I remember walking through the airport a week after Taylor Hicks won the fifth season of American Idol and seeing his face on the cover of every magazine. He had hit the big time after years of playing honkytonks and warehouse dancehalls in the South.
He was always my favorite Idol winner because he was authentic and enthusiastic about performing and singing. Yet, his first CD was filled with overproduced power-pop songs and it bombed.
Hicks played a Sunday night gig recently to a small but enthusiastic audience at Anthology. His backup players were superb musicians, and they opened the show with a heavy percussion version of the Rolling Stones’ "Not Fade Away." Hicks took the lead vocal and proved he'd still be on the magazine covers if enough people could see him perform live.
Hicks ended his 90-minute-plus performance with a surprising ’70s power-rock cover of La Roux's hit "Bulletproof" that was the highlight of the show. He sang and played a mean blues harmonica on Nick Lowe's "Battlefield" and did a roadhouse-rocking cover of "Love the One You're With" that put Stephen Stills to shame. Hicks included several original songs that all sounded great live but don't translate well to studio production. Taylor Hicks has still got the music in him, you just have to see him perform to appreciate it.
- Concert: Taylor Hicks
- Date: August 22
- Venue: Anthology
- Seats: main floor, center bar stool