David Cook at Daryl’s House

Friday night I braved the rain and winds from Hurricane Nicole and made my way to Pawling, NY to check out David Cook.  He had been in CT for two dates over the summer but unfortunately it clashed with my Hanson shows so I wasn’t able to see him.  Before the show I did a M&G which was scheduled to start at 6:30 and the show at 8.  Well, the M&G line was quite long and David was quite chatty so the line was still going at 8pm. The show ended up starting at 8:30pm, for which David apologized but said he was a popular guy and it was the M&G that was taking up the time.  While the setlist appears to be rather short, he played for about 2 hours and threw some stories in throughout and seemed genuinely happy to once again be in front of a crowd and not in his basement doing streams like he had been doing.  As the show was on Veterans Day he spoke a bit about veterans and dedicated the song Light On to the veterans in the room.  I can’t wait until he comes back around again!

David Cook @ Infinity Hall

Saturday night, after several reschedules, David Cook finally made his way back to Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT.  I had to show proof of vaccination once again upon entry and masks were required for the whole show.  This isn’t a problem for me as I would have worn mine either way, but it’s really frustrating to hear everyone bitching and moaning about wearing their mask all night as if the rest of us think it is a party.  (I don’t like wearing it, but I do what I think I need to do to try and keep myself and others safe, especially if it is required.)

Opening the show was Carrie Welling and I loved all of her songs especially the one about red flags (it hit home) and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an opener before where I felt like she was singing songs I could have written, if writing songs was a talent that I possessed.

Then it was time for David! I *think* the last time I saw him was an acoustic show, but the “before times” are beginning to be a bit of a blur.  Either way, it was nice to see him backed by a full band!  Everyone’s Saturday night needs a genuine rock show.  There was a LOT of banter during the show, which I always love and while he kept saying he wasn’t a comedian, he can certainly tell his stories in a way that makes us laugh!

I also liked how candidly he talked about getting help for his anxiety and going to therapy and how he kept it to himself for several years but ended up writing a song about it and is now much more open about it.  As someone who also (somewhat) recently started struggling with anxiety, it’s always nice to know you are not alone and what methods may have worked for others. Calm Strips became popular for those with anxiety after the founders appeared on Shark Tank.

I also liked how he told stories about how/why/when the songs were written. That’s always very interesting to me.  His set was full of my favorites as well as some newer songs off of his new EP, The Looking Glass, including his latest single FIRE which had a really fun audience participation piece that he kept until the end of the set.  While Infinity Hall can be a bit of a haul to get to, it’s a great little venue and always a fun time.

David Cook Setlist Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT, USA 2021, The Looking Glass Tour

David Cook Daryl’s House

David Cook made his return to Daryl’s House in New York in the beginning of August. I had never seen him there before and didn’t want to go back after buying a single ticket to see Kris Allen left me in the back corner of the show (despite having a VIP M&G Ticket.) Once again I opted for a VIP M&G and figured I’d give the house a second chance.
No information was emailed about the M&G so I got there about 4 only to be told to hang tight until about 5, later 5:15 for the M&G. No problem – better to be there too early than too late! I ended up wandering around only to be told the M&G was starting and somehow ended up being 3rd in line? I wore my Mets shirt after they had a particularly exciting game the night before which David was not too happy about – but he agreed it was a good game and then we decided anyone but the Yankees! I also reminded him that his guys beat the Mets and he’d always have that which he was overly happy about. 😉
After the M&G I went to see where I was assigned for seating for the evening and was pleasantly surprised to see it was at one of the front tables, against the wall. Since I was the first one of the group to arrive I got to pick the front row seat facing the stage. Way to go Daryl’s House – definitely redeemed themselves from several years ago!
The show itself was great – there were a few false starts because David was getting the sillies from the faces and comments of the people up front. There was also a crew behind him that led to some banter and him singing a portion of a song facing them with his back to the front – but he turned back around as it was a “numbers game.”
At one point, David told us to give it up for Jeff, and the lighting guy made the lights “flicker” to seem like they were also applauding. David was curious to see what they would do for him – so he said “Give it up for me!” We all cheered – and the stage went DARK. David started cracking up and said that he expected that they just wouldn’t do anything – not that they’d go off! Well played, lighting guy, well played!
Overall, even though it was a more acoustic, stripped down version of David than I am used to, it was great to hear all his stories before the songs and I am not sure I have laughed that much in a long, long time!

