The last time I saw Ted Leo (solo, at a benefit for Callum Robbins), the hollers from the crowd, usually something hilarious like "FREEBIRD!," took on a different nature. This time it was a little less American band and a little more American Idol. Mr. Leo, who once covered the inaugural Idol Kelly Clarkson's smash-hit "Since U Been Gone," received numerous pleas from an overzealous crowd all calling for a cover of the pop gem. But like any self-respecting connoisseur of pop culture, Ted knew that the shelf-life of cover-song irony is comparable to a carton of milk (that is to say, in this case, expired). Preferring to stick to his more timeless repertoire of Wire and Springsteen, Leo politely ignored the persistent heckles and concurred when an audience member asked, "Don't you wish you never covered that song?" That's exactly why I've come up with this list of potential cover songs for Ted that just never get old:
"Higher" by Creed -- Come on, Teddy; you can't be so punk all the time. Get in touch with your Jesus side!
"It's All Coming Back to Me" by Celine Dion -- Because he has trouble booking shows, I heard he was looking for a residency at Caesars Palace.
"I'm A Flirt" by R. Kelly -- If only to hear Ted Leo say "I'ma chick mag-a-net/ And anything fine I'm bag-gin it."
"Sorry 2004" by Ruben Studdard -- We already know he can do the A-Idol thing; give Big Rube some love.
Taking requests all through the summer: