Howie Day Is More Than Just ‘Collide’

Howie Day
The Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
October 7, 2009


Howie Day Chicago 15

For those of you not aware, Howie Day just released his latest record Sound the Alarm last month. If you were at his Chicago show this past Wednesday, then you definitely heard a lot of new songs off Day’s third studio album. “She Says” was the second song performed during his too short (in my opinion) set of just 45 minutes. The song is “on both the first and second albums,” Day informed the crowd. Looking back at the singer/songwriter’s discography, I discovered that “She Says” from 2003’s Stop All the World Now is the ‘Chris Lord-Alge Mix.’ The version from debut album Australia (2002) is the ‘Original,’ which is basically another way to say acoustic instead of produced with additional instrumentation and arrangement. The song was then re-recorded in 2005 and released as a single. There’s no doubt in my mind that fans love both recordings of the song. Although Howie’s recordings are a mixture of acoustic and full band productions, his Chicago date on the Colbie Caillat tour had Day playing on acoustic guitar with assistance from his touring electric guitarist.

More photos of Howie Day and some notes from the show after the jump…

Set List / Chicago

Be There

She Says

Perfect Time of Day




Standing In the Sun

My Heart Will Go On (parody cover)


No Longer What You Require

Before playing “Weightless” off his new album, Howie Day let fans in a little insider information. The talented guitarist told his audience that “Weightless” was probably his favorite track on the record because “My mom likes this one, you know?” How could he not express a little favoritism toward the song after finding out it was his mom’s favorite? Not to be perceived as being too serious, Day snuck in a brief parody cover of “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. Singing in his best falsetto (make that mock falsetto), Day stopped after the Titanic theme song’s first verse much to the crowd’s disappointment. Howie thought the crowd would understand it was just a joke, but soon realized that people were really truly into the impromptu cover and wanted him to keep going and finish the song!

Howie Day The Riviera TheatreAlas, Howie Day finally gave the audience what they were waiting for, “Collide,” which was the hit that made Day a household name in the world of mainstream music. This was when the radio fans (as I call them) blatantly stood out from the die hard Howie Day fans who have supported him through his career for the past seven years. As soon as Day began strumming the opening chord progression of monster smash hit “Collide,” those in the venue who only know that particular Howie Day song exploded with cheers. After all, this was the one piece of music the radio fans recognized and therefore had to release their built-up anticipation somehow. Why not scream and holler so as to express how grateful they were to finally have Day play “Collide.”

Even if you only know Howie Day because of one hit (ahem, read above paragraph), you should check him out live in concert at least once. You will not be disappointed. My friend at the show made the comment that Howie was like “a guitar DJ” after witnessing him utilize his foot pedal like it was a turntable/Macbook Pro combination. I cannot fathom the amount of skill and practice it must take to master this omnipresent piece of equipment; with your feet no less! At one point during Day’s set, he was squatting down and working the foot pedal with his fingers, twisting knobs and pushing buttons as if he grew up spinning vinyl, not plucking guitar strings. Needless to say, I was incredibly impressed and now have a level of respect for Howie Day that I never would have had before seeing him work his magic on the spot live onstage.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

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  1. Becky says:

    He was fantastic!!! The only bad part of the performance was how short it was. I could have kept listening to him for the rest of the night!

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