Home is the Place for Crystal Bowersox

Saturday night, a year after finishing in second place on American IdolCrystal Bowersox came home to northwest Ohio. This time, she was here to give back, performing two sold out shows at The Valentine Theatre in downtown Toledo in front of family, friends, and fans.

The shows served as benefit concerts to support Toledo School for the Arts, which Crystal attended in high school. Current students from the school (and Tatiana Owens, a 2010 graduate making a name for herself in NYC) were given the opportunity to be Crystal's opening acts.

Toledo's own Frankie May plays bass for Crystal as she continues to build her career
I attended the second of the two shows (at 10 p.m.); the moment Crystal came on stage, it was clear the evening would be special. The intimate Valentine Theatre was a perfect complement to Crystal's laid back yet emotive and skillful talents, as she interacted with audience throughout the night and even added a last minute song to the setlist for one of her biggest fans, Nate ("Finally Got it Right," an iTunes bonus track from her 2010 release, Farmer's Daughter).

Crystal and her husband, Brian Walker, performing "Mason"
 The show was a family affair, as Crystal's husband, Chicago-based singer-songwriter, Brian Walker, joined his wife on stage to sing "Mason," a track he wrote and then recorded with Crystal for her debut album. Crystal's young son, Tony, played in the venue basement as his parents performed.

Crystal clearly has a devoted following in the Toledo area, one that will support her as she continues sharing her craft. We can't wait until she comes back.

Check out all my photos here, and keep an eye out on my blog for a couple videos to be posted in the next few days ("Home is the Place" and partial "Speak Now").

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