Monday, 01 April 2019 15:07

McCreery packs Cole Auditorium with sold-out show

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Scotty McCreery perfroms March 29 at Cole Auditorium, the last of three shows for the inaugural Fidelity Bank Classic Rock N' Country Series. See the RO's Facebook page for more photos. Scotty McCreery perfroms March 29 at Cole Auditorium, the last of three shows for the inaugural Fidelity Bank Classic Rock N' Country Series. See the RO's Facebook page for more photos. Betty McIntyre - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — American Idol winner Scotty McCreery brought the tunes of country music to the Cole Auditorium Friday, hitting the stage full force and holding nothing back.

With the last of the Fidelity Bank Classic Rock N' Country Series, people came from many different states as they packed the sold-out venue. 

Cole Auditorium Director Joey Bennett opened as he greeted the audience and mentioned the concert would be filmed live for an upcoming video. He also said that in the history of the Cole, there have only been a few other sold-out shows. 

Opening act Catie Offerman performed for the first hour entertaining the crowd with country music mixed with some humor. 

McCreery took the stage around 8:30, opening the show with “Foreplay.”

“The last 18 months have been incredible,” he said. “I got married and within the past 12 months I had two singles to hit the charts at number one.” 

He also spoke of his love for his wife Gabi Dugal McCreery and how most of his songs are written about her. “This is It” was one of those songs — he sang it to her as he asked her to marry him. During this song, two couples in the audience stepped out into the aisles and proposed. McCreery invited both couples to come up on stage to dance during the song, making their moment even more special. 

“Seasons Change” and “Wherever You Are” followed. McCreery mentioned his favorite song on the record was “Barefooting” as he is a beach music lover. Huge beach balls were thrown out into the crowd as the audience bounced them back and forth throughout the entire song. 

Following was his favorite time of the show when he sat and talked to the audience. He told of when he first met his wife; he was 5 years old and in kindergarten. He also mentioned that, little did he know, she had kept a diary back then and wrote that she would be Mrs. Scotty McCreery one day. 

McCreery also spoke of his “crush” for Jennifer Lopez, and mentioned how he got to work with her for four months, but his focus always went back to Dugal. Being an American Idol winner, it was almost impossible for him to go back to his hometown of Garner and attend high school with all his friends, but McCreery fought to go back there and graduate because of Dugal being there. 

They attended school together all their lives, but it wasn’t until McCreery was a senior in high school that he first asked her out. Due to his love for chicken, he chose Bojangles as their first date.

 “When she said yes, I knew she was the one” he said. “It is easy to write love songs about her.” 

Several of McCreery’s family members were at the concert, including his wife and grandmother. He spoke of his love for spending time with his family as well as his love for North Carolina. He wrote “Home in My Mind” as a special song for the times when he is homesick. 

McCreery won the 10th season of American Idol in May 2011 at the age of 17, making him the series’ youngest male winner. He credits Elvis Pressley as his earliest inspiration when, at the age of 6 years old, he received a book from his grandmother about Elvis. This began to stir his interest in music and he went on to learn to play the guitar at the age of 9. He also participated in various school choruses. 

While attending Garner Magnet High School, he joined a vocal ensemble called Die Meistersingers, which was formed by his high school chorus teacher Meredith Clayton. The group performed across the United States. McCreery was also active at the church he attended, First Baptist Church in Garner, where he led the praise team. 

At the age of 16, while working as a bagger for Lowes Foods, McCreery decided to audition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for American Idol. his fame began shortly thereafter.

 The rest is history as he continues to bust the charts with new albums. His debut album, “Clear As Day,” was released in October 2011 and was certified platinum in the United States. A year later he released his second album, “Christmas With Scotty McCreery,” which became certified gold.

His third album, “See You Tonight” was released the following year in which the first single titled “See You Tonight,” reached the top 10 on the Billboard country charts. A new record was also set for McCreery in July 2017 with the single “Five More Minutes,” which he became the only country music artist in Country Aircheck/Mediabase history to chart a song without a record label backing, according to His latest album, “Seasons Change,” was released in March 2018. 

After performing many songs, McCreery closed around 10 p.m. with “Five More Minutes” then stepped back out for an encore singing “Your Man.”  

All in all, this country singer put on a great show giving the audience exactly what they came to see, plus some.