By RODNEY HO/ email@example.com, originally filed Thursday, February 25, 2016
Midwest rocker David Cook knows a winner when he sees one. Heck, he was one himself eight years ago on "American Idol."
So last night at Atlanta venue Terminal West, he told the crowd of 250-plus to vote for Olivia Rox this year on "American Idol."
"And if she wins, I'll take credit for it for the rest of my life!" he said, tongue partially in cheek. (They performed a duet of "Light On" on last week's "American Idol.")
Cook, eight years removed from "Idol," had several hits off his first album but hasn't been able to recapture that magic since then. Still, he remains an independent artist who is capable of making of fine living as a touring rock act. Out of the 14 songs he sang, he included eight cuts from his newest album "Digital Vein." Two of the more notable tunes to me were his ballad "I'm Gonna Love You," the catchy piano-driven "Laying Me Low" and the urgent, driving "Criminals."
And he included a cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game," which I recorded right here:
He also handled a technical problem with his guitar during "Kiss and Tell" with aplomb. His roadie Nick Gibson fixed the problem after he finished the song while Cook vamped a bit.
"Let's talk about politics!" he said. Pause. "Kidding!"
After a couple more minutes, he said, "You'd think after this many years of touring, I'd have a better way of getting out of this but I've got nothing!"
Then Cook had to switch guitars anyway, which got a good laugh.
He also lightly mocked his bassist Andy for daring to consume a steak the night before at a Chattanooga Waffle House and received a nasty case of food poisoning.
"Cardinal sin," Cook said.
"It will be a long time before I go back," Andy said. He did recover enough to perform.
Before introducing his latest single "Broken Windows," encouraging fans to call radio stations of "any genre" to request the song, even sports talk. He even name dropped Falcons player DeVonta Freeman, former Falcon Tony Gonzalez and the pitiful Braves. The baseball reference gave him a chance to brag about his KC Royals winning the World Series.
"If the Royals and Braves somehow make it to the World Series this year, let's all go together," he suggested. "But you will all have to buy your own tickets!"
Someone in the audience then yelled, "Will you play halftime?"
Cook looked perplexed, then said, "At the Royals/Braves World Series? Why the hell not! I'll play half time... and the fourth quarter!"
Here are some more shots from the concert: