Review: David Cook dazzles at World Cafe Live

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David Cook | Photo by Katrina Murray

Despite not knowing what day it was, David Cook gave Philly a great show this week at World Cafe Live. The Houston singer-songwriter (and American Idol champ) didn’t waste any time diving in on Tuesday night as he blazed through “Paper Heart” and “The Last Goodbye” both from his latest release This Loud Morning. He let his softer side shine on a new ballad, “Carry You” before getting tossed a cell phone from an eager fan in the front row and calling one of her contacts. It’s not every day that you get a call from David Cook in the middle of his show, but the poor guy on the other end was very confused.

After the comic relief, Cook kept the momentum up with anthems from both of his albums that showcased his gritty vocal prowess (“Heroes”, “Circadian”, etc.). He even got a little frisky before playing a new uptempo track called “Eyes On You” during which he expected to see “a booty or two shakin’” in the crowd. Shifting to keyboard duty (an instrument he’s still new to), Cook performed an intense cover of Chris Isaak’s 1989 hit “Wicked Games” followed by an acoustic medley of “Fade Into Me” and his American Idol victory song, “Time of My Life”. Next, he gave an eleven year-old girl in the crowd the ultimate birthday gift: an on-stage serenade (and a free t-shirt!). Anyone with a heart could feel Cook’s sincerity. He treated the crowd to four new songs in a row before closing with a fan favorite “Come Back to Me”.

What happened next was pure genius. Cook returned to the stage alone with an electric guitar in tow to begin his encore with a phenomenal cover of Prince’s classic “Purple Rain”, just to remind you why he was able to win a singing competition. His arrangements are killer. The rest of his band soon emerged to complete the spectacle. Prince would be proud. Cook ended the night with his first hit single “Light On” and lastly on a bluesier note with his latest single “Laying Me Low” which may be an indicator of the rocker taking more musical risks with new material he plans to release next year.

Overall, Cook shined vocally and built rock arrangements around pop songs in tons of solid performances. ‘Twas a night well spent. Check out more photos below.

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  • alamodame

    Thanks for this thoughtful, thorough review. David Cook IS amazing live, with a voice that is getting even better with each year! The five new songs are killers (personal favorites– Eyes on You and I’m Gonna Love you), and yes, he is a master of covers with Wicked Games and Purple Rain. I can hardly be patient, knowing his new record is coming “fairly soon”!!

  • Sassycatz

    Very nice. It definitely reflected what I know of his work having been in his audience a number of times.

  • Genna Baker

    Thanks, Ms. Murray, for this review. I agree with your assessment of Mr. Cook in-concert. I saw him in Illinois 2 wks ago. Really loved all the new songs & his haunting Wicked Game cover. Great show with high energy on both his part & that of the crowd. I found him the whole enchilada talent-wise – vocals, song writing & humor, w/a generous helping of sincere gratitude & humility on the side. So I decided to see him again when he comes to Chicago in November. Really looking forward to it. Hoping our setlist includes Purple Rain, too.

  • KellyMaine

    Great review! I’ve seen him in concert a few times and he’s always fantastic – a great mix of rock/pop and ballads. He amazes vocally and has great stage presence. Always interacts with the audience in funny, sweet and humble ways. I can’t wait to see him again and for his new album which he believes will be out early in 2014!

  • Angie

    Muchas gracias, Katrina for the review. From what I have seen on YouTube, the show was awesome. I have followed David Cook since he won on AI7 but I am always amazed by his talent, humor and personality. I really can’t wait for his new album, EP or whatever, I just want his music, that’s all!! =)

  • Margaret Cotogno

    Great review. Thanks a lot!

  • Leigh Hicks

    Great review, thank you for seeing how great David Cook is. In this day of Autotune lipsynche so called music, it is so awesome to be at a live concert with David Cook and his talented band and hear amazing live music and his amazing voice