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Idol Worship: David Cook Talks Tour, Season 8

Cook_set_list_6 It wasn't that we weren't ready for season 8 of American Idol to start, but on premiere night, we couldn't pass up one last look back at season 7. And so, instead of being glued to our TV at 8:00 p.m., we watched David Cook wow a crowd of several hundred diehard fans — live! — on the Jimmy Kimmel Live outdoor stage, in what was undoubtedly a stroke of booking genius. Perhaps you caught some of the performance on Tuesday night's show? Well, let us fill you in on what you didn't see.

Cook played a five-song mini-set that kicked off with his debut single, "Light On," and included a rousing version of "Kiss on My Neck," a bonus track offered with his self-titled album, as well as one very ambitious cover of Fleetwood Mac's 1987 hit "Little Lies" (see full set list lifted from Cook's guitar tech below). There was lots of sing-along going on, as the audience took over the chorus on "Declaration" and handled the breakdown in "Light On" with aplomb, which made for a cheery Cook and a confident, now super-tight band. Band members Neal Tiemann, Andy Skib, Joey Clement and Kyle Peek brought the rock, but it was Idol worship all the way. The proof was in the signage: "David Cook Is My Guitar Hero," "I heart DC" and "Marry Me, David," among other homemade banners held high by teens and cougars alike, some of whom had been waiting out in the L.A. heat all day in hopes of scoring a front row spot.

But we've got some good news for fans aching for their own live dose of Cook: He's heading out on a college tour starting Feb. 13. Following a performance to open the American Idol Experience at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando on Feb. 12, Cook will hit the road for a month's worth of dates, starting in Tallahassee, Fla.. The full tour routing should be announced this week, Cook told us after the show.

What else did our reigning American Idol winner have to say on this premiere night? Read on for our quickie Cookie Q&A...

What can you tell us about the tour?

We're gonna do a kind of grassroots thing and hit a lot of colleges. Because I remember going to shows in my college life and feeling like there's such a cool energy that you don't find in a regular venue. Like in the '70s, all these amazing bands were playing college circuits, and I want to get back to that. It's what I'm really stoked about — not only do I get to go out with four cool guys and have fun, but I get to do what I want to do.

Any thoughts on openers?

We'll take on any comers, man. My vibe right now is that we just want it to be real. I want whoever goes to the show to come out and feel like they got way too much for what they paid for.

Your cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Little Lies" was unexpected. Are you a big fan?

I'm more of a cursory fan. It was an idea that my guitar player Neil brought up, and I was, like, "Oh yeah, I remember this song." He and I tossed it around and worked it out. It's fun to play, it's got a cool energy and when you throw on the distorted guitars, it works.   

You're obviously no stranger to big moments on live television, but what was it like to receive your first platinum plaque on "New Year's Rockin' Eve?"

I was a little bit in shock, so my reaction was not indicative of how I felt. I was just so focused in on the performance that night that it was like, "OK, what?! There's a platinum record right there. It's legit!" But it was an amazing plaque and it looks very nice in the house. Hopefully I'll get a few more to add to the collection.

Idol is starting up as we speak. Will you be watching this season?

I Tivo'd it. But it's funny, I was telling my manager earlier, everything is so fresh all of a sudden. To talk about Idol again, I remember how it felt to do city auditions and get to Hollywood. I'm anxious and nervous for these people. So I'll probably watch it with half a fingernail hanging on, chewing them to the nub.

According to new judge Kara Dioguardi, the guys are looking good this year. Do you feel like you and David Archuleta had anything to do with an impressive male turnout?

Talent is talent and I'm certainly not at the point where I feel responsible for anyone. It's all much bigger than me. But I'm excited to see how the changes go and I'm always on the lookout for another good rocker. I'm still amazed that it happened to me! -- Shirley Halperin

January 14, 2009 in American Idol, In Concert, Music, Television | Permalink


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I saw the videos from this show on YouTube, and I have to say, his version of Little Lies is the first time I truly liked the song. Somehow he made it work as a rock number.
All in all, the set was very rock oriented, David didn't do any of his softer songs, which was probably intentional to give it a more cohesive feel. I love the acoustic numbers, but the set he gave on Kimmel really worked as a whole.
I'll be going to the tour if he comes anywhere near me. Thank you for the article and Q&A.

Posted by: Joanna | Jan 14, 2009 3:33:21 PM

Seems like a nice enough guy. I downloaded a few singles from his CD and they were pretty good. I'm curious to hear what his cover of Little Lies would sound like even though I don't get why he does any covers when he has a CD full of his own music.

Posted by: andrew | Jan 14, 2009 3:34:17 PM

I was at the Kimmel concert and he puts on a hell of a live show -- can't wait till he's on tour and can start doing full sets.

Posted by: Michelle | Jan 14, 2009 3:44:50 PM

I have seen all the videos from this (thanks to some sneaky fans since cameras werent allowed). And I must say they are awesome. Especially Kiss on the Neck. That is his first time singing that live. I thought I was going to fall out of my chair. Cant wait for the tour. If he doesn't come to a place near me, well I guess I am just going to have to take a road trip.

Posted by: Mary | Jan 14, 2009 3:56:20 PM

This guy rocks. He was awesome on JKL. I listen faithfully to David Cook, Analog Heart and Axiom. I can't wait for the tour. He is pure genius in concert!

Posted by: Holly | Jan 14, 2009 4:54:44 PM

This guy rocks. He was awesome on JKL. I listen faithfully to David Cook, Analog Heart and Axiom. I can't wait for the tour. He is pure genius in concert!

Posted by: Holly | Jan 14, 2009 4:54:44 PM

He's awesome live. What people who look down on Idol miss is that these performers are terrific live. He's got singing chops that some top current rock acts can't match in a live setting. His band is amazingly good. Look out particularly for Tiemann (lead guitar) and his rad drummer (Peek). Cook's guitar shredding aint bad either.

Posted by: keisha | Jan 14, 2009 6:04:54 PM

I'm interested in the chicken scratching on the set list you have pictured. I get the notes as "opening notes" but what do the colors written on there mean?

It was a fantastic show. Cook and Company Rock all the way. Every single member is extremely addition to Neal and Kyle...Andy's vocals and musicianship help hold it all together, and Joey's bass guitar provides the foundation. DC has put together a solid rock band.

Posted by: Mary | Jan 15, 2009 6:49:17 PM

David Cook is the REAL DEAL, a multi-talented musician/singer/composer/entertainer with a heart. Idol opened the door, but he was well on his way before he got on that show. Just check out his album, Analog Heart and you'll see what I mean.

I just hope he's coming somewhere near Racine, Wisconsin - Maybe Milwaukee or Madison or Chicago. Gotta see him live! He's sooooooooooo HOTTTTT!

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Posted by: sexiklip2008 | Jan 17, 2009 7:13:39 AM

My daughter and I saw the show, and it was fantastic. He really played to the crowd and his voice was tuned to perfection. Before the show, he came over a fence to sign autographs for a small group of fans who realized he was behind the stage being interviewed. He was so humble and generous with his time. I hope those that are hung up on the title "American Idol" will give him a chance. He not only has an powerful voice/vocal range, but he appreciates his fans. Let SDSU know you want to see him!

Posted by: Susie | Jan 17, 2009 3:50:55 PM

I saw all the clips on You Tube and he is so awesome. I also hope that people forget the AI title and give him the chance he deserves. He is extremely talented and has more charisma that I have seen with anyone. His prior music shows that he is where he belongs, IN THE SPOTLIGHT. He is fearless and gives the audience more than they pay for.
I love this guy.

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