Season eight American Idol winner, Kris Allen, performed at the Milltown Music Hall on Jan. 30 in Bremen, Ga. His opening act consisted of a young singer-songwriter from Atlanta named Ivey Redding. She played several original songs and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Redding’s stand out song, however, was a track she wrote for her grandparents called “Summer of 57” about their long lasting love.
Allen opened his set with “Young Love” by Paul Simon from his fourth studio album Horizons. Allen made a name for himself on American Idol with his unique take on songs. His biggest single from the show was his cover of Kanye West’s “Heartless.” Allen knows what his fans want and delivered by playing a medley of covers, including Sia’s “Chandelier,” Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.” His original songs were upbeat and often inspiring. He prefaced his song “In Time” by talking about how we all have to learn to love the things we do not like about ourselves.
“First you learn to accept it. Then you learn to love it,” Allen said to the crowd.
Allen also entertained the crowd in between songs with jokes, stories and commentaries on the dancers in the crowd. He continued his stream of covers with The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” bringing girls from the crowd on stage to help with the cheer. Another distinctive song was “Monster” from his album Thank You Camellia. Allen sings, “Did I ever think to tell you that I am a monster? / You have never seen this side of me.” This was a coarser shift from the happy love songs Allen previously played. He closed his set with a creative jam titled “End of the Show,” in which he sang about how much he enjoyed the show and how beautiful the audience was.
Allen is a truly talented and entertaining musician, taking the crowd through an emotional journey with his performance. The audience seemed to enjoy the original songs and covers alike, dancing and clapping along to both. Allen has just finished up his tour, but you can find his current album, Horizons, on iTunes.