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Former ‘Idol’ Lee DeWyze coming back to Lincolnshire

'American Idol' Seas9 winner Lee DeWyze performs Viper Alley Lincolnshire April 19.

"American Idol" Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze performs at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire April 19.

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Lee DeWyze

8 p.m. April 19

Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire

Tickets, $20-$40; $100 for meet and greet

Updated: April 12, 2013 8:03AM

There’s nothing like a homecoming.

On April 19, Season 9 “American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze returns to Viper Alley in Lincolnshire.

DeWyze, who previously played Viper Alley’s anniversary show in 2012, hails from Mount Prospect. “I love coming home,” DeWyze said. “Last time, the crowd was awesome. This time, I’m looking forward to playing new songs.”

Those new songs are from DeWyze’s upcoming second studio album that he is now recording in California. “Everything that had to happen happened for me to make this record,” said DeWyze. “The new album really allows me to concentrate on my songwriting and melodies. But it still hasn’t changed who I am. I’m just a little more busy,” he laughed.

DeWyze released “Live it Up,” his studio debut, in November 2010 on 19 Recordings/RCA Records; 2011 marked DeWyze’s first national tour. “I wasn’t in a rush to make the new album,” he said. “No pressure to produce for a year or so really helped.”

The new album, DeWyze proclaims, represents his “stance on music.” While retaining elements of folk, rock and pop, the new album features DeWyze stepping outside his musical comfort zone. “Ultimately, this album is not just about gaining new fans, but about showing America and the world what I’m capable of. This album is who I am,” DeWyze said.

DeWyze was a musician from an early age, a self-taught guitarist and drummer who began performing as early as 16. In 2009, he auditioned for “American Idol” and made it onto the show by singing Bill Withers’ 1971 classic “Ain’t No Sunshine.”

Ultimately, DeWyze became an “Idol” fan favorite with covers of U2’s “Beautiful Day” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” In fact, fans were the biggest factor in DeWyze’s Idol success: he was the only male contestant in Season 9 to never land in the bottom three and he ultimately beat out Crystal Bowersox for the win.

DeWyze said his April 19 concert will be “the lighting of the wick” of his tour. After the show, he’ll release more national tour dates. DeWyze, who calls L.A. home, said “anywhere can feel like home if there’s great people, but I still miss Chicago from time to time.”

And does he keep in touch with his fellow “Idol” alums? “Everyone’s on their own path,” he said, “but when you go through that kind of thing together, you form a bond and friendship. When you end up at the same events, it’s like a mini-reunion.”

There is another reunion DeWyze is looking forward to — one with a Portillo’s Italian beef sandwich. “Every time I come home, I always get that,” he said.

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