Concert Review: Howie Day 2004 Concert Tour
Concert Date: December 19, 2005
· Howie Day
by Scott Juba
Published: December 21, 2004
It used to be that when I mentioned the name Howie Day to people, they would respond by asking, “Howie who?” Now, riding the success of his top 40 radio hit, “Collide”, and the critical acclaim of his sophomore album, “Stop All The World Now”, Day is broadening his once cult following to encompass a diverse range of music fans. In no way was that more evident than by the crowd assembled on Saturday, December 11th, at the Odeon in Cleveland, Ohio. People of all ages and ethnic backgrounds packed the popular concert club to see Day headline the Q104 Jingle Bell Ball.
After a strong opening set from newcomer Will Bowen and a mediocre routine from local teen star Kate Voegele, Day took the stage amidst roaring applause and immediately broke into a spirited rendition of “Sorry So Sorry”. As the night progressed, Day performed fan favorites “Morning After”, “Beams of Light”, (which I’m convinced will one day become a UPS jingle), “She Says”, “Brace Yourself”, “Madrigals”, “Buzzing”, and successfully turned “Collide” into an interactive sing-a-long.
The new outro Day added to “Brace Yourself” illustrates his propensity to experiment in his constant quest to take his music to the next level. The outro nearly tripled the length of the performance, but it has a wealth of honest emotion and blended so well into the end of the song that I doubt anyone would have complained if he had performed it even longer.
What always amazes me about Day is his ability to do so much with so little. Although his concert was labeled as an acoustic performance, his sound was vigorous and energetic. As with all of his solo shows, Day used a pedal system to loop his voice and instrumentals to provide the effect of a full band sound. Because of the improvisation and spontaneity that such a system allows, no two of Day’s live performances are ever the same. Every time Day performs a song, the audience feels as if they’re experiencing it for the very first time, as was the case at the Cleveland concert.
On a downside, however, Day’s set was far too brief. Considering that he was the headlining act, he should have performed for at least 90 minutes; but even with his encore, he fell short of that mark.
It was also a disappointment that he did not have a pre-arranged meet and greet with fans. Although Day’s star is rising rapidly, he is not at a point in his career where he can simply expect fans to show up at his concerts. He needs to actively earn their support and would be wise to remember that they are the reason for his ascension to top 40-radio airplay.
Yet, as talented as Day is, as soon as he belts out one of his many perfectly crafted songs, it’s nearly impossible not to overlook his shortcomings. His flare for originality is unmatched, and his energy on stage is infectious. In an era of synthetic pop icons, Day’s pure sound is the definition of what music should be.
Howie Day performs at the Odeon in Cleveland, Ohio.