"American Idol" alumn Chris Daughtry took the stage at Intrust Bank Arena on Monday carrying a bullhorn, which he used to stylize his vocals at various points during his band's 90-minute set.
But he didn't need it. The show was loud — almost to the point of distortion at some points. But loud is what Daughtry, a band led by Idol's first-ever rocker, Chris Daughtry, is known for.
The concert, which also featured Lifehouse as an opening act, drew a big crowd, but it was small by arena standards. Where most concerts in the arena since it opened in January have sold out or attracted 10,000 or more, relative newcomer Daughtry's crowd filled the floor and most of the lower bowl, but the upper sections were curtained off.
The audience was made up of a healthy mix of tweens and teens, groups of men and middle-aged couples, many of whom likely watched the band's baritoned leader when he competed on the fifth season of "American Idol." Though he finished fourth that season, Daughtry went on to have one of the most successful post-Idol careers of any competitor, achieving multi-platinum album sales and a series of top-40 hits.
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The band performed many of those hits during the show, including radio favorites such as "No Surprise" and "It's Not Over." The set also was filled with songs from the band's current album, "Leave This Town," including the concert's opening number, "Every Time You Turn Around."
A highlight was a performance of "September," the next single slated to be released from the album. The slower, quieter song, Daughtry told the crowd, was inspired by his childhood in a town of about 100 people.
"It had one stoplight. And one gas station, owned by my uncle," he said. "But I still had to pay for gas."
The show also included a few interesting covers straight from the 1980s, including an acoustic version of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" featuring Daughtry alone with a guitar, standing under a red spotlight. The band joined in midway through, turning the song into a rock concert spectacle, complete with a green laser-light show.
The band saved its biggest crowd favorite, "Home," for the encore. The song had special meaning to concertgoers Maggie Keys, 15, and Lakin Minahan, 14.
The two girls met on an extracurricular volleyball team and soon learned that both had lost older brothers in car accidents three years before, and "Home" played at both funerals.
The two are now best friends and dedicated Daughtry fans.
"Anytime we hear one of his songs, we always text each other," Maggie said.