David Cook Live at The Ridgefield Playhouse - Feb. 11, 2015

David Cook at The Ridgefield Playhouse - February 11, 2015

Ridgefield Playhouse is a small venue of just 500 seats, with the proverbial "not a bad seat in the house". It's the kind of place where things can get a bit sleepy; most shows are acoustic sets. Not the case at last night's show - Season 7 American Idol winner David Cook encouraged the crowd to stand and most of them stood through the whole show. 

American Idol is the place where David got his start in 2008, making history as the first Idol winner to play his guitar on the show. While the use of a guitar on Idol has devolved into a crutch for the contestants, Cook truly warranted the instruments - he is an excellent guitarist and pianist. He captured attention with slowed-down, haunting covers of "Billie Jean" and Lionel Richie's "Hello", but proved his versatility with hard rock covers of Beatles songs "Eleanor Rigby" and "Daytripper". He was saddled with one of the last true Idol coronation song hits "The Time Of My Life", which was lyrically cheesy yet respectable. 

Cook has only released 2 albums, 2008's eponymous album and 2011's This Loud Morning, but has released a pair of amazing singles ("Laying Me Low", "The Last Song I'll Write For You") in the past 2 years. He also has stayed true to his Idol roots by releasing a few cover tunes (his cover of "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds was the official American Idol exit credit song in 2011). 

David Cook is the rare rockstar who comes off as approachable yet untouchable in his talent. There is no artifice apparent in any moment of his show. He's an affable guy who humored the audience by responding to catcalls - it's the familiarity that such a small venue allows. He held the audience's attention from the front row to the balcony. 

His voice is captivating and just as strong as it sounds on the record. 

Cook's back catalog may only encompass 2 albums, but it's full of rich, gorgeous songs that would have translated well to the live stage. I would have loved to hear "The Last Song I'll Write For You" and "Eyes On You" rather than such a cover-heavy setlist. 4 covers in one concert is a lot by any standard, but especially for an artist with more than one album.

Cook makes it look effortless, a consummate performer and entertainer in an age of Auto-Tune and Dr. Luke.

Paper Heart
Heroes (w/Champagne Supernova)
Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears cover)
I Did It for You
The Last Goodbye
Laying Me Low
Fade Into Me
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
Kiss and Tell
Clocks (Coldplay cover)
I'm Gonna Love You
Come Back To Me
Billie Jean (Michael Jackson cover)
Light On
Wait For Me