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Phillip Phillips comes ‘Home’ to Legends

William Neal | Sunday, January 20, 2013


Phillip Phillips, the name so nice you have to say it twice (kind of), graced Notre Dame’s own Legends nightclub Saturday night to show a majority of the students that there’s more to his repertoire of songs than “Home.” 

This Season 11 “American Idol” winner wowed the audience with his unique mix brand of folk and jazz, rock and rap, proving that he may just be the best thing to come out of “American Idol” since Taylor Hicks (just kidding). 

But in all seriousness, Phillips may not be widely recognized outside of his triple platinum hit-single, but his Saturday concert demonstrated to everyone in attendance what a true talent he is. 

Drawing songs from his debut album and Christmas present to mothers everywhere, “The World from the Side of the Moon,” the audience was able to see that this “Idol” star certainly has a style that strays from the pop scene. His songs may remind you in ways of artists like Mumford and Sons and John Mayer, but Phillips never seems like a rip-off of these performers who fall within this broad genre of music. 

With every original song from “Man on the Moon” to “Gone, gone, gone” (sure to be his next radio hit), audiences would cheer for his talents both vocally and on the guitar. Soon, the students close enough in the crowd to pay attention would stop chanting for “Home” and instead just appreciate every song that followed.

The real treat before his finale was his occasional break out into guitar-infused rap hits. Girls and guys alike screamed with glee as Phillips transitioned into ten seconds of “Gangster’s Paradise” or played a mash-up of “Lose Yourself” and “All I Do Is Win.” Phillips is proof that in order to achieve success following an “American Idol” win, you don’t need the biggest voice, but instead a refreshing and entertaining style. 

Phillips’ group featured a few talented musicians including a guitarist making creepy faces and one awesome cellist. When the time finally came for him to perform “Home,” the audience erupted into massive applause as a sea of recording cell phones emerged from the crowd. 

It’s easy to see why this feel-good song was extensively featured in the Olympics, motion pictures and beyond: It’s enjoyable, unique and has a universal message (despite a lack of lyrical variety). This may have not been a high-energy concert (or one that had the confetti storm like Friday’s show), but it was by all means an enjoyable experience from start to finish. 

Unless this isn’t your preferred style of music, the only issue I could mention was that Phillips never really made an effort to address and connect with the audience between songs. Maybe it’s just not Phillips’ strong point, but it’s one aspect that could have possibly improved the experience further. 

In the end though, it’s all about the music, and he and his band certainly succeeded. I’ve listened to a few songs from his album, but they were far more enjoyable performed live. 

Phillips is an artist who doesn’t blend in with the other performers of the pop scene but still has a style of music that can be appreciated just as widely. I’m confident from his performance that Phillips will continue to make an impact on the music scene and will certainly exceed beyond the status of a one-hit wonder. 

Phillip Phillips is an outstanding musician, and for those of you who didn’t have the opportunity to see him perform live on Saturday, listen to his new album. You will be pleasantly surprised.