Girl Fights, New Covers: Chris Daughtry’s ‘Rock Show’ Hits Its Stride

Singer takes on U2, Pearl Jam — but no songs from 'Idol' days.

Maybe it was all those theme weeks on “American Idol,” but Chris Daughtry is having fun with the cover songs he’s playing on his current headlining tour.

“When we were in Seattle, I did a little Seattle montage, little bits from ‘Nutshell’ from Alice in Chains and ‘Cover Me’ from Candlebox and ‘Black’ from Pearl Jam,” Daughtry recalled. “Actually, the only reason I chose Candlebox, and I love Candlebox, was that [singer] Kevin Martin was at the show, so I thought I’d freak him out a little bit.”

Daughty’s also been mixing in U2′s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and some Led Zeppelin, so can fans look forward to some of his famous renditions from “Idol”?

“No, no, no, no, no,” Daughtry said. “I definitely steer away from that. I mean, you play these songs so many times that you get bored of them yourself. And if you’re bored, the crowd’s gonna be bored.”

The one exception could be an acoustic version of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line,” but “I wouldn’t count on it,” he said.

Daughtry seems to be doing just fine without the “Idol” material. His debut LP jumps back up to #2 on next week’s Billboard albums sales chart (see “Norah Jones Holds Billboard #1, Daughtry Climbs Back To #2″ ) and his tour is in full swing. “We’re playing in these small clubs and it’s been super hot and super sweaty and girls [are] getting in fights in the front rows,” he said. “It’s a rock show, man.”

Daughtry attributes the wild vibe to newfound fans — rockers who have caught onto his successful album but didn’t know him as an “Idol” contender (see “Chris Daughtry Toasting Band’s #1 Success With … Billy Bob Thornton?” ).

“I’m getting new fans every day,” he said. “And we’ve got some serious rock fans in the crowd now and it’s awesome.”

Daughtry will be on the road through April, but plans to book more tours for the remainder of the year. “You miss your family a lot, but I’m loving everything I’m doing, so it helps when you really love what you do,” he said. “And I stay in touch with them as much as I can. Me and my wife are closer than ever. We talk on a daily basis and you’ve just gotta keep it fresh and keep them involved with your everyday life as much as possible.”

In the meantime, Daughtry’s likely second single, “Home,” made its debut last week as the elimination song on this season of “Idol.” “I was home when I wrote it, but I knew that I was gonna be gone for a while,” Daughtry said. “I’d never been away from my family that long, so I kinda got into that mindset and just set out and wrote the song in 10 minutes.”

Daughtry still talks with his fellow season-five finalists and shrugs off a question about Taylor Hicks’ album taking the #50 spot on the albums chart the week his own album hit #1.

“I don’t look at it as any competition,” Daughtry said. “We’re two totally different artists doing two totally different things. And I wish nothing but the best for anyone who gets an album off this show.”

In fact, Daughtry doesn’t focus much on charts or reviews at all.

“That we can go out and play a sold-out show every night, that’s the reward,” he said. “The fans love it and they get the music and they feel like they can relate to it, and that’s all an artist can ever ask for.”

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