REVIEW: Phillip Phillips at Irving Plaza

Former American Idol winner Phillip Phillips brought is Magnetic tour to NYC on Sunday night in support of his new album Collateral in front of what looked like a packed house – it’s hard to tell when Irving Plaza is sold out unless you read the marquee – and ran through 13 songs before all was said and done as the holiday weekend started to wind down. I had always found Phillip Phillips to be wildly on the country side back in his Idol days, but since then he’s become more pop-rock and folk than country. Neither of those are a bad thing, but I had always hoped he’d stay with what got him to the dance on Idol.

But I digress one paragraph into this review, not my best start but we’ll run with it. Phillip Phillips doesn’t get much – if any – airtime on the radio here, so only the really mainstream songs are well-known to anyone who isn’t a massive fan, and my go-to source for setlists no longer lists songs played by album, so finding out exactly what he played off the new album is something of a challenge. I know he played Magnetic at some point near the end of the night, but that’s the only one I’m album to definitively confirm off the new album.

Other tunes consisted of Raging Fire, Don’t Tell Me, Man on the Moon, Gone, Gone, Gone, Get Up Get Down and the two-song encore featuring Phillips without the rest of the band on What Will Become of Us – and the full-band My Name to wrap things up. This one ended up being a rather pleasant surprise; not many former American Idols have amounted to much of anything – Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry (who didn’t even win and should have), Kelly Clarkson are the others who jump immediately to mind – and Phillip Phillips has, for the most part, flown under the radar. He opened for Goo Goo Dolls last summer and has done a decent amount of touring since being crowned American Idol, but he hasn’t really played those huge shows as a headliner as he mostly plays much smaller venues where his Idol contemporaries play much, much larger shows – Underwood especially. Smaller, more intimate shows seem to be his thing, though, as he can sell them easily and keep the performance to a smaller number of his most dedicated fans.

That’s gotta suck for those lazy fans out there who procrastinated on tickets and missed out on the show, because as a largely under-the-radar performer, Phillips blew this one out of the water from jump street. Check out the gallery below.