Post written by Derek Hamm, contributing writer for Vox.
An abundance of neon beer signs and cowboy boots filled Whiskey Wild to capacity Friday as Scotty McCreery booted, scooted and boogied. A mixture of young and old, southern belles and good ol’ boys came out to support the former American Idol winner.
The buzz from the crowd resonated with a country twang only native to a true southern venue. Josey Milner opened the show with a set mix of original songs and country classics. The young singer belted tunes with a southern drawl that would make J.R. Ewing blush. Milner was backed by a seasoned honky-tonk bar band.
Acting as a hype group, Milner and her band kept the pace fast and the bass loud in order to rev the crowd for McCreery. The pace died down a bit as Milner played a well-received tribute to the late George Jones with “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
McCreery had won over the crowd before he set foot on the stage. Although the mechanical bull in the back of the room lay still, the entire crowd bucked into high gear once McCreery appeared.
McCreery’s set had the vibe of a deep Texas summer block party. Giant beach balls flew through the hot, sticky air, and patrons danced in what little room they had. The country star sang with a deep-fried baritone swagger that captivated the audience from start to finish.
At the young age of 19, McCreery commanded the audience with a confidence usually seen by veteran performers many years his senior. In fact, if McCreery had come to Whiskey Wild the year he rose to American Idol fame, he would not have been old enough to get into the venue.
The sold out crowd of about 1,600 got their money’s worth with this fired up hootenanny. Banjos were plucked. Beers were drunk. Boots were shuffled. Any country music fan, young or old, would have left the venue pleased.
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