‘American Idol’ winner Lee DeWyze to gig the tiny Hotel Cafe

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‘American Idol’ has always spoiled its winners. Almost instantly after being crowned, they sign lucrative recording/management contracts, are tossed the keys to a brand new car (even if it’s a Ford Focus) and hit the road, along with the show’s other finalists, for a nationwide summer arena tour.

So it’s a little surprising to hear that 2010 winner Lee DeWyze’s next set of dates won’t be at a larger venue such as the Nokia Theatre, where he recieved his ‘Idol’ crown, or Staples Center, the place he played on last summer’s Idols Live tour. Instead, the singer is headlining two nights at Hollywood’s Hotel Cafe -- one of L.A.'s preeminent launch pads for local singer-songwriters hoping to catch a break.

To be fair, DeWyze, who competed in a season full of acoustic-driven singer-songwriters, never quite fit the ‘Idol’ mold and fans of the show, and critics debated that throughout the season. And he hasn’t had the best post-'Idol’ track record either.

His debut, ‘Live It Up,’ arrived to mostly stale reviews and logged 39,000 copies in its first week. Its No. 19 debut is the lowest for a winner from the franchise, including the oft-ridiculed Taylor Hicks. The disc is only the second, after Season 8 winner Kris Allen’s epoynomous debut, to not debut in the top 10 of the Billboard 200.


DeWyze performs at Hotel Cafe both Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets for the 21+ show (perhaps he forgot who mostly voted for him on ‘Idol’) are $20, not including fees, and can be purchased here.


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-- Gerrick D. Kennedy