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Katherine is the Managing Editor at The Hudsucker. She has been working in libraries for the past 10 years and holds a B.A. in American Studies & Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. In her free time, the Seattleite enjoys writing fiction, going to brunch, taking long walks with her roommate, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Katherine is a huge fan of the Seattle Mariners and has probably seen every Marvel movie at least five times. She loves classic rock and can quote even the most obscure lines from The Simpsons. Follow Katherine on Twitter: @thethingiskat.

Concert Review: David Cook Rocks the Pacific Northwest

Image Credit: David Cook Official

David Cook is currently on tour in support of a forthcoming EP and his new single “Gimme Heartbreak.” Over nine years removed from his American Idol win, Cook plays shows steadily throughout the year, though this is the first time he’s been back to the Pacific Northwest since 2015.

Playing a show in Seattle on August 21 and a show in Portland on August 23, he proved to fans in the area who were clamoring for him to return that it was worth the wait. Mixing old hits and fan favorites, as well as some samplings from his new EP, Cook treated his fans to something special on those two nights.

Kathryn Dean in Portland. Image Credit: Katherine Hernandez

Opening for David Cook is the incredibly lovely and immensely talented Kathryn Dean. Her voice is soulful, yet has a rock and roll edge, and her setlist of 10 songs really showed her versatility as an artist. Accompanied only by an acoustic guitarist, her set was very intimate and the songs ranged from heartfelt ballads to ones that got the audience dancing around, including a great cover of Elle King’s “Ex’s and Oh’s.” Her banter between songs included a lot of questions for the crowd that led to stories about the songs she was about to perform. Though her set was sadly cut short by the venue in Portland, both nights Dean got the show started on a high note and left the crowd pumped for David Cook, while garnering fans of her own in the process.

Cook’s Seattle show took place on Monday, Aug. 21 at The Crocodile, a venue that has hosted many historic Seattle area bands, such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Cook was quick to mention the venue’s history when he introduced the first song of his encore, “Light On,” which was written by Seattle legend Chris Cornell, who died earlier this year. As he does at every show, before playing the song he gave tribute to Cornell and dedicated the song to him. Earlier during his set, Cook gave a shout-out to nearby restaurant Biscuit Bitch, who Cook said had possibly the best biscuits and gravy he’s ever had. His banter, though, was mostly about Monday’s solar eclipse, which he had been excited for but he wasn’t able to view it properly because he wasn’t able to snag a pair of eclipse glasses. Cook humorously took digs at the eclipse, as well as the fact that Seattle didn’t have a total eclipse but that Nashville, where he resides when he’s not touring, did.

David Cook in Seattle. Image Credit: Katherine Hernandez

Wednesday, Aug. 23 in Portland, Cook played the Hawthorne Theatre and mentioned a few times during the set how sorry he was for having to cancel a show he had scheduled in the city last year. He humorously mentioned that he loved that Portland didn’t have sales tax, excitedly noting that he could go to Taco Bell and buy something for 99 cents and not have to worry about it costing more than a dollar. Though Cook doesn’t mention American Idol often in his shows, at one point he brought two audience members up onto the stage after discovering one of them hadn’t voted for him to ask who she had voted for. When she mentioned she voted for David Archuleta, Cook took the news good-naturedly and later even sang a few lines of Archuleta’s song “Crush” in between songs.

Both nights Cook’s sense of humor shone through during his banter before “I’m Gonna Love You,” which included references to “Netflix and chill” and overpriced studio apartments, but his discussion of running naked through the Rose Garden in Portland while trying to avoid thorns left everyone laughing nearly to the point of tears. His wit was on full display in both cities with his banter cracking up the audience, as well as himself and his band, multiple times. And while he was complimentary of both audiences, Cook mentioned that the vibe and energy in Portland was particularly special to him and vowed to make it back to the Pacific Northwest again before ending his set.

David Cook in Portland. Image Credit: Katherine Hernandez

The setlists mostly consisted of songs from his post-American Idol self-titled release and his last album, Digital Vein, starting things off with the rocking “Kiss and Tell” before moving on to old favorites “Heroes” and “Declaration”. He followed up with “Laying Me Low” before playing the only song from 2011’s This Loud Morning to make the cut, “Paper Heart”. He added the lead single off of Digital Vein, “Criminals,” to the setlist at the last minute both nights before playing crowd favorite “Broken Windows”. Next was his lone ballad of the night, “I’m Gonna Love You,” which he followed up with a rocking cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” that the audience in both Seattle and Portland absolutely loved, before ending things with his usual closer “Come Back to Me.”

While the beginning of his set was marked with familiar favorites, those who were hoping to hear new music were not disappointed by the encore. Though starting with his post-American Idol single “Light On,” he then transitioned to a cover off his forthcoming EP of “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins before ending with his new single “Gimme Heartbreak.” Though Cook played the same songs both nights, Portland was treated to an extra song called “Ghost Magnetic” from his new EP as the second to last song of the encore, which Seattle unfortunately did not get to experience.

David Cook in Portland. Image Credit: Katherine Hernandez

The audiences definitely loved the new material, and mentions of his EP got everyone very excited. Cook’s voice sounded spectacular both nights, and he and his current band have great chemistry together on stage. His guitarist and bassist both do backing vocals and harmonies with him, and overall this is probably the best he’s sounded with his band in years. They’re all fun to watch on stage, and together they helped Cook put on some of his best shows in the Pacific Northwest to date. The TV monitors he uses some nights on his tour, Portland featured them but Seattle did not, add an interesting visual dynamic to the show and are something that Cook should definitely keep around. All in all, David Cook gave fans in the Pacific Northwest a real treat with these shows, and they definitely Cook how much they love his music and appreciate his talent. Hopefully it won’t be another two years before he makes it back to the area.

David Cook is currently touring across the United States in support of his forthcoming EP. Details can be found on his PledgeMusic page. For concert dates, visit davidcookofficial.com.

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3 Comments on “Concert Review: David Cook Rocks the Pacific Northwest”

  1. dcfanjane August 25, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

    Awesome!!! Love David Cook. Very talented singer/songwriter. Can’t wait for his new EP

  2. Janine (@Henny3428) August 25, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    Nice detailed coverage..Thanks so much. MR. Cook not only has a compelling and gorgeous voice, he has the personality to accompany it. His shows are always fun, he’s at home in front of a crowd and the banter proves it. One of the many reasons his fans keep coming to his live performances.

  3. Nee September 2, 2017 at 6:09 am #

    Excellent recaps!! Cook is such an
    amazing performer live and none of his shows ever feel boring :)

    Also, I was there at the Portland concert and wondered if you have or there was any audio/video recording of Cook singing Crush? My phone was acting up so I just heard the snippet :( if not, that’s alright!

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