Daughtry: Live last night

daughtryDon't let the mean look fool you; Daughtry's a softy at heart.

Live Last Night

By Dave McKenna

Chris Daughtry tries to play rough. At the Patriot Center on Thursday, the former American Idol contender led a band that bears his surname through a set of hard pop that mostly fell somewhere between Nirvana and Bread. Like Vancouver-based Nickelback, Daughtry takes a lot of tough guy poses, but is too sweet to pull off that shtick.

It's sort of a reverse Lipstick on a Pig syndrome: No matter how much leather, chains, flashpots or heavy metal accoutrements a nice boy throws into his show, he's still a nice boy.

(From "American Idol" to "Cougar Town," after the jump.)

"Act like you like us!" Daughtry humbly urged the crowd before the new hard rocker, "Ghost of Me," explaining that the Fairfax set was being broadcast live on the Web. There was no acting necessary.

Daughtry doesn't need to pose. As with all male performers who have broken out of "Idol," the most devoted portion of Daughtry's fan base is middle-aged women. That demographic doesn't care about the pyrotechnics or the tough-guy garb. This bunch was happiest when the band turned down the volume and the fans got to sing along with their idol, so to speak, as they did on "Over You." Happiness and voices filled the basketball arena.

Another highlight of the show came when Daughtry delivered his new single, "Life After You," which is among his softest and sweetest songs, with a melodic, countrified chorus that has him belting out, "All that I'm after is a life full of laughter!" That's in his wheelhouse.

But as soon as "Life After You" was finished," Daughtry screamed what sounded like "Enough of the sissy love songs!" And the band launched into "What I Want," a grungy power chord anger-fest, as prop bombs went off above and behind him. More sissy, please.

By David Malitz |  November 20, 2009; 12:53 PM ET American Idol , Live Last Night
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