were Chris’ and they told him “Ok you’re going to sing this song” and how he had hoped that Chris was out there somewhere listening.
The last 3 songs from the encore were all tracks from his new EP that he is currently raising money to record on Pledge Music and Tubidy. The first was a Phil Collins cover of Another Day in Paradise that I think he reworked beautifully. And then 2 originals – Ghost Magnetic and the latest single, Gimme Heartbreak – which I hadn’t had a chance to listen to before the show because… vacation on the other side of the world… but it’s really good as well!
Before he went in to the new songs someone in the crowd yelled out “NEW SONG!” and he thought that she said “YOU SUCK” and mentioned how he thought she yelled You Suck but then realized what she had actually said and was thinking he was going to have to give another guitar lesson – which he did anyway and then was worried his Mom was going to see video and get upset with him
Headliner: Kara DioGuardi
Opener(s): Mitch Allan
Venue: Lyman Center
All I Need
Hard Times, Heartache & Scars
Hurt Me More
I Got to Go
Strip It All Down
Need Your Love So Bad
Different Kind of Love
Fight You For The Blues
Casey James released his latest album, Strip it Down, as an independent artists with the album funded through kickstarter. He left Sony Music behind and decided to do things all on his own. Sony had an album from Casey but they didn’t want to release it, so he took matters into his own hands. He set a goal on kickstarter to raise enough money so he wouldn’t have to cut corners on the recording process and that goal was more than doubled. While it took a bit longer than he anticipated to actually get the album to the hands of the fans who helped him make it, it was well worth the wait. I really like the choice of All I Need kicking off the album, it just has an awesome intro! I think that my favorite track has to be Stupid Crazy because it reminds me of me… haha but seriously this is a great album a little country a little bluesy and a whole lot of rockin’ guitar! Hope to see Casey out on the road soon 🙂
At the end of March Dalton Rapattoni came back to Connecticut this time with his “Acoustic Attempt Tour” which was just him and his guitar – and that was it. No opener, nothing. The show had doors at 5pm, Dalton was on stage by 5:30 and a little after 6 he was told he only had 10 minutes left! He did a decently sized set considering the time constraints – some of the songs performed being contenders for his upcoming album. He chitchatted a bit throughout the set and mentioned how he does that to distract us from the fact that he is tuning his guitar! After the show I had a M&G and told him I enjoyed this set better than his last and he teased that he was going to let the band know! I explained that the band was awesome last time and I loved them, but there is just something more intimate when it is just him and his guitar. I was one of the last ones for the M&G and was in my car by 7pm. I kind of love shows that end that early – I’m getting too old for all the late nights 😉
Sunday March 5th, Lauren Alaina made her way to the Wolf Den at the Mohegan Sun casino. She had previously been scheduled to perform but had to cancel, so I was glad that she had chosen a make up date and I was able to attend (the first date I wasn’t able to because I already had a commitment). In addition to her performance, she would be signing copies of her CD “Road Less Traveled” after the show.
Sunday night Wolf’s Den shows begin at 7pm instead of the usual 8pm. When Lauren first came out on the stage, her mic was not working. She ended up trying her band members mic – still nothing. Then she walked across to the other mic. Still nothing. She shrugged, she joked around with the crowd in the front, she tapped the mic and waited for something to happen – taking it all in stride. Then the Wolf Den made an announcement to stand by and they’d get everything fixed. The band left the stage, mics were I assumed fixed and we started the show again – Lauren this time ran out and yelled “IS THIS THING ON?” to a roar of cheers and applause from the crowd.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Lauren on Idol, though her season is arguably my most favorite season of the show. I’m not much of a country fan so I went into the show not really sure what to expect but I ended up having a BLAST. Lauren puts on a great show, she’s funny and seems super down to earth. For her 3rd song she said she was going to bring a guy on stage because she always picks out her “Next Boyfriend” from the crowd. She said there was one guy up front singing every word so she picked him – but someone else told her that he brought her flowers so she brought TWO Next Boyfriends on stage to dance with her. After having one say his name and having us all say “Hi Brandon!” She had the other guy introduce himself and he was Brandon too! (two?) And as it turned out – one of her guitarists is also named Brandon. “Too many Brandons!” she announced and had the guys dance with her – even getting them to whip and nae nae.
