Performing in front of a capacity crowd at Freedom Hall on Friday night, 2011 American Idol winner and country music star Scotty McCreery gave a performance that had attendees cheering throughout his set.
The concert, which was hosted by ETSU’s Student Government Association for the campus spring concert, was headlined by McCreery, and featured guest performers Folk Soul Revival and Cam.
The crowd of over 3,500 people was raucous throughout the night, even though some were stuck in longer-than-expected lines to get in while Folk Soul Revival got the show started a minute early at 6:59 p.m.
A majority of the crowd, which stretched from the floor of Freedom Hall to the top rows of seating, had filled in by the time Cam – the shows second performer – started her set. The Grammy-nominated artist got the crowd rolling late in her show, as she gave an electric rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”.
“It was great,” said Cam. “I think it’s amazing when you get to honor the women who came before, and we wouldn’t be here without women like [Dolly Parton] and Loretta [Lynn].”
Cam also said after her show that she loved how “engaged” the crowd was, and said she “might have to go back and tell everyone to come play” in Johnson City.
While the crowd was electric for Cam’s cover of “Jolene”, they kicked it up a notch when the lights went down just before Scotty McCreery stepped on stage to the roar of the crowd, kicking off his set with his song “Foreplay,” before ratcheting up the crowd’s intensity by performing his Billboard Country No. 1 hit “This Is It”, off his No. 1 album “Seasons Change.”
McCreery, whose parents were in attendance for tonight’s performance, was excited to go on for his first show in Johnson City, though he did headline the 2018 Appalachian Fair in nearby Gray, Tennessee.
“It feels good,” said McCreery before the show. “ It should be fun tonight for sure. It’s going to be a good time and thanks [ETSU students] for coming out.”
McCreery was right, and the crowd showed it throughout the entirety of his hour-and-ten-minute performance, with several giant, inflatable beachballs getting tossed around the crowd and stage during his show.
The show, which some workers said drew the largest crowd in recent memory, ended around 10:40 p.m. after he played nearly 20 songs, including six of his eight Billboard top-10’s and a rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” that had almost the entire crowd singing along.