The following is a review of Taylor Hicks and a recent Texas concert by Jessica Belasco of The San Antonio Express News ...
Even curmudgeonly American Idol judge Simon Cowell would have been tapping his foot Saturday night at the Majestic Theatre when Taylor Hicks took the stage, charming the audience with a voice as smoky as his hair and an obvious passion for blue-eyed soul.
The winner of the fifth season of American Idol stopped in San Antonio on St. Patrick's Day on his first national headlining tour in support of his self-titled major-label debut album.
The audience was predominantly female, and some of Hicksâ€™ most vocal fans were old enough to be his mother.
Dressed in jeans, a button-down shirt, a dark, textured sports jacket and black New Balance sneakers, Hicks, 30, started off his 70-minute set with an energetic romp through the Doobie Brothers' â€œTakin' It to the Streets.â€
He moved easily from his original tune â€œSoul Thingâ€ to Marvin Gay's â€œWherever I Lay My Hatâ€ to Gene McDaniels' â€œCompared to What,â€ which was one of the highlights of the show. He also rocked Supertramp's â€œTake the Long Way Homeâ€ and part of Van Morrison's â€œSaint Dominic's Preview.â€
The set list nicely balanced songs from Hicks' latest album, including â€œThe Runaround,â€ â€œDream Myself Awakeâ€ and the single â€œJust to Feel That Way,â€ with original tunes from â€œUnder the Radar,â€ one of his two independent albums he released before hitting it big on â€œAmerican Idol.â€
He strapped on his guitar for â€œHeart and Soulâ€ and â€œHold on to Your Love,â€ among others.
His only reference to American Idol was a polite â€œThank you for voting for meâ€ before launching into â€œThe Deal,â€ another original tune.
The seven-piece band was excellent, especially guitarist Josh Smith, but it would have been nice to have an expanded horn section, which was one of the strong points of Hicksâ€™ most recent album.
Hicks ended the show by donning a bright green sombrero a fan had placed on the stage and bowing deeply to the crowd.
The opening band, Greyhounds, an Austin funk and soul trio, were an unexpected treat. The band is definitely worth checking out when it returns to San Antonio for a show at Luna on April 13.