David Cook wants Utahns to know that there are no hard feelings.
He knows that he beat Murray's David Archuleta in season seven of "American Idol," but hopes that the pain Utahns felt about Archuleta finishing in second-place has dissipated. "I'm hoping that enough time has passed," Cook said. "Hopefully I will be received well."
The 27-year-old rocker will perform in Utah for the first time since touring with Archuleta in the "American Idols LIVE! Tour" in 2008.
Cook will sing the national anthem before tonight's RSL soccer game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, and then perform for about an hour after the game ends.
It's the second consecutive year for a "Summer Kick-Off" event, where a singer has performed a short post-game concert, said Bill Manning, RSL and Rio Tinto Stadium president. "With David Archuleta last year and David Cook this year, these 'American Idol' performers fit our demographics perfectly and we look forward to continuing this tradition for years to come."
After performing 153 shows in 2009, Cook has spent 2010 writing more than 40 songs for his follow-up to his 2008 major-label debut, which sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide. Spending 10 months on the road was valuable in writing for his sophomore album, as the singer said he realized that some songs sound great in the studio but don't necessarily work on stage. "I took a lot of lessons from the tour," Cook said. "I'm trying to be more cognizant of the live show ... The big parts will be bigger, and the small parts will be smaller."
The focus of his forthcoming album due for a fall release will be "more of a concise thought, more about the hopeful side of loss," he said. Losing his oldest brother, Adam, to brain cancer last year inspired some of his songs, Cook said. After tonight's concert, he will fly to Los Angeles and begin pre-production on his album Friday.
Tonight, Cook will play for about an hour, doubling the amount of songs Archuleta performed at a similar event last year, said Trey Fitz-Gerald, director of public affairs and broadcasting for RSL and Rio Tinto Stadium. "[I will] do whatever RSL wants me to do," Cook said. "I'll even put on the mascot costume."
That might might offset the fact that the Missouri-born singer is an admitted fan of RSL rival, the Kansas City Wizards.
Rio Tinto kick-off
David Cook will sing the national anthem before RSL plays the Los Angels Galaxy and perform a short set after.
When • Tonight at 7
Where • Rio Tinto Stadium, 9256 South State St., Sandy
Tickets • $22 to $67, http://www.riotintostadium.com or 801-727-2700