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Concert review: Daughtry at 1st Mariner Arena

Daughtry's tour opener at 1st Mariner Arena last night had all the right pieces of a gnarly rock show: The angst-filled anthems, the charismatic front man, the laser lights, the shirtless drummer.

But when all the parts came together, the result was a standard, 90-minute color-by-numbers rock concert, somewhat marred by technical difficulties.

To be a remarkable show, it needed a spark, which never came.

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Lead singer Chris Daughtry, with his dexterous voice and new crop of black hair(!) carried the night.

It's easy to see why the former American Idol's debut album, "Daughtry," has sold five million copies: Daughtry makes the simmering low notes count just as much as the wails. He's one heck of a singer ...

A little more volume and a better mix would have gone a long way last night. It wasn't going to happen, though -- the speakers were maxed, and cracked whenever drummer Joey Barnes did a roll.

Spot-on renditions of hits like "It's Not Over" and "Feels Like Tonight" were among the show's highlights, with guitarist Josh Steely cutting loose a few crunchy guitar solos. Daughtry's cover of Phil Collins' menacing "In The Air Tonight" was a welcome surprise, as was his version of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell."

The skeletal staging, with it series of metal stairs and platforms, was bare bones, but the light show was well done. The arena's top tier was closed, and a couple of the lower sections were cordoned off, which made it puzzling when one of the band members thanked everyone for making it a sold-out show.

All told, it was a decent performance -- good but not great, notable but not memorable.

FYI: Daughtry's set started at 9:30 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m.

(Photo by Max Vadukul)

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