Thursday, July 19, 2012

Great Review of Scotty McCreery's Solo Performance

Pacific 2012: Scotty McCreery impresses with poise

July 19th, 2012, 10:30 am · · posted by

Scotty McCreery smiles at his adoring crowd at Pacific Amphitheatre. Photo: Kelly A. Swift, for the Register. Click the pic for more.

Not that any critic with half a brain would think to do so, but there needs to be a moratorium on any music nabobs comparing Scotty McCreery to his prize-grabbing American Idol brethren. He’s simply not like the rest, and that’s a very good thing.
The fact that men alone have been victorious during the second half of that singing competition’s unstoppable 11-season run is lamentable but also utterly predictable from a show that pretends to be for everyone yet principally caters to teenage girls. For five years now it has produced exciting drama mid-season and totally boring results by the end of finale night, as one bland rocker after another has been crowned champ by viewers, then sent off into the (more or less) real world of pop music to capitalize quickly, then steadily fade from view.
Ironically, edgier (for Idol) stars who didn’t make it to the finals, like Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert, are those who have remained on the ascendency, whereas nice guys like Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze are faring no better than Taylor Hicks at maintaining the fan bases they acquired from the program. Phillip Phillips, aka Dave Matthews Jr., is only the latest cute clone to sneak past more promising talents, in this case two powerhouses, Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet, who can sing circles around him.
McCreery, who impressed in his first headlining appearance in O.C., Wednesday night at Pacific Amphitheatre, is so much – and so refreshingly – the opposite of all that, it’s a wonder he emerged from the same contest. He’s straight-up country with zero pop affectations, an instant Academy of Country Music award-winner (albeit for a fan-voted trophy) who ought to be compared not to the David Cooks of Idol but to his fellow Nashville newcomers.
As such, he measures up as a fast-rising talent who seems transported from a gentler age.
He understandably padded out his roughly hour-long set at Pacific with a handful of covers, concluding with a run from Elvis Presley’s breakout single “That’s All Right” to a kickin’ favorite from Travis Tritt (“T.R.O.U.B.L.E.”) and, for the encore, Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone.” Yet it was most fitting that earlier in the performance he tackled both George Strait (via a charming handling of “Check Yes or No”) and Garth Brooks (an acoustic reading of “The Dance”), for McCreery, at just 18, is already a consummate throwback traditionalist. He has more in common with the plainspoken pleasures of those two superstars, not to mention a rich vocal resemblance to Randy Travis, than he does the parade of country-rock hybrids dominating radio these days.
And still his stuff fits right in, modern enough to slot seamlessly alongside rowdier fare yet rooted in the thoughtful sentimentality that made country crossover music so timeless in the ’70s and ’80s. There are enough “Scotty’s Hotties” who follow him from gig to gig that he easily could macho it up a bit on stage, yet he gratefullly doesn’t peddle heartthrob swooning. He’s subtler and nobler: When he sings about the opposite sex, as in “The Trouble with Girls,” he basks in their beauty and mysteries while still making smiling eyes at his admirers, rather than indulge in love-’em-and-leave-’em, you-can’t-tame-me puffery.
Likewise, whether he’s reflecting on dysfunctional family (the noisy children and slamming doors of “Dirty Dishes”), the sacrifices of military people (the restorative joy of “Letters from Home”), the yearning of adolescence (central to the power ballad “Back on the Ground”) or the benefits of faith (“Old King James”), McCreery approaches his themes with an uncanny knack for conveying realism even when the lyrics turn hokey. There’s plenty formula to his material, yet his delivery helps to downplay clichés, patriotic grandstanding or worn-out homilies about how the good life is anywhere but here.
And what poise from such a young performer; he commands the stage with more maturity than most stars twice his age. His down-home demeanor, evident not just in his songs but the folksy storytelling between them, already shows signs of the stateliness of Alan Jackson without sacrificing any sense of fun (more than a few of his tunes, notably “Out of Summertime” and “Better Than That,” clearly draw some inspiration from the good-time vibe of Kenny Chesney).
Above all, what’s most promising about McCreery is what propelled him to the Idol throne in the first place: his remarkable, pure-country voice, as smooth as a fine tenor but with the richness of a baritone. He’s one of those rare ducks whose every utterance sounds like another melody starting up; he sings as he speaks and vice versa. (Unlike opening act Erika Attwater, a pleasantly generic Sacramento vocalist whose 20-minute turn proved she’s stuck trying too hard to emulate the country-pop feel of LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood.)
McCreery still requires considerably more hit-bound material if he’s going to outlast the initial Idol boost. But there hasn’t been an emerging star from that sing-off so destined for enduring popularity since Underwood was instantly crowned a country princess. He won’t succeed simply because Nashville takes care of its own, either; he’s a natural, plain and simple. Greater heights await.
Setlist: Scotty McCreery at Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, July 18, 2012
Main set: Walk in the Country / You Make That Look Good / I Love You This Big / Write My Number on Your Hand / Check Yes or No (George Strait cover) / Old King James / Back on the Ground / OUt of Summertime / Dirty Dishes / I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow (traditional) / Better Than That / Letters from Home (acoustic) / The Dance (Garth Brooks cover, acoustic) / The Trouble with Girls / Water Tower Town / That’s All Right (Elvis Presley cover) / T.R.O.U.B.L.E. (Travis Tritt cover)
Encore: Gone (Montgomery Gentry cover)

