Photos and Review by Micah Gummel
Rascal Flatts Show Photos HERE
Scotty McCreery Show Photos HERE
Kicking off the show was Scotty McCreery Make no mistake, McCreery, the 21-year-old North Carolina country singer some think if you win“American Idol” and appeal to the show’s dominant demographic of young girls you cant really be a “real performer” Fact is he really can sing McCreery’s voice and technique have gotten far better since “Idol.” His voice also has gained innumerable confidence – to the point where he even took chances vocally.
It’s not just McCreery’s voice that has gained confidence. His whole stage presence was more commanding even showing off his cowboy boots sporting the Patriots logo! Referencing that his father and aunt grew up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Eliot, Maine and how that his father raised him right.When Scotty McCreery took the stage the audience lit up when he sang songs like “Water Tower Town” and “The Trouble with Girls.” McCreery also performed a handful of classic country songs that most of the audience sang along to. His high energy set got the crowd pumped up for the headliner.
McCReery has an obvious appreciation for the songs that made country music what it is today. About halfway through his set, the 21-year-old performed what he calls the “Oldies Medley,” consisting of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and Alabama’s “Mountain Music.” Unfortunately, when McCreery was performing his final song, “Feelin’ It,” After closing out his set he high-fived some fans in the front before taking his bow. Then giant beach balls still being volleyed through the crowd – the audience was more than ready for Rascal Flatts.
Next to hit the nearly filled Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion Friday was Rascal Flatts With eight consecutive studio albums debuting at No. 1, Rascal Flatts remain the most-awarded country music group of the past decade. Since their debut in 2000, they have sold 28 million albums and 30 million digital downloads and have been presented with more than 40 trophies from the American Country Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards and American Music Awards. In 2012, they set a new record selling more than 7 million concert tickets.
The trio hit the stage backed by a four-man band and, for the first time on tour, a set of three female back-up singers. The result was explosive at times, tender at others, all based on the type of emotions evoked by their songs. It might not have caused a riot, but the show did keep the audience on their feet for the full 90 minutes.
The stage set up, while impressive, was actually pretty simple, letting Rascal Flatts’ music be center stage instead of an elaborate series of catwalks and fireworks; a giant video screen behind the trio was basically the only prop, showing a dazzling array of lights and images that complemented rather than distracted from the musicians. It was nice to just be able to focus on the music, no distractions, especially when you’ve got musicians that love their craft and are great at it.Lead vocalist Gary Levox never fails to impress, especially; the whole band is clearly talented, but Levox has such a strong tenor range that you have to wonder if he’s ever had to practice at his craft. He just comes off as a modest, “aw shucks” guy who somehow happened to be at the forefront of a country movement and is enjoying every minute of it. Especially when he sings songs like “Here Comes Goodbye,” in which his vocal range is tested — and meets every challenge.
Rascal Flatts’ “Riot Tour” proved that even established headliners can improve with age. The band sounds better now than ever, and I have no doubt they will continue to headline for years to come.
Photos and Review by Micah Gummel