She changed before coming out for her encore of “Road Less Traveled” her current single that has made it on to the Billboard Charts! We slipped out early to jump in line for the signing and made it near the front of the line. She came out about 45 minutes after the show had ended to quite a line. We were able to get through quickly and say hello and get our CD signed and even had time to check out one of Mohegan’s newer restaurants before heading home.
Lauren is currently on tour as an opening act, but if you get the chance to see her, take it! I don’t think you will find yourself disappointed.
Headliner: Kris Allen & Adam Lambert
Venue: The Today Show
Cost: $ 0
Thursday night TIC’s All Star Christmas moved from The Oakdale Theater (currently booked with the touring production of WICKED) to the Mohegan Sun Arena. This allowed for them to get some bigger names for the show and the acts were supposed to be Lindsey Stirling, James Bay, One Republic and Meghan Trainor. However, Thursday morning it was announced that Meghan had been put on vocal rest through the rest of the year and she’d have to cancel all her shows. (Meghan had previously canceled a tour last year due to vocal issues and underwent surgery.) TIC announced that refunds would be available if you no longer wanted to attend and that they would be adding Nick Fradiani to the bill.
While I was excited to see Nick over Meghan (I wasn’t all that interested in seeing her to begin with) as far as it being an equal trade off on a bill I paid $90 to see – that’s debatable. As far as it being someone I’d much rather see, that was awesome. One Republic got bumped to headliner and I assume they ended up doing a bit longer set than they would have.
Nick opened the show at 7pm and did several tracks off his debut album, Hurricane. He also did a remixed version’s Meghan’s All About That Bass. He only knew the chorus so he frestyled the rest about being back home in Connecticut. He also did a brand new song that he had just written a couple of weeks ago which according to his twitter is called “We Live Forever”
Next up was Lindsey Stirling and boy oh boy did I wish I strapped my step counter to that girl before she hit the stage. If you’re not familiar with her she plays violin. Which some may find boring but when it is Lindsey, it is not. She is all around the stage dancing as she plays and is very, very impressive. She even got a standing ovation once her set was over! I think we were all exhausted from just watching her.
James Bay was the next performer and the one I was most interested in seeing. He was really, really high energy. And has the cutest accent! He called for fans to stand and clap along, although he wanted us to try and clap for a whole song and I just couldn’t do it, though I did try. (Confession: I was hoping clapping would trigger my step counter so I could finish the race I’ve been working on since June. shhh. It kind of worked.) He had everyone sing along for “Let It Go” which sounded so awesome!
One Republic seemed to take forever and a day to take the stage after it was set up. I thought at first maybe they weren’t actually in the building yet (although technically their on stage time would have been earlier if Meghan didn’t cancel so that didn’t really make sense) but Ryan Tedder commented on hearing us all singing “Let It Go” from side stage – so he was there at least for some of James’ set! The women in front of me got fed up and left saying “This is stupid!” on their way out and when the track played over the speakers stopped for a second and then went into another song, people started yelling “Cmon already!” Then when they did try to turn out the house lights, they turned them up all the way for a split second instead!
This was my 3rd time seeing One Republic although for the life of me before the show I could only remember seeing them at Mixtape Festival in 2013 with Hanson. Turns out they were also at one of the Christmas shows back in 2012 when I did 3 back-to-back-to-back. They are all kind of a blur so I can see how I lost track.
One Republic did a 10 song set and I knew pretty much all of the songs but 1 that was a newer one for a movie? I also didn’t realize that they had been having singles on the radio since 2008 – so it makes sense that there were so many I was familiar with. I remember when their first song came out and it was Timbaland featuring One Republic but Timbaland was just doing his patented “aaa oo ooo” on the track.
One Republic’s set was also high energy with Ryan jumping on a piano at one point. Like Nick, he spoke a bit about Meghan and how the vocal issues could lead to permanent damage and he hoped she had a speedy recovery and then had us do a call and response – my name is NO my sign is NO my number is NO…
Something I learned during One Republic’s set was that Ryan has family in the nearby town of Mystic and he used to spend a lot of summers there growing up! He thought he might have had cousins in the audience and girls 2 rows in front of me flipped out so I guess they were cousins or knew of his cousins?
Overall it was a great night although the show did go a bit later than I was hoping, leading me to not get home til 12:30am. Not usually the case when the show is at the much closer Oakdale Theater. We’ll have to see what next Christmas has in store, but at least it didn’t snow!