David Cook rocks out in Atlantic City

John Sturgeon

The lights went out inside the Music Box at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City the night of March 20 as the crowd went nuts, awaiting the arrival of 2008 “American Idol” winner David Cook.

Starting with just an acoustic guitar, Cook paid homage to one of his favorite bands, Collective Soul, with a beautiful performance of “The World I Know.”

The song showed off his distinctive voice that resonates with people of all ages, just as it did when Cook performed the song on last season’s finale.

Thanks to his tremendous musical talent, Cook can rock hard, then turn around and perform pop ballads.

Throughout the show, he thanked the crowd for voting for him last year and acknowledged what an honor it was to perform in front of different crowds each night.

A consummate showman, Cook worked all sides of the crowd and interacted as much as he could with his fans throughout the performance.

He even performed a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” when an audience member shouted out a request.

Cook’s album is multifaceted, which made for a varied set list. The mix of hard-rocking songs and ballads made it so that there was something for everyone.

His well-crafted songs have memorable choruses and give each member of his band a chance to shine.

Cook introduced all of his band members and talked about how two of them came from his original garage band before winning “American Idol” last year.

The band performed one of Cook’s garage band’s songs and it sounded just as good as the material from his “Declaration” album.

His album has moved over a million copies in four months, an excellent start for a record in today’s music world. He will be presented with a platinum plaque on an “Idol” results show this year.

One of the really fun moments of the show was Cook’s cover of the Van Halen classic, “Hot for Teacher.” Cook ran all over the stage as he channeled David Lee Roth with a crowd-pleasing rendition of the legendary track.

His two big singles, “Come Back to Me” and “Light On” are catchy pieces that the crowd ate up.

After seeing the show and Cook’s professionalism, this is only the start of huge things for him. He co-wrote nine of the songs on his album and has the vocal abilities to sing the phone book.

His ability to take every song and make it original and distinct will only allow Cook to evolve into a stronger artist in the years to come and prove why “American Idol” is good for music.