See Lee DeWyze Perform “Simple Man” at a Karaoke Bar in 2009!

Stop doing that with your eyebrow, Lee. You're scaring the karaokers.

If you thought Lee’s performance of Lynyrd Skynyrd “Simple Man” sounded high and above any other song he’s sang this season on American Idol, there’s probably a reason for that: it wasn’t the first time he’s performed the song.

Back in 2009, on a slightly smaller stage, and with a much drunker audience, Lee chose to sing “Simple Man” at karaoke night at Potato Creek Johnny’s, a bar in Glenview, Illinois.

Both photos from

Though he brought down the Idol house Tuesday with the performance, he didn’t quite impress the crowd at Potato Creek Johnny’s, who talked throughout the entire performance and didn’t seem to notice how great Lee actually was.  One guy even says “He’s not that good.” (Jealous, much?) He gets very little response at the end. (At every karaoke I’ve ever been to, there’s no one that sounds like him! All I ever hear is the screechy 45-year-old lady who still thinks she’s going to be a star, singing “I Will Survive.”)

I don’t know about you, but if I can get fried mushrooms for $5 and hear Lee Dewyze sing live, I’d be pretty happy. I guess the crowd at ol’ Potato’s is harder to please than Simon Cowell.

However, according to this article from the local paper, “The Daily Herald” in Illinois I found, Lee usually got a much warmer reception when he sang.

Then known only as “Hoodie Man,” Lee was a regular at the bar’s Tuesday karaoke, and would always come up and sing wearing a hoodie. (Aww, cause he’s so shy…) According to the story’s writer:

“When Hoodie Guy sang, everyone got quiet. Hoodie Guy could really sing. Hoodie Guy made even karaoke songs his own. Hoodie Guy was awesome.

I guess the crowd on the “Simple Man” night was just cranky because Lee was horning in on their chance to sing a karoake duet of Grease’s “Summer Lovin’.” Understandable.

Anyway, click below to watch Lee’s first time taking a crack at “Simple Man.”

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