Phillip Phillips at the Best Buy Theater NYC — Show Review

When I walked into the Best Buy Theater tonight to see American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, I expected some nicely written, straight ahead strummy pop.

Boy was I wrong. While Phillips obliged the audience with excellent renditions of anthemic hits like “Gone, Gone, Gone,” “Home” and his new “Unpack Your Heart,” I could tell what he really wanted to do was go deep down into the rabbit hole of his delightfully twisted and soulful alter ego.

With a funkified covers of songs like Peter Gabriel’s “Digging In The Dirt” and the Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away” and a decidedly Dave Matthews-like vibe, Phillips lead his truly talented band into much more complex orchestrations.

His varied set sometimes abruptly changed moods as he tried to weave in his past, but I could tell Phillips longed to go full speed ahead, and that was fine by me.

His band superbly shone throughout with interesting instrumentation like trumpet and trombone, Hammond organ and a variety of other keys, plus cello. The bass player was masterful.

And while Phillips himself was relegated to the duty of rhythmic guitar strumming, he is so skilled at that task that he energetically drove every song forward.

Not one for playful banter, Phillips chose to spend his time weaving in and out of the melody and jamming with abandon.

I dug it immensely.

His current album, Behind The Light is the follow-up to Phillips’ hugely successful debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon, which spawned the single “Home” – one of the biggest tracks of 2012 with more than 5 million copies sold.

The World from the Side of the Moon sold more than 1 million copies and debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart and #1 on the Billboard Rock Album chart; successful tours both as a headliner and with Matchbox 20 and John Mayer followed. The World from the Side of the Moon also featured the platinum single “Gone, Gone, Gone.” Since winning season 11 of “American Idol,” Phillips has sold more than 2 million albums and more than 9 million singles.

Upcoming tour dates:

  • 9/18/14 Shippensburg, PALuhrs Performing Arts Center
  • 9/19/14 Cleveland, OHPlayhouse Square Theater
  • 9/20/14 Highland Park, ILFood Network in Concert
  • 9/23/14 Austin, TXStubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre
  • 9/24/14 Dallas, TXSouth Side Ballroom - KVIL Radio Show
  • 9/26/14 Norman, OKUniversity of Oklahoma – Meacham Auditorium
  • 9/27/14 Houston, TXHouston Arena Theatre
  • 9/28/14 New Orleans, LAMahalia Jackson Theatre
  • 10/1/14 Denver, COParamount Theatre
  • 10/3/14 Sioux City, IAMorningside College - Tyson Center
  • 10/4/14 Kansas City, MOArvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
  • 10/5/14 Park City, KS Hartman Arena
  • 10/7/14 San Antonio, TXMajestic Theatre
  • 10/18/14 Ellensburg, WACentral Washington University
  • 10/19/14 Pasco, WATrac Center
  • 10/21/14 Everett, WAComcast Arena
  • 10/23/14 Missoula, MTUniversity of Montana – Adams Center
  • 10/24/14 Bozeman, MTTheater at The Brick
  • 10/25/14 Boise, IDTaco Bell Arena
  • 10/28/14 St. George, UTBurns Arena
  • 11/1/14 Atlantic City, NJHarrah's Atlantic City
  • 11/2/14 Durham, NCDurham Performing Arts Center
  • 11/3/14 Huntington, WVMarshall University
  • 11/8/14 Savannah, GAForsyth Park - Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon
  • 11/9/14 St. Augustine, FLSaint Augustine Amphitheatre
  • 11/12/14 Sarasota, FLVan Wezel Performing Arts Hall
  • 11/14/14 Orlando, FLHard Rock Live
  • 11/15/14 Hollywood, FLSeminole Hard Rock
  • 11/18/14 Louisville, KYLouisville Palace Theatre
  • 11/19/14 Nashville, TNRyman Auditorium
  • 11/22/14 Milwaukee, WIThe Riverside Theater
  • 11/23/14 Duluth, MNDECC Auditorium
  • 12/3/14 Reno, NVGrand Sierra Resort
  • 12/7/14 Phoenix, AZCelebrity Theatre

More info at

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Laura B. Whitmore

Laura B. Whitmore is a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, writing for, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.