Review & Photography by Lindsay Smith for MPM
A trip up the motorway to the iconic Rock City which has hosted many of the who’s who of music over the years and tonight is no exception.
American idol 2006 finalist, Chris Daughtry is taking to this well-worn stage together with his band in promotion of his 2021 album, Dearly Beloved.
Opening up the air waves is Ayron Jones, a blues, soul, rock singer, guitarist hailing from Seattle. Ayron has incredible skill with the guitar, grungy riffs all the way to soaring together with some catchy songs. “Supercharged’ saw Ayron conducting the choir with a shout out chorus.
A crowd that continued to demonstrate their vocal skills with rousing renditions of “Here I go Again’ and a very impressive ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ during the changeover. Anyway, I digress, Ayron Jones is a huge talent and with his endearing personality will no doubt be around a lot more in the years to come.
Special mention to his wonderful band, Patrick Ruffin and Brice Ervine plus Bobbi Jimmy on drums. It was lovely to see them all get out into the crowd to mingle and enjoy Daughtry.
Rock City explodes as the lights drop to a moody blue haze and the band takes to the stage; this already pumped crowd are ready to sing. Opening with ‘Desperation’, it is clear from the off that this will be a night to remember. It’s a goosebump, spinetingling, powerful vocal reverberating around as the layers of keys, guitars and drums crank up the melodic, hard rock volume to 11.
“World on Fire” is a personal favourite – the range of Chris’s voice with the heavy riffs behind it and lyrics that eat into your soul, delivering messages very true to the world as it is today.
Their latest album gets a very good airing with a setlist heavy on these tracks and “Changes are Coming’ gets an expressive and energetic performance that it now synonymous with the man. What an opening three songs, the energy in the room matches that of those on the stage.
Chris at last pauses to catch his breath and engages with the crowd. “Dearly Beloved is a letter to the fans” he says. Hand claps ensue as the song is performed to perfection.
As the set progresses, we are treated to an absolutely stunning acoustic version of “Waiting For Superman’. Oh that voice, the depth and the powerful quality soaring through the air. He hands over to the crowd to sing as he ad libs with some vocal gymnastics which seem effortless. Stunning!
A quick breather before the PA’s explode with ‘The Victim’, ‘Lioness’ and ‘Heavy is the Crown’. The band coming into their own and showing their talents alongside those of Mr Daughtry.
The night had rapidly turned into one of the best I’d had at Rock City and that is saying something after many years of some wonderful gigs. I couldn’t help but feel that tonight, the crowd were phenomenal in their support and appreciation but Daughtry themselves were incredible.
Turning back the clock to one of Daughtry’s earlier releases with ‘It’s Not Over’, before heading into a lit up crowd ( I do miss no longer having the reminder of a good night out with a blistered thumb from the lighter the next day) for ‘Home then ‘September’ all performed to stunning perfection.
To hear ‘Separate Ways’ was always going to be good; the duet with Lzzy Hale recently receiving extensive airplay and to hear such a classic song sung by one of the best present day vocalists was an absolute treat.
Right to the close with ‘Asylum’, Daughtry never dropped a note or missed a beat, a brilliant band, a fabulous night and I do hope the rest of the rest of the tour goes just as well for the band.
A great night! Come back to the UK soon please.