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Nicholas David from ‘The Voice’ Had Iowa Crowd Dancing in the Aisles

nicholas david gfc2
Grand Falls Casino/Facebook

Nicholas David gained fame on TV’s “The Voice” three seasons ago with his soulful renditions of songs like “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. He finished third that season (and easily could have won in my opinion) but the time he spent on television allowed the Twin Cities native to reach a larger audience than he could have ever imagined.

I talked to David a couple of weeks ago and asked him how that show changed his life:

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Saturday night (January 18) David brought his band to Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa to perform for over a thousand fans.

The man we felt like we got to ‘know’ on TV is truly who he is in reality. A man with a passion for music who is grateful for every opportunity he’s been given. He spoke of being blessed to play with his ‘brothers’ in the band, guys who he has been making music with for a number of years.

nicholas david gfc1
Grand Falls Casino/Facebook

In addition to David, who plays keyboards and a little acoustic guitar, he also has a guitarist (who sat down to play a steel guitar on a song) bass, drums, another keyboard player and a fantastic saxophone player.

The set started out with a few original songs that David said are being prepped for a new album they’re working on. He also included his first post-Voice song, ‘Say Goodbye’ that is the title of his latest EP which also contains a cover of ‘You Are So Beautiful’. David performed that song solo, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar and dedicated it to a woman named Eileen, who David met last year when he got a call from a man named Jeff who told him that his mom was dying and she was a huge fan. Jeff asked David if he would consider playing her funeral, and when David asked if she was alive and found she was, he said that he should sing for her in life instead. So he drove down to the hospital Eileen was in and as he walked in the room, she looked at him and exclaimed “My Minnesota Jesus!” Both David and the crowd got a laugh from that before he launched into a beautiful cover of ‘You Are So Beautiful’.

nicholas david gfc3
Grand Falls Casino/Facebook

In addition to the original songs, David also paid homage to his time on “The Voice” by singing “What’s Going On” and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” which helped propel him to the top 3 finish that year. He also covered Hall & Oates’ “She’s Gone”, Huey Lewis & The News’ “Power of Love” and an encore of a gospel-ized U2 cover, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.

I felt it was exactly the show I had anticipated after becoming a fan of him on television. He’s an old soul in a young man’s body that brings back memories of Motown with a soul/R&B feel. People who don’t know David yet, have asked me what he sounds like. I’ve been replying with “a white Bill Withers”, and after last night’s show, I’m sticking with it.

My wife Sarah and I were able to meet him before the show and get our picture with him. As we approached him at the end of the meet & greet photos he had been taking with other fans and casino guests, I went to shake his hand, welcome him to town and identified myself as the radio DJ he talked to a couple of weeks ago. With no hesitation, he grabbed my hand and said “Crash! Glad you could make it. Thanks again for the great interview man, I really appreciate it!” He and the band have been on the road since that interview, playing Philadelphia, Washington DC and many other east coast cities before winding back through Iowa on the way home. For him to remember a small city DJ like that left a big impression on me.

If you get the chance to see him perform, do it. If you love the Motown vibe and certain artistic liberties taken with the songs he covers, you’ll have as much fun as we did.

nicholas david meet and greet
Grand Falls Casino/Facebook

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