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, PA Luhrs Performing Arts Center
9/19/14 Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square Theater
9/20/14 Highland Park, IL Food Network in Concert
9/23/14 Austin, TX Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre
9/24/14 Dallas, TX South Side Ballroom - KVIL Radio Show
9/26/14 Norman, OK University of Oklahoma – Meacham Auditorium
9/27/14 Houston, TX Houston Arena Theatre
9/28/14 New Orleans, LA Mahalia Jackson Theatre
10/1/14 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
10/3/14 Sioux City, IA Morningside College - Tyson Center
10/4/14 Kansas City, MO Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
10/5/14 Park City, KS Hartman Arena
10/7/14 San Antonio, TX Majestic Theatre
10/18/14 Ellensburg, WA Central Washington University
10/19/14 Pasco, WA Trac Center
10/21/14 Everett, WA Comcast Arena
10/23/14 Missoula, MT University of Montana – Adams Center
10/24/14 Bozeman, MT Theater at The Brick
10/25/14 Boise, ID Taco Bell Arena
10/28/14 St. George, UT Burns Arena
11/1/14 Atlantic City, NJ Harrah's Atlantic City
11/2/14 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center
11/3/14 Huntington, WV Marshall University
11/8/14 Savannah, GA Forsyth Park - Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon
11/9/14 St. Augustine, FL Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
11/12/14 Sarasota, FL Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
11/14/14 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
11/15/14 Hollywood, FL Seminole Hard Rock
11/18/14 Louisville, KY Louisville Palace Theatre
11/19/14 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
11/22/14 Milwaukee, WI The Riverside Theater
11/23/14 Duluth, MN DECC Auditorium
12/3/14 Reno, NV Grand Sierra Resort
12/7/14 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre
More info at phillipphillips.com