The television show “American Idol” has helped launch the career of many up-and-coming vocalists and Alabama seems to maintain a constant presence in the phenomenon. From Ruben Studdard to Bo Bice, the state has been a breeding ground for contest finalists and winners.
Taylor Hicks could be considered one of the most charismatic native vocalists to rise through the ranks of this talent search. His performances spawned an extremely loyal following called the “Soul Patrol,” cheering him on to advancement each week. After touring extensively after the show, Hicks earned a residency in Las Vegas. He’s also been dabbling in the restaurant business as a partner in Saw’s Juke Joint.
The Soul Patrol recently received some exciting news. On Wednesday, Jan. 6, Hicks returned to “American Idol” to advise hopefuls during the audition process, part of an appearance coordinated by his new agent, the Los Angeles-based APA. Hicks has also embarked on a tour that includes dates in Alabama at Birmingham’s Lyric Theatre and Winfield’s Pastime Theater. He is also expected to release a new album in 2016.
Amphitheater at The Wharf warms up for summer
The summer months not only bring tourists to Orange Beach, but the warm weather also attracts a number of musical acts to The Amphitheater at The Wharf. Even though it is still January, The Wharf is living up to its reputation for giving the public a winter preview of its summer concert series. Currently, this canal-front venue is promoting shows from two very different bands on opposite ends of the summer.
On Friday, May 13, Florida Georgia Line will return to Orange Beach for an evening of mainstream country. While some critics have not been nice to this band, its loyal fan base still embraces them, and the duo has no problem filling a stadium or getting favorable radio play. Florida Georgia Line has spent the past year promoting its 2014 release “Anything Goes.” With an electric stage show, the band’s army of local fans should not be disappointed.
On the other end of summer on Aug. 5, Twenty One Pilots will be making their Wharf debut, but locals may remember them from Hangout Fest 2013. 2015 was a successful year for the group, when they scored hits such as “Stressed Out” and “Ride.” With multiple studio albums and extended plays, the crowd can expect anything to happen with their set.
Tickets for both concerts are currently available through Ticketmaster.