Stage to rattle: Daughtry and The Dose kick off fair week in raucous style

Joshua Lloyd, Editor-in-Chief

Chris Daughtry and company brought an electrifying set to the Toyota Grandstand to start the Bloomsburg Fair festivities on a high note. Not even the cold September air could sap the energy of the 38-year-old frontman and the band that bears his name.

Before the Friday night Daughtry party got underway, SoCal sons The Dose diagnosed the crowd with a few Nirvana-esque grunge ramblers, including “Glory,” “Truth Lies Inside” and flaming new single “Vervain.” Drummer Ralph Alexander and guitarist and vocalist Indio Downey (whose dad spends a lot of time shooting repulsor blasts on the Marvel set) cite Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and of course, Nirvana as their biggest inspirations.

Before the night was old, the blue lights bathed the stage and the main eventers emerged, instruments in hand and smiles on their faces. Drummer Brandon Maclin, keyboardist Elvio Fernandes and guitarists Josh Paul, Brian Craddock and Josh Steely settled in for what would soon become a six-man musical attack.

Daughtry charged onstage just in time to launch into “Just Found Heaven,” a pumping new anthem from the band’s latest LP, “Cage to Rattle.” “How the hell are y’all doing?” the frontman belted to the ecstatic audience.

Turns out the crowd was doing just fine, shouting in perfect tandem to “Feels Like Tonight,” a staple from the eponymous first album (the “good” album, the band’s leader joked).

Daughtry kept the energy at fever pitch with “Battleships,” “Deep End,” “Backbone” and 2006 deep cut “Breakout.” From there, the frontman seamlessly transitioned into a heartfelt acoustic cover of Foo Fighters’ “My Hero.” Waves of nostalgia washed over the crowd when he invited everyone to sing along on “Home,” the lonesome number that people have been singing incorrectly for over a decade.

The rest of the six-man ensemble rushed back into the light for the surging “White Flag,” then traveled “back in time to 2006” (Chris’ words) for “It’s Not Over,” Daughtry’s one true epic that started the whole journey on the American Idol stage.

After a euphoric rendition of “Over You,” Daughtry vacated the stage for all of two minutes before storming back for the encore. The band lifted off with the platinum-selling single “Waiting for Superman,” then polished off the starry show with the weeping chords of “September” and a super-sized version of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

Becca Kriner of Muncy was mere feet from the stage for the decade-spanning set. “When I saw him on the American Idol tour 12 years ago he was great, but today he’s phenomenal. Chris Daughtry keeps getting better and better.”

Indeed, Daughtry’s star shines even brighter than when they first burst onto the modern rock scene in 2006. The group rocketed towards superstardom with the four-times platinum self-titled album and received four Grammy nominations in 2008, including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album.

In the long years since, they’ve released four more LP’s, a greatest hits compilation and a host of promotional singles. The sophomore album “Leave This Town,” released in 2009, went platinum and “Break the Spell” went gold after the band dropped it in 2011.

It’s been a soul-searching five years for the band following the 2013 release of “Baptized.” “It takes a lot of time to accept who you are. You shave off the persona that you thought people expected, stop worrying about what anyone is going to think,” the frontman says.

“You start to be comfortable with who you are onstage and off, and that all blends together. I think I finally know who I am as a person.”

Rather than enjoy one golden moment on American Idol and fade into obscurity as so many others have, Daughtry keeps coming back for more. At the Toyota Grandstand, the message was clear: it’s not over. For Daughtry, it’s only begun.