David Cook Ridgefield Playhouse

David Cook returned to the Ridgefield Playhouse – which is apparently where Idol winners go after breaking their hand/wrists and are unable to actually play guitar. (Kris Allen played there just after his accident!)

Before the show I had a meet and greet and before David’s injury I had bought him a mini Kansas City Royals corn hole game.  I told him I wasn’t trying to be a jerk and had bought it before he was injured.  He assured me he would still be able to play it and he would win because no one else on tour would play with him.

During the show David was chatty as usual and made me crack up – as usual.  He talked about how if you were single maybe you could meet your signifigant other at his show (I’m listening…) and then went into this hypothetical story about how you would leave the show together in your RAV4 (uh, wait, that’s MY car?) and go to your apartment in what used to be a lighthouse and run up the spiral stairs (ok, you lost me) and quickly clean up the place before bringing the date upstairs…  He also told a story about how Chris Cornell had written one of his songs and how he met him at the ENT and then spit into the sink. He said he should never tell the story again but they decided just the spitting part had to go.

When he first came out on stage he said that he thought his shirt was a little bit too aggressive for the show but he doesn’t do costume changes – of course someone yelled for him to just take it off and he said we wouldn’t like that because it is a “dumpster fire under here”.

He told stories about both of his brothers – about Adam before Goodbye to the Girl where he explained about how he never really properly dealt with his death initially and took a couple days off for the funeral but just continued on his tour and later ended up going to therapy and kind of sorting things out and thats what led to him writing Goodby to the Girl.   Before a cover of Day is Gone he gave props to his brother Andrew who had mentioned Noah Gundersen and thought that David would like him, but he never really gave it a second thought until he heard the song in Sons of Anarchy and said if he could make the arrangement work for the acoustic tour he would give Andrew props – which I think kills him a little bit inside every show.

The set was a little bit short and since David was injured he did not play anything at all. (And he could not sign during the M&G either, bummer.) It was also interesting that there were two different songs titled Heroes in the set and I was glad that I was not in charge of the database for that setlist!  I am totally loving David’s new single Death of Me and as always am looking forward to seeing him again soon!

Blog Catchup

I’ve been having a terrible time trying to keep track of what I have to blog about and what I haven’t. Or putting together actual blog posts and reviews. So here’s a brief recap of what I’ve been doing for the past 2 months…

The Last Bandoleros
My friend Lauren asked me if I’d be interested in checking out The Last Bandoleros at The Wolfs Den. I really had no idea what to expect (w

e had met one of the members something like 10 years ago!) but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought they would be more country but they were not so I am sold! I picked up their EP after the show and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.

Jeff Dye
Lauren also dragged me to see Jeff Dye. You may know him from Last Comic Standing or Better Late Than Never. I typically don’t like comedians but Jeff had me laughing his entire set and he was a lot of fun to chat with after the show as well. I’m pretty sure this won’t be my last blog post about him.

Kinky Boots
David Cook made his Broadway debut in Kinky Boots in NYC – so of course I had to check it out! Also in the show was Wayne Brady and Kirstin from Pentatonix. I wasn’t sure what to expect since he would need to have an accent since the show takes place in England. But he did great and it was so fun to hear “him” come through on the songs. A really, really fun show as well.

Andy Grammer
Andy Grammer took his “The Good Parts” tour to the Ridgefield Playhouse. We had about 6th row for the show. Everyone was sitting until Andy made a comment on it and said we could stay seating if we wanted, but we could stand too. I had a feeling that would be how it works because the Playhouse tends to sell their closest seats to members of their ‘club’ and they are usually there moreso to support the venue than as a fan of the band. Although I’m not sure how you can sit still listening to Andy and all of his upbeat songs! After the show we had a chance to meet him briefly and snap a few photos. Always enjoyable!

