Scotty McCreery Had the Audience ‘Feeling It’ on Friday

Photo by Max Catalano

Photo by Max Catalano

Ally Lanasa

The Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium was full of students, Athens residents and out-of-town country music fans eagerly waiting for Scotty McCreery to take the stage Friday for his third performance in four years at Ohio University.  

Tenille Arts opened the show at 8 p.m. with “Rebel Child,” the title track of her album. Arts, who has been on her radio tour since April, played “I Hate This.” The song is her first single to country music radio. She also performed her 2018 single “Mad Crazy Love,” which she wrote on a plane. She recently filmed a performance of the song for an episode of The Bachelor, which will air in January. She continued her set with covers of the Dixie Chicks’ “Cowboy Take Me Away” and Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” The audience happily sang along to her renditions. 

McCreery took the stage at 9 p.m. with “Seasons Change,” the title-track of his 2018 album. This year has been remarkable for the country musician with the album reaching No. 1  on Billboard’s Country Albums Chart and marrying his wife, Gabi, on June 16. Their big day was captured in the music video for “This Is It,” another hit from the album.

McCreery had concertgoers on their feet, dancing to his song “Wherever You Are.” After covering Garth Brooks’ “Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up,” he jokingly introduced himself to the audience as Luke Bryan. 

McCreery was personable with the audience, sharing the stories behind some of his songs. “See You Tonight,” his first platinum single, was written in 2012 for his then-girlfriend and now wife. The couple met in kindergarten, but they did not start dating until their senior year of high school after he had won American Idol in 2011.

 He wrote “Five More Minutes” for his “Grandaddy Bill,” who died at the age of 86 in 2015. His grandfather was born and raised in West Virginia and served in the Air Force. While serving in Puerto Rico, he met his wife of 58 years. He retired to North Carolina and worked as a ranger at Pinehurst Resort. McCreery loved those moments riding around the course with his grandfather because there was “only room for two people in [the] golf cart.” 

McCreery encouraged the audience to shine their phone lights up to their loved ones as he performed the single, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart.  McCreery wrote “Home in My Mind” to take him back home, if only mentally, when traveling becomes difficult. He performed the hit as a mashup with James Taylor’s “Carolina in My Mind.” 

During his performance, he also played “Water Tower Town,” “Feeling It,” “I Love You This Big” and “In Between.” 

Classic country music fans sang along to his covers of Conway Twitty’s “Hello Darlin’”, Randy Travis’  “Forever And Ever, Amen,” Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee” and John Michael Montgomery’s “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident).” The concert came to end with McCreery’s performance of Josh Turner’s “Your Man” as the audience cheered.