Former “American Idol” star James Durbin brought the rock to a small crowd of 310 people at Johnston Community College in Smithfield, NC, on Friday, March 15, 2013.
Durbin, who was known for his rock and heavy metal style on his way to a top-4 finish on “Idol” a couple of years ago, performed a 75-minute set at the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium. Most of his material came from his debut album “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster” : “All I Want,” “Screaming,” “Love Me Bad,” “Love in Ruins,” “Outcast,” “Right Behind You,” Higher than Heaven” and closer “Stand Up.” Durbin and his band, which includes former In This Moment members Jeff Fabb on drums and Blake Bunzel on guitars, also performed four new songs which could be included on his sophomore album.
An interesting part of this show was the opening act, Taylor Leopold. Leopold, a former “Clayton (NC) Idol” contest winner, was working as a stage manager for the show when she left her CD in Durbin’s dressing room, according to sources. Durbin was so impressed with Leopold that he asked her to perform a handful of songs. The only problem? She didn’t have her guitar, so Durbin let her use his. Leopold, a student at JCC and promising singer-songwriter, received a very warm reception from her hometown crowd.