Monday, September 27, 2010

Lee DeWyze at Arlington Park, 9/24/10

American Idol Season 9 winner and Mount Prospect native Lee DeWyze returned home on Friday to play a concert at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights. Backed by his own band, he sang a combination of covers and originals and treated the crowd to his first performance ever of new song "Only Dreaming" off his upcoming album due to be released November 16. He said the song is probably his favorite song he's ever written. DeWyze looked very confident onstage and told the audience how much he appreciated their support.

From the two times I've seen him perform live, I've seen how DeWyze connects to the feelings of the music and puts his whole soul into singing. On Friday he tackled covers of Elton John's "Rocket Man," Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody," Dave Matthews Band's "Crash Into Me," and U2's "Beautiful Day." "Beautiful Day" was his first single released after winning American Idol; much to the delight of everyone in the crowd, DeWyze sang his unique version of the song, which he has performed on various TV appearances but isn't the version released as a single. One of the highlights of the entire concert was "Rocket Man," where DeWyze's gritty, soulful take on the beginning made me completely forget Elton John's version. From his pre-Idol album Slumberland DeWyze sang "So What Now," "Annabelle," and one of my favorites of the night, "Stay."  He also sang two songs that he memorably performed on Idol: Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." I think he sang a few more songs but I am not able to remember them right now.

While DeWyze previously performed at the American Idols Live tour in August at the United Center, this concert was his first solo performance since he won Idol; DeWyze told the crowd that this concert begins his career. I think he sounded awesome with the band backing him and you could tell how much fun he was having performing at home. At one point during the show, after ending a song, DeWyze announced that was the point where he was supposed to be done; his band left. Listening to the screams of the crowd, he remained on the stage and sang two more songs with just his guitar.