The historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, Washington opened in 1926 as a home to vaudeville entertainers and silent movies. Eighty-five years later, the theatre continues to be an operational venue, hosting a wide variety of musical and theatrical artists, community-based events, and fundraisers. The Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation is a registered non-profit that supports arts and education in and around Skagit County.
In order to maintain the success of their various programs, the Lincoln Theatre has put Project: 85 into effect. With more than $44,000 raised towards their goal of $85,000 for further renovations, the theatre is well on the way toward meeting it.
Aiding substantially in Project: 85 was the April 27, 2011 sold-out concert by American Idol winner Taylor Hicks. Travel from Birmingham, Alabama to Washington state was hampered by the deadly tornado outbreak that claimed many lives. Hicks and his band arrived late due to flight delays, requiring them to take the stage without a soundcheck.
Despite these circumstances, the show was an exciting combination of high-energy blues, rock, and soul. Hicks touched on all aspects of his career, dipping back into his pre-Idol catalog for original tunes such as “The Deal.”
He elicited cheers with spirited renditions of songs he famously performed on season five of Idol, including Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City” and the Doobie Brothers’ “Taking It To The Streets.” From his self-titled major label debut, he sang the yearning ballad “Just To Feel That Way.”
Other highlights among the cover tunes were Delbert McClinton’s “Going Back To Louisiana” and Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With.” Hicks played plenty of harmonica, engaging both saxophonist Jeff Lopez and keyboardist Brian Less in call-and-response solos. A tribute to the members of the United States Armed Forces, “Nineteen” (from Hicks’ most recent album, The Distance), brought the capacity crowd to its feet for a standing ovation.
Hicks left the stage quite literally soaked in sweat, but emerged minutes later to sign autographs for a long line of fans. Joining him was opening artist Tony Bridges, who performed an agreeable acoustic set with a scaled-down line-up of his Tony Bridges Band. Interestingly, Bridges was actually an early contestant on season five of American Idol, rooming with Hicks during Hollywood week.
For more information about upcoming Taylor Hicks performances, visit his official website.