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Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 07, 2018    
 
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Daughtry - O2 Academy, Manchester (UK) - 17 October 2018

For me, the recent Daughtry 'Cage To Rattle' album was a major disappointment and continued a trend that started with 2013's 'Baptized'. Chris Daughtry made several comments in the years leading up to the 'Cage To Rattle' release, stating that the "guitars would be back" and the style "would be more in keeping with the first three albums, rather than the Pop-driven 'Baptized'". Unfortunately, neither of these came to be true and 'Cage To Rattle' has less balls than Steve Perry's 'Traces' CD. Despite conducting an unconvincing interview a few years back, it is still unclear whether the musical direction is a result of record label pressure or the search for a higher profile and greater commerciality.

I was hoping the live performance would have more energy and passion than much of the mawkish twaddle on 'Cage To Rattle', but upon entering the venue, I could hear Cyndi Lauper blasting through the PA. My hearing had already been assaulted and any sense of optimism had been dispelled. The show was nearly a sell-out, so clearly the fan base was still healthy enough. I also couldn't help but notice a large number of younger (pre-teen) audience members, so obviously the direction Daughtry have opted to take has attracted some new listeners.

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The set (proper) began with 'Just Found Heaven'. It is the opening song on 'Cage To Rattle' but a strange way to start the show as it's a mid-tempo workout that lacks any real punch. Things picked up with 'Feels Like Tonight' and then 'Battleships', the latter being one of the better (albeit "poppy") tracks from 'Baptized'. Another couple of new songs then followed – the jaunty 'Backbone' and sleepy 'Deep End' – before Chris Daughtry announced a song from the first album ("the good one"); 'Breakdown' was that song which unfortunately meant the slow trend continued. When Chris Daughtry strapped on an acoustic guitar for his solo spot, he asked whether we wanted an old song or a new song. He can't have been surprised by the "old song" response, but he played a new one anyway – the drippy 'As You Are' which he wrote for his wife. He did follow this with 'Home' which was accompanied by the loudest sing-along of the night. We got more new songs, plus the more popular 'It's Not Over' and 'Over You', before the 'Waiting For Superman', 'No Surprise' and 'September' encore. After fifteen songs and just seventy minutes, the evening came to a close and I don't think I was too unhappy to be stepping outside into the Manchester air again (though I was unhappy about the motorway closures and traffic queues that I encountered on my journey home).

Chris Daughtry has a great voice (of that there is no doubt) and I'm sure many of the people in attendance had a great time, but I was underwhelmed and felt it was more a Chris Daughtry showcase than a band performance. I truly hope Daughtry have another "Rock" record in them, but for now, file next to Bryan Adams in the "what might have been" pile.

Dave Bott


Daughtry Live

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