Scotty McCreery shows promise in Massachusetts
A review of Scotty McCreery at Indian Ranch on July 1, 2012
Scotty McCreery won the tenth season of American Idol with his boyish charms and clear country vocals. When he brought his solo tour to Indian Ranch on Sunday afternoon, both of those shined. His musical catalogue is limited and his stage presence remains cheesy from his Idol days, but McCreery put together an endearing set for the sold-out crowd.
After a 75-minute delay due to inclement weather, McCreery launched right into his set with a cover of Keith Urban’s “Walkin’ the Country”. The 18-year old singer, who plans on attending North Carolina State University in the fall, primarily played to his strengths. With youthful energy and a confident swagger, McCreery worked the stage. Playful songs like “Write My Number of Your Hand” and “Out of Summertime” allowed McCreery to be young and charming. It was when he reached for more mature songs, like the family-themed “Dirty Dishes”, that he fell flat.
Like most Idol alums, McCreery’s first album features more dull than remarkable album cuts. He was wise to limit performances of original material and stick to covers, most of which he already performed on Idol, including a delightful stripped down cover of John Michael Montgomery’s “Letters From Home”. Covers of George Strait’s “Check Yes or No” and Travis Tritt’s version of the Elvis Presley classic “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” showed McCreery’s appreciation for the genre and engaged the older fans in attendance.
“I Love You this Big”, McCreery’s Idol coronation song and his biggest hit to date, was an early crowd favorite. Although the performance came with the same corny stage mannerisms he had on the show, McCreery’s voice can deliver anything needing a country twang. His talent surprised on an earnest cover of Garth Brook’s “The Dance”, which also included an anecdote about meeting the legend. The most surprising song choice was a rousing take on the folk classic “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow”, which had McCreery jamming out with his band.
McCreery went back to original material with “The Trouble With Girls” and new song “Water Tower Town” before closing with more covers. He grabbed his guitar for Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right Mama”. It wasn’t the afternoon’s best, but it’s such a famous, rousing number, nobody cared. Stage presence and energy lacked while his voice didn’t strain at all.
After closing the main set with “T-R-O-U-B-L-E”, McCreery quickly returned for an encore of Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone”, another standouts from his days on Idol. Unfortunately, microphone difficulties made the closing anticlimactic. Fans helped him out, however, and McCreery looked like he had more fun in that one number than any other song.
With more dynamic original material and stage practice, young McCreery could eventually graduate into the big leagues of country.
1. Walkin’ the Country (Keith Urban/ The Ranch cover)
2. You Make That Look Good
3. I Love You This Big
4. Check Yes or No (George Strait cover)
5. Write My Number on Your Hand
6. Back on the Ground
7. Out of Summertime
8. Dirty Dishes
9. I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow (Dick Burnett cover)
10. Better Than That
11. Letters From Home (John Michael Montgomery cover)
12. The Dance (Garth Brooks cover)
13. The Trouble With Girls
14. Water Tower Town
15. That’s All Right Mama (Elvis Presley cover)
16. T-R-O-U-B-L-E (Travis Tritt/ Elvis Presley cover)
17. Gone (Montgomery Gentry cover)