Chris Daughtry's Virtual Concert Will Benefit Tempe's Marquee Theatre

Chris Daughtry is coming to a screen near you.
Chris Daughtry is coming to a screen near you. Greg Watermann
click to enlarge Chris Daughtry is coming to a screen near you. - GREG WATERMANN
Chris Daughtry is coming to a screen near you.
Greg Watermann

It isn't just music fans who are jonesing for live concerts.

Chris Daughtry misses performing so much that he started doing a series of virtual acoustic concerts last week – with a twist. Each concert is only available to people in a certain region via geofencing technology, and part of the proceeds from each show will benefit a venue in that region.

Daughtry's show at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, will be available to viewers in Arizona and New Mexico, and will benefit Tempe's Marquee Theatre.

"That venue has been near and dear to us for many years, and we’ve had the opportunity to play it several times," Daughtry says. "It’s always good to us, so we’re very happy to support it."

There are three ticket packages: The General Admission livestream ($10) includes access to the show and the opportunity to submit questions to Daughtry (a Q&A will be part of the evening); the Merch Bundle ($25) includes show access, question submission, a T-shirt, and a setlist signed by Daughtry; and the Ultimate 2020 Experience ($75) includes everything mentioned plus a personal one-on-one video chat and a screenshot with Daughtry.

Phoenix New Times recently spoke with Daughtry about the virtual tour, quarantine life, and LEGOs.

Phoenix New Times: How did this whole series of virtual concerts come about?
Chris Daughtry: Strictly out of boredom. Well, a little bit of itching to perform again. I didn’t realize how much I would miss touring and how much of my identity was wrapped up in it. I think the first two weeks of quarantine was a huge identity crisis for me. I was like, “Who am I? What am I doing?”

And we’re itching to be back out on the road, obviously, and don’t know when that’s going to be. A lot of our fans live for this, you know? They look forward to these shows and it means so much to them that we just felt like we had to do something to kind of bridge the gap between now and the time that we’re able to get back out there, and hopefully engage with them in a very unique way.

We’ve never done anything like this before, and it’s interesting, because they get to see us but we don’t see them, so it’s hard to really gauge the energy and the reaction and we feed off of that. That’s something we use as fuel onstage so we have to really dig deep within ourselves and make it fun and interesting for everyone. And we thought it would be really cool if we did this in a way that would support these local venues, a lot of these venues that we kind of started in on our first tour. And these venues are so important to the communities, and we want to do our part to make sure they stay in business, or at least do something to help that.

What plans did you have for the spring and summer that were ruined by the pandemic?
We had a full tour lined up. We were going to be in the U.S. and then we were going to go overseas, and we were gonna do a bunch of big rock festivals. Like, festivals that we had been trying to get on for years, and we were so excited that we got on them and then the plug got pulled. But there’s always next year.

And we were pretty deep into making a new album as well. We were really blazing through and writing and recording, and that got shut down. So there’s been some recording from home. We had the guys record their respective parts on what’s going to be our first release. So we’ve got something in the can there, so that’s good news, and we’ll hear that soon enough. That’s all I’ll say about that.

I think this has been a great time for us all to kind of regroup and be with our families. I haven’t been home this long in 14 years, so it’s really given me an opportunity to spend more time with my kids and grow and bond on a deeper level, so it’s been a good thing.

Did you finish your LEGO Batmobile?
I did, finally. It took me way longer than it probably should have. I only spent 30 minutes to an hour a night on it. But it’s done. We put together a time-lapse video; we’re going to put it out there at some point – we’re still editing.

What have you been listening to lately?
I feel like I’m a little behind on what’s out because I’ve been so wrapped up in my own project. But the new Bush album is great, the new Asking Alexandria album, the new Taylor Swift album is really good. So I’ve caught some of the new stuff but I feel like I’m out of the loop – of life. I’m in my own little bubble here.

Tell us about your new beer, September Ale.
It’s great. I love it. We’ve had a lot of great response to it. I’m not a beer connoisseur, so I certainly can’t taste something and go, “Oh, this has such and such essence to it” and “I want ours to taste like this.” I basically tasted a bunch of beers and went, “I like this one.” It’s not too hoppy. It’s not too hipster. But it’s not Bud Light. It’s not your standard, run-of-the-mill light beer either. I think it fits the title September Ale very well. It’s kind of fall-y.

So, no release date for the album then yet?
No, the album is far from being done. You know, a lot has been written, and I’ve done a lot of my parts, but there’s still a lot to be done, so we’re kind of planning ahead now to figure out how to accomplish that. If we’re still on lockdown or we’re actually going to be able to get back in the studio.

And honestly, this new album has been all-consuming, so we’re really, really excited for the fans to hear this. I won’t give too much away, but I think it’s been something our fans have been wanting to hear from us for a long time.
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Jennifer Goldberg is the culture editor and Best of Phoenix editor for Phoenix New Times.