Scotty McCreery was live at Bush Hall, London during his first headline tour of the UK. Alison Dewar was there for Six Shooter Country.
Wow. Every so often a gig comes along and you quietly add it to the ‘so glad I was there’ pile of happy memories.
Saturday night with Scotty McCreery at Bush Hall was one of those moments. Amazing music, laughter and a few happy tears – Max Lewis, we’re talking about you – this was one to remember for a long time.
The American Idol winner from 2011 was fresh into London from Germany, as part of his first headline tour in the UK and Europe during Country Music Week, and he smashed it with a smorgasbord of his own songs mixed with some classic country covers.
From opening numbers See You Tonight – the crowd loved it when he dropped in ‘London, so good to see you tonight’ – and Wherever You Are; to when he picked up his guitar for the beautiful lyrics of Boys From Back Home.
A cover of Garth Brooks’ Papa Loved Mama got the crowd singing along and garnered plenty of cheers before he slowed it down to say a special hello to his wife Gabi, who was watching from the sidelines.
He wrote the song This Is It just for Gabi before he had even popped the question – check out the real-life footage from their wedding day last year which accompanies it.
At times barely taking a breath between songs, he slipped seamlessly into the title track from his most recent album, Seasons Change. Released in March 2018, it was his first for the Triple Tigers label and topped Billboard’s Country Album chart as well as reaching No. 2 on the Top Album chart.
He co-wrote all 11 songs and, after four US number one albums and that multi-platinum recording artist label, you really get the feeling this is the one where he’s come of age.
Fittingly squeezed between covers of Take It Easy by the Eagles and Check Yes or No from George Strait was his own recent single, In Between. He went on to namecheck friend and mentor Brad Paisley (he supported him on tour in 2012 and says Paisley ‘took him under his wing’), going on to play The Trouble with Girls, the video for which was shot at Scotty’s high school featuring many of his friends – including long-time sweetheart Gabi.
Keith Urban’s Walkin’ The Country – more cheers as he changed it to …walk into London – and then back to his own music with Wrong Again.
There were two songs however which nearly broke the house on Saturday night.
The first was Five More Minutes, a tribute to his late grandfather, and you could see he was clearly touched as the crowd sang the words back to him.
Confessing to be the odd one out among his friends as he grew up listening to classic country, he fired it up with a medley that rocketed from Conway Twitty, through Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson and John Michael Montgomery, but there was one very special moment still to come.
Having met C2C Attendees page favourite Max Lewis before the show, Max had put in a special request for Scotty to sing I Love You This Big.
The man did more than that, he invited Max on stage to sing it alongside him and it’s true to say there were a fair few folk scrabbling around for their tissues at such a heart-warming gesture.
You only have to check out the amazing Facebook comments to see what this meant to Max, his father Paul and everyone who was there – well done Scotty.
Come back soon.
We met up with Scotty the day after this show. You can read his thoughts on the night, plus a whole range of other things, here.