“American Idol” champion David Cook disgruntled some of his Filipino fans by excluding “The Time Of My Life” in his Manila concert set list last May 16.
“The Time Of My Life” was the coronation song of “American Idol” Season 7 which Cook won. The song went as high as number three in the US Billboard charts and became an even bigger hit in Canada (#2) and in the Philippines (#1).
Instead, Cook performed a barrage of unreleased tracks from his self-titled album that left the crowd lethargic. Songs from “Analog Heart,” an album he released during his pre-“Idol” days, made the crowd even more listless.
“We’re playing songs you’ve never heard before,” Cook explained, noticing the lull. “Is that okay?”
The only familiar songs from Cook that night were “Light On” (first single off “Cook”) and his remake of “Always Be My Baby” (originally by Mariah Carey).
“Little Lies” (Fleetwood Mac), although a charter in the US back in the 80s, received little airplay in the Philippines, thus, was hardly recognized when Cook performed it.
The rock singer opened his set somberly with just a guitar accompanying him in “The World I Know;” perhaps in honor of his brother, Adam, who died of brain cancer in March.
At one point, the “Idol” champ mingled with the audience and took a picture of himself using the camera of a fan.
He asked for a show of hands of those who bought his album. Cook, however, must have been let down when the audience couldn’t sing along.
“You guys are still having a good time…right?” he’d check on the crowd from time to time.
To catch the audience’s attention, the singer uttered the Filipino words “Salamat!” and “Magandang gabi!”
“I hope I didn’t butcher ‘em,” he said good-naturedly.
His latest single, “Come Back To Me,” Cook dedicated to newly weds. His doing so had some people scratching their heads.
Part of “Come Back To Me,” after all, goes, “You say you’re leaving as you look away/I know there’s really nothing left to say…”
Cook only gave an encore. Few fans shouted for more the second time he left the stage. Many were more interested in leaving The Mall of Asia Concert Grounds as fast they could to beat the expected traffic jam.
“American Idol” Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta served up a more balanced repertoire.
Although with fewer hit songs (two to Cook’s three), Archuleta was able to keep the audience interested by peppering his set list with four remakes: “Stand By Me” (Ben E King), “Angel” (Robbie Williams), “A Thousand Miles” (Vanessa Carlton) and a snippet of “Beautiful Girl” (Sean Kingston).
The remakes were performed successively at the latter part of the show, thus, establishing a sense of climax. Archuleta also wisely alternated between fast and slow songs instead of a stream of songs that had the same time signature and arrangement.
Archuleta was all over the stage. That’s why after doing certain fast numbers, he would reach for his bottled water and drink which, oddly enough, earned hoots of approval from the audience.
He also accompanied himself on the piano in some songs (e.g. “To Be With You”) and even whistled the instrumental hook in “Your Eyes Don’t Lie.”
The 18-year-old singer had some breathing issues in a couple of the fast numbers. Nevertheless, he was pitch-perfect in most and he was able to reach the high notes especially in “A Little Too Not Over You” and “Crush.”
Other songs that Archuleta performed were “You Can,” “Barriers,” “Don’t Let Go,” “Zero Gravity” and “Waiting For Yesterday.”