Tyrone Wells + Ernie Halter + Leigh Nash
A pair of pearly whites may look good on camera, but in the world of non-Idol pop and rock, the best back charisma and cuteness with something a little bigger.
Tyrone Wells + Ernie Halter + Leigh NashCity: Chicago, IL
As I walked along the sidewalk on my way to Schubas, I noticed a flickering TV screen through an apartment window. American Idol was starting. Someone told me that it was “elimination night.” As the ticket attendant stamped my hand to get into the club, I hoped for everyone’s sake that America -- and Idol’s trio of famed judges -- would pick the best performer. After all, in the world of popular music, fame can be fleeting, and it takes a lot to keep an audience’s attention. Since the new Idols aren’t out of incubation, California native Ernie Halter took on the task of warming up the Chicago crowd. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a raspy, soulful croon, he christened the first portion of the night with a set of gospel-drenched blues. Tailoring his performance to the crowd, he got back affirmative yelps when he playfully inserted “Chicago” into his geographically endearing lyrics (if only Sanjaya had thought to do something similar).
LEIGH NASH [Photo: Colleen Catania]
TYRONE WELLS [Photo: Colleen Catania]
ERNIE COLTER [Photo: Colleen Catania]