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Never idle Daughtry set for theme park splash

By Anna Gronewold

This article was published June 26, 2014 at 2:07 a.m.

daughtry-is-fronted-by-lead-singer-chris-daughtry-center

Daughtry is fronted by lead singer Chris Daughtry (center).

Daughtry

8 p.m. Saturday, Magic Springs Water and Theme Park, 1701 E. Grand Ave., Hot Springs

General admission: $54.99 the day of concert ($49.99 if purchased online)

Season passes: $74.99, allowing pass members park and concert admission throughout the 2014 season

Children 3 and younger receive free admission and children shorter than 48 inches are admitted for $33.99. Adults 55 and older may purchase a ticket for $33.99.

Lawn seating is included with the price of admission and limited reserved seating is available for an additional $5 or $10.

(501) 624-0100

magicsprings.com

Despite tattooed limbs and Creed-esque growls, Chris Daughtry has a sense of humor. So, in a twist from his earlier releases, the rocker's fourth studio album, Baptized, surprised fans with its poppy, synth-y and folk-y tracks, a nod to his light-hearted personality.

"I didn't want to take it so seriously," says the 34-year-old American Idol finalist. "Historically speaking, I've always written serious rock songs, or break-up tunes, and I'm not that guy all the time. More often than not I'm a jokester."

The famously bald singer-songwriter will play Saturday at Timberwood Amphitheater at Magic Springs Water and Theme Park in Hot Springs. Upbeat Daughtry is a confusing juxtaposition in a society that interprets post-grunge's distorted guitars as an S.O.S. signal from a tortured soul.

"Sometimes it's OK to be funny and still be taken seriously," he says. "I thought, 'man, people don't know that about me, because everything I've written is so doom and gloom.'"

Maybe that's why Daughtry's jokes didn't fly during a June 6 appearance on Fox and Friends, in which he sidestepped an impromptu patriotic tribute to D-Day veterans, quipping, "I'm off the clock." Later Daughtry apologized via YouTube, saying he panicked and responded with a poor attempt at humor.

The intensive public scrutiny proves what was foreshadowed when Daughtry opened for Bon Jovi in 2008: He has reached super-stardom.

The North Carolina native didn't have the luxury of a slow rise to fame. After taking fourth place in the fifth season of American Idol (where is winner Taylor Hicks anyway?), crowd favorite Chris Daughtry formed a band, which collectively took his name. A self-titled album followed in October 2006, with hits like "It's Not Over" and "Home" making Billboard's Top 100 charts.

Daughtry has toured nonstop since January 2007, from Europe to Singapore, with alternative rockers like 3 Doors Down, Nickelback or this summer's co-headliners, Plain White T's and Goo Goo Dolls (but not for the Magic Springs gig).

Initially the schedule was a shock, Daughtry says.

"Those first few [years] were really fast and furious," he says. "Sometimes we were doing more than one tour at a time. I don't actually know how we survived it. I had to figure out ways to kind of detach and decompress and actually feel like I'm having a life."

Now he's got the rhythm down. On the tour bus, Daughtry pursues his childhood dreams of comic book illustration with digital art on his tablet. He waits, semi-patiently, for the new season of Walking Dead and tries to convince his son that he is too busy to start binge-watching Game of Thrones.

And at night, he says, it's as if he blacks out.

"I'm coming from a very deep and real place with everything I'm performing up there," Daughtry says. "It's all heart and soul. Honestly, I'm just letting it come through me. I want to take people out of their ... whatever is going on. I want it to be an escape."

Daughtry continues to release hits, like the Baptized single, "Waiting for Superman," which debuted at No. 70 on the Hot 100. He said he admires artists like John Rzeznik, Goo Goo Dolls' veteran frontman, who has toured for nearly 30 years.

"No matter how tired, no matter how much you're on the road, you know that you were born for it when you're at home, and two weeks goes by, and you're wondering when the next gig is," he says. "I feel guilty sometimes with how much I do love it, but I really don't think I could do anything else with the same fire."

Weekend on 06/26/2014

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musicfan says... June 27, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.

Now how about a little reality? First, Daughtry is not a co-headliner in the current tour, he plays second with about one half as many songs as Goo Goo Dolls. The latest album he made was what the label told him to make. And it hasn't done well.
About his little faux pas on the patriotic encore that Fox Summer Concert series asked him to do, it really didn't get all that much attention. A real super star reaction would have been more like what the Dixie Chicks got. Very few people really cared. I was surprised at his lack of ability to lead the crowd in a simple little song. They weren't asking for much.
You brought up Taylor Hicks name, asked where he was, Taylor could have handled that in a heartbeat, with or without a band. T is a real entertainer, comfortable on stage and thinks about his audience instead of about himself.
And where is Taylor? Well, he made the top Idol earners last year so he must be doing something. He just finished 2 years in Vegas, had two sold out shows (all by himself) in the last few weeks and is preparing for a big 4th of July show. And if hes asked for something extra he won't have to go "off the clock" . He would never have to do that.
Oh, and Daughtrys Heart and Soul remark. Sorry, but Taylor is the heart and soul man. That was even the name of his very good book. The Daughtry is very good at borrowing what belongs to others. His pre-idol band, Absent Element, were very involved in the songs that made up Daughtrys first album that did so well. And they have yet to receive a dime for their work. That first album was bound to do well as it was pimped and promoted beyond reason. All in an effort to teach the real winner a lesson. All albums since have been a downward spiral. This latest one hasn't even made it half way to gold.

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