Lee DeWyze Lives It Up In NYC
Season 9 American Idol winner Lee DeWyze played to an exclusive crowd of adoring fans and Sony Executives at the P.C. Richard & Son Theater last night In Tribeca in NYC. DeWyze performed 9 new songs from his RCA label debut, Live It Up, and his now infamous “Hallelujah”…. the song that many believed sealed the deal for his American Idol victory.
Lee DeWyze embodied the hipster vibes as he donned a plaid button down while stomping around the stage in his black converse kicks. The token “shy guy” persona from American Idol was long gone as DeWyze smiled, charmed, and engaged the crowd with his new music. It was apparent he was excited about finally playing this album live and even stated that “it felt so damn good”.
The upbeat “Stay Here” opened the show and showcased his signature gravely, raspy voice. He strummed along and interacted with guitarist and back up singer, Chris Wrate, throughout the song. DeWyze looked thrilled from the moment he stated playing and it came across loud and clear in his well-known side smile and his grooving on stage.
“Live It Up”, a clear crowd favorite, was the second song on the set list and the crowd knew every word, as it was an early release for eager fans who pre-ordered the album. The breezy, beach vibe song got the crowd swaying and jamming along with DeWyze and Co.”Beautiful Like You”, the only song not written by DeWyze, is definitely single material, with it’s heavy kick drum beat and compelling piano melody. It was one of my favorites and a stand out song of the night.
“Earth Stood Still”, “Weightless” and “Dear Isabelle” showcased DeWyze’s songwriting ability. There were so many elements in the songs, with the multiple instruments, storytelling lyrics, and strong, catchy melodies, it was obvious he took pride in being a songwriter and was glad to have had the opportunity to contribute to the album. “Dear Isabelle”, a more country, twangy vibe Â than the others, stood out as a lyric rich song; a somewhat ode to his hometown of Chicago and a lost love, the imagery was clear. These songs were the perfect opportunity for Lee to bring out the singer-songwriter element that many fans of his previous two independent albums have come to know and love. “A Song About Love” was stripped down with just DeWyze on guitar and Lincoln Cleary on piano, and it was another moment to show that DeWyze definitely has the pipes. He seamlessly transitioned from his deep, gritty tone to falsetto with ease.
DeWyze rounded out his hour set with “It’s Gotta Be Love” a fun, upbeat number about a drunken hookup that could possibly be love…. or a hangover. The girls in the crowd, swooning over his charm, particularly liked this one… and Lee graciously blushed as the shouts of “I Love You” and “You’re Hot” rang through the small venue. “Sweet Serendipity” the first single off of Live It Up, a catchy pop song with a hook that is guaranteed to be stuck in your head, was one of the last songs. DeWyze bopped around and urged the crowd to sing along to the wordy chorus, and again seemed shocked that people knew the words to something that he wrote.
The encore, “Hallelujah”, the very song that Simon Cowell chose for Lee during the finals of American Idol and very well may have won him the crown, rounded out the set nicely. It started off in a quiet tone with just piano and light drum, but then guitarist Chris Wrate joined in and turned it into a full blown rock number. Not being outdone, Lee stepped up and belted out “Hallelujah” with ease and reminded us that he does deserve the success that he will hopefully achieve with his debut.
Lee DeWyze shined and brought his A game last night as he played these songs live and with his band for the very first time.Â It is clear he has grown since American Idol, and things can only get better from here.
Live It Up hits stores November 16th.
Check out iheartradio for more information on Lee DeWyze and his debut album, Live It Up, and more exclusive concerts.