NEW YORK -- Chris Daughtry said it was "like playing a really cool-looking living room."
The setting on Thursday night was the MLB Fan Cave in Manhattan, formerly Tower Records, where the band Daughtry played a stellar five-song set for nine lucky Cave Dwellers plus an intimate crowd of fans who were either invited or walked in out of the rain. It was the latest in the MLB Fan Cave Concert Series, and keep an eye on MLBFanCave.com in coming days to share the forthcoming concert video along with MLB.com host Jeremy Briesel's sit-down interview in the Cave basement with Daughtry and guitarist Brian Craddock.
After an introduction by Twins (and Daughtry) fan Lindsay Guentzel, the band played "It's Not Over," "Crawling Back To You," "September," and then, for the first time in a live acoustic setting, "Outta My Head." The second and fourth songs are off their newest album, "Break the Spell." The other members of the band then exited the stage, leaving the lead singer to knock out "4 A.M." -- the ballad he just penned for the third annual Esquire Songwriting Challenge. Fans got a personal meet-and-greet before the band headed out for Hartford on the next tour stop.
"We're excited," Daughtry said. "The fans have been coming out by the thousands, screaming every word back to us. It's been awesome. It's been great to play these new songs, which is probably the most upbeat stuff we've ever done. To see what that does to the crowd, it's been fun."
Daughtry is no stranger to Major League Baseball. Chris performed the last "Star-Spangled Banner" of 2011 -- before Game 7, a story in itself because he arrived during Game 6, saw the Rangers on the brink of clinching and expected to fly back to Los Angeles before the crowd near his hotel signaled a Cardinals comeback that forced another anthem. Fans can see his band again around baseball soon enough, because the Mets announced Thursday that the group will join the club’s rich tradition of ballpark concerts on July 20, after a game against the Dodgers at Citi Field. Daughtry also will perform July 7 at PNC Park after the Bucs play the Giants.
When asked if they were pumped about joining the Mets Concert Series and following in a line of acts that include The Beatles and Billy Joel, Craddock said: "Absolutely. This is an amazing opportunity. Especially with me being a baseball guy from childhood on, this is an honor. I'm stoked."
-- Mark Newman