Friday, April 13, 2012

Concert review: Scotty McCreery at Trask Coliseum | The WAE

Thank you Kathy Sturdevant (413Mom) for e-mailing this article to us!
This is a great review!!

StarNews photo by Jeff Janowski

Scotty McCreery singing onstage at Trask Coliseum for the N.C. Azalea Festival (see gallery) seemed very much to be the same guy backstage answering questions just an hour before. For a high school senior juggling concert dates and touring with Brad Paisley, McCreery is holding it together better than the average citizen; mostly likely, he’s pretty much the same guy as before he became famous.

He opened the show with the rousing “Water Tower Town,” a song clearly reflecting his life growing up in Garner. Filled with energy, he accidentally popped a guitar string on “You Make that Look Good,” a driving song with Chuck Leavell-type piano playing that sounds like a countrified distant cousin to Rod Stewart’s “You Wear it Well.”

McCreery took it in stride, pumping his arms in the air to pump the crowd and shaking his microphone as if playing percussion. McCreery sang as though he’d been touring more than the year he’s been doing since winning “American Idol” a year ago. He also appeared to be a singer still enjoying the ride.

The sold out crowd was a mix of young people, adults and families. For the littler ones it was probably their first real concert. McCreery’s music was dead on for them as he took time between songs to talk about the importance of family, faith and “seeing things from different points of view.” He sang the endearing “Dirty Dishes” where lamented about “bowing heads” and “thanking the Lord for noisy children and slamming doors.”

The crowd cheered him on, especially young ladies. One of them near the stage professed her love for McCreery (and her Twitter account) between songs and sang all the words to them. McCreery’s music about small town life went over well with the crowd. “There’s nothing like coming home,” he said at one point.

McCreery’s hour-plus set didn’t have any slow spots except when he sat on a stool and sang a ballad. In the back someone had a square shaped sign with blinking lights that read: “I Love Scotty This Big,” a direct reference to McCreery’s big hit “I Love You This Big.” The song was one of a handful that really juiced the crowd’s energy, along with the banjo driven “Out of Summertime” whose name dropping of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier in the lyrics drew a roaring response. It was the crowd’s handclap soaked ambiance accompanying “Write My Number on Your Hand” that seemed to really highlight McCreery’s connection to the fans.

McCreery was good at working the crowd and enjoyed moving to the side of the stage close to the crowd. When the girls went nuts and yelled for him he bore a still-surprised smile.

“Life this last year has been insane,” McCreery said. “I’ve been away from my family. Still, it’s good to be in Wilmington tonight.” The band launched into the faith driven “Old King James” and later played the similar title track from his album “Clear As Day.”

McCreery and the band had a few tricks up their sleeve. He introduced the members and then the bass and guitar player leaned into the center microphone delivering opening lines to “Man of Constant Sorrow.” McCreery squeezed in between them to kick off the song. McCreery handled it well, lending a deep throated rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic to a song well known from the “O Brother Where Art Thou?” soundtrack.

“How many girls we got in the crowd tonight?” McCreery asked. There was probably no louder response from the crowd than that. They performed “The Trouble with Girls” and it was by far the big song of the evening. Someone near the stage held a sign that read: “Nobody loves trouble as much as me.”

The singer received a large round of “Scotty! Scotty!” as he left for an encore but returned to the stage to tear it up one last time. McCreery heads to college in the fall with the intention of performing as well. From the show tonight he looks like he can balance it. Based on his performance tonight, and an affinity for older material, McCreery is a singer-musician who looks to bridge styles and audiences.


  1. Very nice article! Thanks for the play by play. Glad you enjoyed it and I can't wait to see one of his solo concerts!


  3. Can't wait for the videos to start popping up!

  4. Ahhhh - so Scotty did great again. I love it. His performance is getting better and better and so is his reputation and popularity. What a joy to read nice reviews like this one. Comparing to last year we can clearly see a positive change. Now the vast majority of reviews on Scotty are positive and express appreciation of his talent and popularity. You can also see a positive developement looking at the comments to the articles. This is sooooo good.


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