*NSYNC Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Sometimes all the stars in your life align up perfectly and you end up getting booked on a trip to California just a few days before *NSYNC is set to get a star on the walk of fame, so you ask your manager if you can extend the trip out a bit and she agrees… so a baseball game, Disneyland and seeing all 5 members of *NSYNC on stage together again end up happening. The ceremony was a LOT of standing around and I am not sure I will ever get feeling back in my legs or feet but it was truly amazing to be a part of such a special moment! Now I have to plan a trip back to LA because we were far too exhausted after waiting for the ceremony and then for The Dirty Pop-Up Shop to head back and see the star!

Ruben Studdard sings Luther Vandross
You know I love me some Idol, so when Ruben came to the wolf den to sing the songs of Luther I had to check it out. Unfortunately we didn’t get in line early enough to get a good seat and for a while we weren’t even sure we would get any seat, so I think being on the side of the stage kind of lost some of the interaction for us, but I thought Ruben sounded great and it was a lot of fun to hear him do a different song catalog (even though he did do a few Luther songs back on Idol).

Tim Tebow and The Rumble Ponies
Tim Tebow is a Met… so when the Binghamton Rumble Ponies made their way to Hartford to play the Yard Goats, we went to check him out. 2 rows from the field yielded some great photos and an autograph for my friend Christine. Tim ended up coming out of the game early, but it was also a work night so we were happy to have an ‘excuse’ to leave early! We had fun playing baseball bingo during the game and enjoyed some great BBQ. We’ll be back when he makes his triumphant return next month… hopefully this time I can snag an autograph for myself J

David Cook at Infinity Music Hall

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

David Cook at The Warehouse

Sunday night David Cook played The Warehouse in Fairfield, CT.  Originally he was scheduled to play Stage One, but after multiple changes in the set up for the show he ended up at the larger, newer venue which I had not yet been to.  Opening up for the evening was one of my favorites, Tony Lucca! Tony did a Periscope of his show which I tried to watch Monday night but it expired about 5 seconds in on me because it was 24 hours old.  Need to keep that in mind for next time I want to use a periscope to figure out a setlist.  I did remember a few of his songs and they are listed at the end of the post. (If anyone was there or saw the periscope and knows the rest let me know what I’m missing!)

Funny story – the girl behind me was going on and on about how much she loves David Cook and he is her favorite ever and she is his #1 fan and whyyyy must there be an opening act!?  I was texting with my friend and told her “she’ll like him” before he hit the stage because we knew Tony would for sure win her over… so I wasn’t at ALL surprised when his set ended and he walked off the stage and she said… “I think I’m in love.”

David took the stage at about 9pm and played just over an hour set.  It was pretty similar set to when I saw him in November.  He thanked the crowd a lot, since we had bought so many tickets they had to move him to the bigger room and he was very thankful about that.  Before he did Declaration he went to intro the song and said “This is a song about something.”  Well, I guess that is true.  There was also a group of Hard Rock VIPs in the seats in front of me and when he checked in on them they said they wanted a personal song and for him to come in front of them and play.  He came over and did a bit of the riff from “Sweet Home Alabama” and then went back to the mic and did some of 500 miles. (Is that the name of that song? I don’t think so.)  Later on people were yelling things out and he thought they yelled for Freebird so he did a little bit of it and said that was all of the song he knew.  But people were yelling out about their birthday so he had everyone who was having a birthday raise their hand and then said happy birthday to them all.

The encore was 4 songs – including his new single Broken Windows and he was saying how whatever radio station we listen to, whether they play his style of music or not, we should call and request the song.  Even if they only do traffic, all day.  Or even if it is a sports talk radio that only talks about minor league lacrosse games. We should call and tell them we want to hear Dave Cook’s new song.

