Who: David Cook
What: “Total Request David Cook” benefitting Race for Hope – DC
When: May 5, 2017
Where: Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA
Another year, another Race for Hope concert benefitting David Cook’s Team for a Cure! For those of you who don’t know (I suspect most of you do, if you’re reading this to begin with), Race for Hope – DC is a huge 5K walk/run benefiting brain tumor research via Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure and the National Brain Tumor Society. It’s held in downtown Washington on the first weekend of May every year. I joined as a part of David Cook’s team back in 2011 when I first moved to DC for school, though the team itself is going into its tenth year and the Race for Hope celebrated its twentieth year last week. David Cook usually does a benefit show the Friday or Saturday before the race itself, so it’s always a great weekend raising money for a great cause. The Race is over, but donations are still open for 2017…follow the link above if you are so inclined, every little bit helps!
This year’s show was particularly interesting because David Cook turned the setlist over to the fans–within reason, anyway. It was billed as “Total Request David Cook” (lookin’ ’90s fab!) and included eight fan-voted songs on the setlist, along with other mainstays and even a preview of his upcoming single, “Gimme Heartbreak” (thanks Eric Ascher for the clip from almost my vantage point, and also for keeping me out of the frame–a few Bulleit and ginger beers won’t interfere with my photography, but they will occasionally get me dancing. YouTube has already seen that, and doesn’t need any more of it.) The debut performance sounded extremely promising–if bluesy/R&B influences are coming into play, I’m here for it. (Though, let’s be real, I’d be here for it if he wanted to do a psychedelic prog-polka album at this point.) It’s got a lyrical edge to it, and an immediate likability that had the chorus stuck in my head after a couple of listens and the verses after another spin or two. I don’t think that telling artists of any ilk what they should be doing is cool, but if I, for whatever reason, had my druthers…well, I am intrigued and enthused to say the least!
Other standout moments for me included the return of “Time Marches On,” a personal favorite that hadn’t been performed since 2011 (I still think about it every time I walk past the side door of the Warner Theater downtown–we heard it being soundchecked while walking to dinner before it was debuted there at the 2011 Race for Hope benefit show, and it later became one of those “right song at the right time” tracks for me), hearing “Breathe Tonight” live for the first time, and the moody debut of another Fleetwood Mac cover–“The Chain.” If I could be reincarnated as anyone it would probably be Stevie Nicks, so by all means, bring on the Mac covers. Hell, start a tribute band. I wouldn’t be mad. Okay, unless it preempted the original music. Because if “Gimme Heartbreak” is any indication, I want to hear that stat. 😉
Enjoy the photos, and as always, please do not crop out watermarks! 🙂