RALEIGH — For the second straight year, Scotty McCreery will be performing two nightly shows during the N.C. State Fair.
But don’t expect there to be much duplication with last year’s performances. With a new CD just released this week, McCreery promises a unique show for fans.
“The State Fair’s gonna be special this year,” he said last week during an interview in his hometown, Garner. “It’s going to be a brand-new show.”
McCreery will be performing Monday and Tuesday nights at Dorton Arena – part of 11 nights of music that range from country musicians such as Joe Nichols to a Michael Jackson tribute band to contemporary Christian act MercyMe.
As of Friday morning, only one show – “bro-country” band Florida Georgia Line on Sunday night – is sold out.
McCreery, a 20-year-old sophomore at N.C. State University, said he likes the atmosphere of a State Fair show.
“It’s the one show that I can wake up, get out of bed, get in my truck and go play a concert,” he said. “And after the show, get in my truck and go to bed.”
McCreery, the 2011 “American Idol” winner, is having a special “homecoming album release event” in conjunction with the State Fair shows.
Fans who have bought both a copy of the new album, “See You Tonight,” and a ticket to one of the fair shows are eligible to attend afternoon parties with McCreery. The events, at 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, will include a performance and a question-and-answer session. Each person also will receive a free poster.
Attendance will be capped at 2,000 each day. Wristbands, which are required, will be distributed at McCreery’s merchandise stand beginning at 1 p.m. each day.
Fans must have a copy of “See You Tonight” (or show a digital receipt on their phones) and a ticket to that night’s concert to receive a wristband.
“See You Tonight” has received good reviews, with most noting how much McCreery has grown since his 2011 debut, “Clear As Day.”
Entertainment Weekly gave it a B rating and said McCreery had “crafted a truly contemporary follow-up” to his earlier release. The Associated Press said McCreery is “moving into a style of his own that should win him fans beyond the ‘Idol’ fan base.” And USA Today gave it 3 of 4 stars and said McCreery is “maturing into a fine singer.”
McCreery co-wrote five of the 13 tracks on the album. He said he wanted it to be contemporary, yet also contain some of the old-school country music sound that he’s fond of.
“We’re staying with the times, but we’re also trying to keep those traditional nuances in there,” he said.
Ogburn: 919-829-8987; Twitter: @thadogburn