The Voice

Fresh Off “The Voice” Keith Semple to Headline Crystal Lake Lakeside Fest

Fronting his band, Semple, Keith Semple is taking his exposure on “The Voice” and running with it.

A finalist in the NBC hit show’s most recent season, Semple will perform at 7 p.m. July 3 at the 37th annual Lakeside Festival in Crystal Lake – called “the granddaddy of all festivals in McHenry County” with thousands expected at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park.

Semple promises a Fourth of July holiday high-energy show.

“People will see us in absolute overdrive that day,” said Semple, known throughout the Chicago area even before “The Voice” for the six years he spent as lead singer of 7th Heaven, leaving that band in 2012. (He sang and contributed as a writer to 7th Heaven’s hits “Better this Way” in 2011 and “Sing” in 2012, both of which charted on Billboard nationally.)

Earning a two-chair turn-around from judges Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani with his version of Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There for You,” Semple chose Team Adam, making it to the Top 24 round before his elimination in a live show last November.

Since then, Semple has released the EP “Anytime Anywhere” – reaching Top 10 on the Midwest Heatseeker Billboard charts in March – and has been performing three to four shows a week throughout the area.

Featuring the latest single, “Taking My Chances on Tennessee” and influenced heavily by a more pop country sound – solely country artist Keith Urban – the new EP has a bit of a cross-over country vibe, Semple said.

“It’s kind of a unique sound in that you’ve got a rock guy singing country,” he said.

Expect more country in the live show as well, he said, but also expect variety.

“We go seamlessly from a punk rock song into a ’70s medley into a Justin Timberlake song into a dance song or whatever, and I just love the variety because everybody gets something they like,” he said.

From 7th Heaven to Semple, it’s a sound he’s known for throughout the area.

7th Heaven actually drew Semple nearly 10 years ago from Northern Ireland to Chicago, recruiting him as lead singer after seeing him perform on videos on MySpace. He’d won the 2002 season of the British reality television show, “Popstars: The Rivals,” and gained a spot in the boy band One True Voice created as a result of the competition.

“He found me online and took a chance on me,” Semple said of 7th Heaven’s creator and guitarist Richie Hofherr. (7th Heaven, by the way, also is performing at Lakeside – at 4 p.m. July 1).

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