Phillip Phillips – March 15th, 2014 – K-Rock Centre, Kingston, ON
Phillips brings his brand of acoustic musical sincerity to Kingston
Review by Savoula Stylianou / Photos by Tiffany Lam. Phillip Phillips wanted to be starting something in Kingston, like the heart rate of every girl in the audience on Saturday. He’s bringing the groove of the moonwalk back to stages across his first Canadian tour – and it’s just enough to get the girls to rock with him. Sliding across the stage easily in his sneakers, his dance moves were almost as impressive as his guitar work. It was obvious that the singer was having a great time with his fellow bandmates putting on a show for the audience at the K-Rock Centre on Saturday night. The 23-year old American Idol winner is currently on a tour that sees him play 15 Canadian cities in 21 nights, an ambitious effort to say the least. Trying out new material interwoven with his smash hit singles and covers of classic rock tunes, the hour and a half set was an easily listenable mix of the singer’s acoustic rock depth.
Phillips was accompanied in Kingston by Americana folk group Twin Forks, who charmed the audience with their jokes about not being Canadian and the promise of a free EP. Chris Carraba led the band, left without their female counterparts Saturday evening, through the set of whistle, clap, and dance along lighthearted country songs. Tunes like “Kiss Me Darling” were sure to be stuck in peoples’ heads, even after Phillips’ set. For fans like me of the new CW TV show “Reign,” it was a thrill to see the band close out the show with their hit single featured in the first episode, the fast-paced foot-tapping catchy “Back to You.”
When the headliner took to the stage, he was just as humble as one would expect from him. Phillips proved to be genuine and sincerely appreciative of people coming to the show that night to hear him play. Before playing his latest single, “Raging Fire,” he requested of the crowd in his low and gruff country accent, “If you know the song, please sing along. If you don’t know the song, I really do hope you like it.” The crowd reciprocated the appreciation, with shouts of “Welcome to Canada, Phillip!” and “We love you, Phillip!” being heard from the filled seats. While it’s true that the concert garnered a female-heavy audience, there were still girls of all ages there, ranging from groups of teenage friends to mother-daughter duos, proving that Phillips Phillips was a treat for all the ladies in Kingston.
Of course, Phillips sang his two largest hits from the past two years – “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Home.” He also played my personal favourite from his debut album The World from the Side of the Moon, “Where We Came From,” a slower and more blues-centric song that allows the Georgia-native singer/songwriter the chance to show off his ability to provide an honest vocal performance. Paying homage to a few of the artists that he has been listening to recently for inspiration, Phillips covered two songs from the most popular former members of Genesis: Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. The penultimate song from the show was a sped up, grungier version of Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” from the days of Phillips on American Idol, with the added jazz twist provided by the trumpet player on stage with the band.
The show at the K-Rock on Saturday was certainly unforgettable. The music from both performers, Twin Forks and Phillip Phillips, could not have come from more genuine people who wanted to get the crowd up and dancing to the happy tunes, and they definitely managed that. From Kingston, Phillips had 8 dates left on the tour, before he can finally make it back “Home”.
Check out some live photos by Tiffany (@TiffanyLJ_) below!