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David Cook's Wednesday night concert at the Shooting Star Casino included not only several songs from his platinum-selling, self-titled CD, but also a few popular covers by bands such as Collective Soul and The Cutting Crew. (Photo by Vicki Gerdes)

David Cook rocks Shooting Star Casino

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MAHNOMEN -- He may not have known quite how to pronounce the name, but "American Idol" champ-turned-rock star David Cook gave his Mahnomen audience a concert to remember Wednesday night at the Shooting Star Casino.

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After starting out the show with a cover of the Collective Soul hit, "The World I Know" -- which he first performed on "American Idol," to the acclaim of both audience and judges -- Cook briefly quizzed concert-goers about the correct pronunciation of "Mahnomen."

He said that he'd heard it pronounced a few different ways since his band's arrival in the community on Tuesday, and tried out several varieties on the audience before finally settling on the correct one (Mah-NO-men, for the uninitiated).

Cook's ready wit kept audiences entertained in between faithful renditions of songs from his self-titled debut album, including the rocker "Bar-Ba-Sol" -- complete with synchronized head-banging by his band members -- the anthemic "Heroes" and a few lesser-known songs like "Mr. Sensitive" and "Breathe Tonight."

At one point, Cook jokingly noted that he took it a little personally when he noticed that not everyone in the audience appeared to be having a good time (i.e., that they were sitting down instead of standing up).

He called one such gentleman up in front of the stage, asked him his name, then gave him a casino chip as a bribe to enjoy the rest of the show, adding that it was "the most shameless thing I've ever done."

He then quickly assured the audience that the act would not be repeated, as he had no more chips. (The rest of them, as he lamented earlier, had been lost at the black jack table.)

Cook's humor could also be seen in his music, as he cheekily inserted a couple of bars from the Eagles' chart topper, "Hotel California," amongst the lyrics of one of his album cuts, "Kiss on the Neck."

He interspersed the album favorites with a few unexpected covers, from a rocking rendition of the Cutting Crew power ballad, "(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight," to "Make Me," a song popularized by one of his pre-"Idol" groups, the band MWK.

After rocking the house for well over an hour, Cook slowed things down a little with a performance of the haunting album cut, "A Daily AntheM" (the title is a tribute to his brother Adam, who died this summer after a lengthy battle with brain cancer), then ended the night with an encore that included his chart-topping hits, "Come Back to Me" and "Light On."

Earlier in the evening, show opener Green River Ordinance also kept the enthusiastic audience entertained with a rousing 60-minute set.

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Vicki Gerdes
Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 14 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as obituaries. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
(218) 844-1454
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