After the show I hung around to chat with Tony for a bit – since he had mentioned singing a song on Parenthood and he had actually canceled his show at the smaller next door venue in order to do it.  He had said the dressing room reminded him that he had played there before and I said that yes it was years ago! Somehow I always manage to make him feel super old I am pretty sure…

Tony Lucca Set

Tennessee Whiskey / Gravity / Anchored
Love Light
Paint a Picture

David Cook at Infinity Hall

Friday night David Cook played a sold out show at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT.  I had purchased a M&G package which allowed me to meet David before the show, get something signed, get a photo with him as well as get a copy of his new CD, Digital Vein.  Since David is a big Royals fan and I’m a big Mets fan, we talked about the World Series and he said he was trying to keep his mouth shut for the next couple of shows (Saturday night was NYC) but that he was glad he could go back to liking the Mets now because he did like them. (Just not as much as the Royals) He also said if the Mets could keep their pitching for a while they’ll be really good… and get some bullpen help.  I agreed.

After the M&G we could either stay upstairs at our seats or head back downstairs. I opted to stay in my 2nd row seat and had forgotton how tight the seats were.  My knees were practically touching the row in front of me! Andrew Ripp was the opener and didn’t come out until sometime after 8.  He has a Hanson connection and I was going to talk to him about it after the show either way – but then he decided to tell a story about David.  Which started out with “I flew to Tulsa, OK… to write songs with Hanson” I, of course, cheered, but then he had to say “You know. Hanson, MMMBop?” and proceeded to butcher the chorus. The story continued that on his flight back home to LA, some guy came and sat in the middle seat next to him with a sandwich (and he didn’t like people who brought on food that smelled because he was always hungry) and that guy was David Cook.  They talked and found out they were both musicians and David told Andrew he was heading out to LA to cut a record.  2 weeks later, Andrew turns on American Idol and there is David… and he figured out that he lied to him the whole flight to LA and Andrew believed everything he said.  But he was going out there to audition for Idol and couldn’t say anything!  Andrew’s set was really good and after the show I bought all of his CDs and talked to him about Hanson.  He said writing with them was “awesome” and that he really does like them and they are really great guys.  Then he asked if I had a Hanson bumper sticker and I said I did it said “I <3 Hanson” and my car was parked right outside. He laughed and ended up writing “I <3 Hanson too!!!!” on my autograph. ha.

David was on around 9pm.  His set was a lot shorter than I was expecting it to be, but was still great.  He talked about how his new album was out and that some of the songs would be new if you didn’t yet have the CD.  (I failed and had intended to listen to it a few times before going to the show to brush up on my lyrics and never did!) Before the 4th song he said it would be new if you weren’t familiar with the CD – but then the drums kicked in and David kind of made a face and then they went into the song “Heroes” which was not a new song.  I just kind of shrugged it off until after the song David went on about his professional band and how his professional drummer started playing the wrong song and the rest of his professional band followed right along.

After that he asked what guys were there because their significant others made them come along.  He decided it was time to play something for the guys and did Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll and Whole Lotta Love. (Sorry Dave, ZHan does it better)  After he finished the next song, Declaration, he said he had to make a note to not do that one back to back with Zeppelin.

The backdrop at Infinity Hall has a bunch of lights on it that they can make twinkle and blink along to the music and David commented that if anyone had been to Disney it reminded him of the Tower of Terror.  He also spotted a sign in the audience a little girl had that said “WE LOVE DAVID COOK” 4x on it.  He asked if he could have it to put it up on stage with him for the show, and then laughed and said it “got sinister” when he realized she put her phone number on it!  He said he was still going to put it on stage but if anyone prank called Hannah.. “I swear to god…”  At the end of the show he called her back up front and autographed the sign and gave it back to her.

During the encore, he talked a bit about how everyone’s faces are always covered by a giant cell phone during his sets and he wanted us to just have a moment. He asked for everyone to put their phones and cameras in their pockets or purses so we could have a moment and how he has gone to a lot of concerts and doesn’t have any pictures and he’s ok with that. Because he has the memories of the moments.  (Sorry David, I like the memories AND the scrapbook pages – but had no problem with his request for putting everything down for just one song)

Paper Heart
Broken Windows
Rock and Roll / Whole Lotta Love
But You Won’t
Laying Me Low
Wicked Game
Kiss And Tell
Come Back To Me

Better Than Me
Light On

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