21 comments:

  1. Incredible review. He just keeps charming the socks of any who meet him. Pretty amazing comparisons to some super stars. LOVE SCOTTY!

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    1. Yes he does!.. And it is so natural and unassuming!.. He is definitely bound for the highest heights!!..This review made me cry..tears of joy, of course, for our beloved Scotty!!!..I PRAY he never changes!!..GS

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  2. I AM SO HAPPY FOR SCOTTY GETTING THESE AWESOME REVIEWS. SCOTTY IS GETTING MORE AND MORE FANS EVERYDAY AND IT IS SO AMAZING. SCOTTY IS THE BEST.

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  3. My favorite review of all...and the others were great too. So happy he is being recognized more and more for the true talent and wonderful young man he is!!!

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  4. And..........we McCreerians, knew from the beginning audition! Takes the powers- that- be awhile to catch up us! lol MegaStardom awaits you, Scotty!

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  5. It is great to see others, who were not necessarily fans prior to this, take notice of what we crazy, fanatical fans saw in Scotty when when we first saw him and heard him sing. Now he has grown and matured by leaps and bounds since then. WOW!

    What a great crowd at that big place! I sure hope he can sense the love-fest going on between us and him!! So proud of you, Scotty!! Love you so much!!

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  6. wow amazing . someone gets it . thank god to that . Scotty.is winning them over one by one.

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  7. WOW! This was onE fantastic review of Scotty, they gave credit where credit is due. Some of the country writer do not want to give Scotty the recgonition he deserve. This person wrote such beautiful things about Scotty. While I was reading the review, I was jumping with joy. God said that he was going to take Scotty all the way to the top. BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL! GRANDMA FROM TX.

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  8. God is really with him. AMAZING!

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  9. This is such a great review, and all true!

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  10. Thank you and YES to the writer of this valuable review. When having read this, all of us Scotty fans can rightfully nod and say: Yes, we know. We´ve seen Scotty´s amazing talent. Some people out there might need more time to recognize his potentials, but fans have seen it and known for a very long time. We know he´s special and we know he came to stay and to become huge. And we know in our heart we´ll follow him forever. Love you Scotty <3

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  11. What a wonderful review! It's interesting to note that Scotty's talent is being recognized and is put up there (in comparison) in the ranks of Garth Brooks and George Strait and other country greats - I love the part in this review about his "remarkable, pure-country voice...he sings as he speaks, and vice versa..." and his poise and stage command, and down-home demeanor..." -

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    1. And I just love this picture!!!! So adorable!

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  12. Love this review! It is so deserved and I love that the writer states that he doesn't know how you can even compare him with previous winners and it's amazing that he was even on the same contest. Scotty is a true talent, as all McCreerians know, and I am so happy that others are seeing it too.

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  13. That smile is priceless!

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  14. All that I can say again is "AMEN!" We love Scotty this BIG!

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  15. I LOVE SCOTTY SO MUCH

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  16. ALL SCOTTY'S SONGS ARE MY FAVORITE

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  17. SCOTTY YOU ARE SO FABULOUS IN YOUR CONCERT
    I ALWAYS CONGRATULATE YOU (CONCERT KING)

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  18. SCOTTY MCCREERY AND LAUREN ALAINA BOTH OF THEM ARE TO BUSSY

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