Daughtry Shepherds Bush Empire 31-03-14

First up was UK band Charming Liars who have spent the last couple of years in the US honing their careers. With a couple of high profile tours and last years release of their " New Disorder " ep they were full of confidence and hit the stage running.

Led by energetic frontman Charlie Cosser their 30 minute set was well received by the large crowd. Supporting Daughtry for them is the perfect fit with their mix of styles that would include U2 but for me I preferred the songs with the heavier guitar style and not quite so jangly!!

" Break Away " , " My Kind Of Crazy " and "New Disorder " all went by in a flash all with huge choruses and the band left with a lot of new admirers and I look forward to the full debut cd due this year.

Daughtry returned to Shepherds Bush 5 days after their opening show sold out in record time. If like me you weren't quick enough their certainly was a lot of people who wanted to see their return to the UK after their 2012 support slot with Nickelback.

Chris Daughtry is a huge star in the US with now 4 hit albums under his belt this is one Pop Idol who has a hugely successful career started by the US hit show. With the size of the crowds and more screams heard at a gig since the last time Jon Bon Jovi was in town the band are on the verge of a huge UK breakthrough.

As we were told on more than one occasion this was the last night of their European tour and they have never anywhere in the world played 2 nights in the same city on any tour. Over the course of  100 minutes they showed their class and here is what they played.

Feels Like Tonight
Crawling Back To You
Over You
No Surprise
Start Of Something Good
Broken Arrows
Wild Heart
Life After You
In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins cover )
It's Not Over
Waiting For Superman
Encores of 
What About Now
Long Live Rock n Roll

After seeing them with Nickelback I knew what to expect with the bulk of the set but was interested to see how the songs from the predominantly acoustic " Baptized " cd came across in the live environment.

" Baptized " opened the set and with a live backing band came across heavier than on cd and then it was back to the debut cd for " Feels Like Tonight " which was superb and was sang heartily by everyone present. Following this up with the mass sing along of " Crawling Back To You "  had the energy levels high straight out of the box.

With an excellent sound and light show and backed by his band all eyes were on the frontman. Some bands with a frontman  still have stars in the band but Daughtry are really about the man alone. His band are a little faceless apart from drummer Robin Diaz who impressed and the 2 guitarists are there to do their parts with only a couple of extended guitar solos to take centre stage so to speak.

Chris is an engaging frontman who is comfortable having every eye on him. His rapport with the crowd was at times witty but always thankful for the support he was getting.

A 3 song solo acoustic set with help from keyboard player Elvio Fernandez showed off his qualities. It is about The Voice and "Broken Arrows " showed tone , emotion and a real balance and range to his vocals that was breathtaking.

I could have done without the Phil Collins cover but the final 4 songs of the set were all from the top drawer with " It's Not Over " being sang wildly by the crowd. Chris ended up in the crowd during the song and the girl in the front row took the selfie of her life as he lay on top of her. " Waiting For Superman " was played a little quicker than on cd and again a lot better live. Following it with " Home " was a no brainer and the chorus was again sang by all.

First encore of "What About Now " took the evening to a new level before the mass singalong of latest cd single " Long Live Rock n Roll " ended the evening on a high. In fact the band stopped playing and the crowd sang the chorus and clapped along for a good couple of minutes before the band came back in.

A real triumph for a band on the up in the UK and I expect the next tour to be at larger venues lets just hope that for the next cd they put the acoustic guitars away for a while.

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