Return to James Durbin






American Idol finalist to perform in Lansing

By Britteny Dee

“American Idol” fans soon will have the chance to see James Durbin, one of the show’s past finalists, perform live rather than watching him on TV.

Durbin, who took fourth place in the 10th season of ““American Idol”:,” is scheduled to perform tonight at The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., in Lansing.

Thursday’s show will be Durbin’s first time performing in the area, and he said he looks forward to seeing a new locale and performing in front of a crowd of unfamiliar faces.

“I always love playing in places I’ve never seen before because every town, every city, every local venue has its history,” he said. “My goal is to show up and leave a mark of my own history.”

In addition to hearing several of Durbin’s latest hits, event attendees also will have the chance to listen to music performed by four Michigan-based rock and metal acts — Fair Enough, FloodGate, Givensix and The Heist.

Ryan Norris, bassist for Lansing-based rock group FloodGate, said he is grateful to be included in Thursday’s show because of the widespread attention Durbin has gained after being on “American Idol.”

“Anytime a national act comes through, it’s a huge honor to be put on that show,” he said. “It happens rarely. You feel very lucky to be on that show.”

Since his time on “American Idol” came to an end in May 2011, Durbin released an album, “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster,” and has been playing shows and promoting his music.

Durbin said his band’s sound is rock-influenced and fun, and he and other group members look to rock acts such as Buckcherry and Aerosmith for inspiration.

“We like to play songs that make you have fun (and) get you up off your seat, standing on your chair, hands in the air,” he said. “It’s supposed to be an experience, something you tell your kids when you’re older.”

Norris, who is a fan of Durbin’s music and performances on “American Idol,” said he has noticed similarities between his band and Durbin’s.

“His music is very much rock-influenced, and when he sings over it, you hear a lot of pop,” he said. “That’s rare for a lot of bands — a lot of bands are very constrained by their genre, and James Durbin is not.”

Jamie Taylor, lead vocalist for Flint, Mich.-based alternative metal act Givensix, said he and his bandmates are looking forward to networking with Durbin and his staff.

He said they also hope to use Thursday night’s performance as an opportunity to expand their fan base into the Lansing area.

“We want to reach the college crowd a little bit more,” Taylor said. “We’re kind of limited to where we can play, being in Flint.”