Photography & Article by: Diane Fleischman
There was a great deal of excitement bubbling over at the Musik Fest Cafe Thursday night, as David Cook returned to Bethlehem and performed to a full house. It’s been 15 years since his victory on the television series, American Idol, the show which continues to serve as a tag reference with his name. But David Cook has moved far passed the American Idol days.
Cook opened with ‘TABOS’ (This will All Be Over Soon), his 2022 single, followed by ‘Heroes’ and ‘Bar-Ba-Sol’ each with guitar lines that ripped through the venue. If there was one thing that Cook forgot to pack for this tour, it was his acoustic guitar. And this was not a bad thing.
‘Fade into Me’, the single from the 2011 release, “This Loud Morning”, was originally an acoustic ballad. And while it remains a ballad, the driving lines on electric guitars breathes new life into this beautiful love song.
One thing an audience can always count on at a David Cook concert is the banter as he engages with the crowd throughout the show. Most of the time, its humorous, other times, informative, and reveals more about him and his music. ‘Red Turns Blue’, his 2020 single, covers the manic highs (red) and lows (blue) of anxiety, as this disorder stemmed from his American Idol days. He joked, that it probably wasn’t the best idea to release it during a presidential election year.
He went into detail explaining ‘Make a Move’, how he has been chasing the idea of home comfort throughout the years of moving around the country. “For me, home is where I can be completely myself, warts and all.” He then gestured to the stage. “This is home for me. I am eternally grateful to fans.”
‘Paper Heart’ highlighted the bass and drums pounding in unison, to a slightly faster tempo. Somewhere in the middle of this song, cover snippets were thrown in, ‘Jessie’s Girl’ sung by lead guitarist, Jeffrey Scott, then Cook retained vocals along with the audience for a few lines of ‘Stacy’s Mom’, and a little Journey with ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. Fans love when Cook throws a cover tune in the set. Cook has this amazing ability of being able to tweak a cover song ever so slightly and makes it sound better.
The set closed with ‘Time of My Life’, a nod to American Idol. Without leaving the stage, Cook announced, “We’ve entered the encore portion of the show”. Now it was time for his big hits, starting with ‘Come Back to Me’, and ‘Light On’ and the show closed with ‘Fire’, the single from “The Looking Glass” EP.
This tour provides more of a heavier metal sound than previous tours, perhaps something similar to his roots, before the American Idol days. And while some crowd favorite songs are no longer on the set list, the songs performed are tight and cohesive with electric guitars blazing forward, and it works really well. The tour continues until mid-December.