Shepherd's Bush Empire
added: 31 Mar 2014
// gig date: 26 Mar 2014
reviewer: Chris Chilvers
"Who?" That was the disappointing question a colleague asked when invited to see Daughtry at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Sigh. Here we go again ‘He came fourth in American Idol in 2006’, the same old reference point that is used time and time again when describing Chris Daughtry, lead singer of the band. That's despite their debut album being the fastest selling debut rock album in Nielsen Soundscan history, a Grammy nomination and 4 US top 10 albums.
Despite their ignorance, they come along to what turns out to be the biggest London headline show Daughtry have ever done. Given those sales stats, that is quite surprising. In the last 12 months or so, a string of other US rock bands have also performed here; the likes of Matchbox 20 and Train, who are similar, only because there are deemed as uncool in the UK.
Previously Daughtry have supported Nickelback at Wembley Arena in 2012 - a fact that sends the colleague into fearful concern that this could be a similar sounding show to the Canadian rockers. They are soon reassured to the contrary.
The crowd are treated to an hour and twenty minutes of what Daughtry do best: heavy guitar riffs, intense drumming (Robin Diaz must have the highest backlift in music right now), brilliant pop melodies and Chris Daughtry’s impressive voice.
This was very much a tour in support of fourth album Baptized, and the superfan might have been disappointed that tracks from Break The Spell, such as Renegade and Outta My Head weren’t included. That aside, there was a good mixture of songs from across the band's career so far.
Life After You - with Elvio Fernandes terrific on keys, was sensational as was their version of the Phil Collins classic In The Air Tonight.
As has become bafflingly conventional in gigs these days, the band disappeared at the ‘end’ of their set, only to reappear for the ‘encore’ 3 minutes later and received perhaps the biggest cheer of the night as they played What About Now, principally famous in this country because Westlife covered it. It was also used as an emotional soundtrack to the X Factor. But don't let that put you off.
Ending on their evocation of rock music Long Live Rock and Roll, the band certainly gave their fans a great rock and roll experience. And my colleague’s opinion by the end of the night? ‘I don’t care what anyone says, they’re great!’ Amen.
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