American Idols Live – Raleigh NC Recap + Photos

Anthea pens her 3rd recap for the blog! This time, she reviews Scotty McCreery’s hometown show in Raleigh, NC. Check the bottom of the recap for photos

So, here’s some background on me before I start this whole concert recap. Be prepared. It might be a tad bit long, but stay with me. Haha. I’m 15 years old and I’ve been to four Idol concerts total (Seasons 7, 8, 9, 10) and I’ve done two recaps for MjsBigBlog. Links are right here: and . My writing skills have improved since my recap writing days when I was 13 and 14 so I’m happy to say I’ll sound more professional in this one. Haha. The main reason why I write these are to basically have my Idol concert memories in writing so I can always look back at them. And also because it’s fun writing them and telling you guys about my experiences.

So at the beginning of the Idol season, I wasn’t really that interested in the competition. I was getting…bored with the show after having been obsessed with it for over five years. This was the first Idol season, after having watched seasons 6, 7, 8, and 9 almost religiously, that I actually missed some episodes of Idol because it was getting to boring. I mean, I would have the TV tuned into it, but I never really paid attention to what was happening. I remember my mom telling me around the Top 10 that we should go to the Idol concert this year and I told her “Nah.” I think around probably Top 6 was when I was getting into the show again.

Since I’m from North Carolina, the guy that everyone here was rooting for was Scotty McCreery. I thought he was just ok. Country wasn’t really my thing. My favorite so far was Stefano Langone. He was good looking and he had a lovely voice to match. After he got booted off I was upset, but I still continued to watch Idol. As it got closer and closer to the Top 3, Scotty was actually starting to grow on me. He was adorable and I was really starting to like his voice. The songs he sang on Idol actually started to make me melt. Cheesy sounding, I know. I think that, and the pride that everyone was feeling in North Carolina made me want him to win the whole competition. After he won Idol, I knew that I was hooked again.

Flash forward to American Idols Live tour in Scotty’s hometown of Raleigh, NC:

Before the Concert: I went to the arena with my mom at around 3:30pm in hopes of seeing some Idols before the show. Sadly we were told that only Lauren Alaina appeared to take pictures and sign autographs at around 11:30am. The Idols were now doing their official meet and greet inside the arena. I can never understand how some of those people spent like what, $250 each to meet the Idols just to have a sign and slide. So with already paying the $10 for parking we were able to go inside the air conditioned arena and wait for the gates to open at 6. Mind you, there were NO chairs so everyone had to stand. It sucked. As I stood and examined the crowd, I noticed that about 98% of the crowd was for Scotty. Lots of Scotty shirts and posters that said “I Love You This Big” and “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.” I can’t lie though; I had my own Scotty and Stefano poster with me as well. I saw some Lauren fans, a James fan with a tail sticking out from their behind, and some people dressed in Haley’s tour color which was red. But that was mainly it.

At around 5ish while everyone was still waiting in a much unorganized line, I noticed a middle-aged man in front of me who was scanning Scotty posters and talking to the fans about it. Turns out this man was Scotty’s uncle; Scotty’s dad’s older brother. He told us that he was the wild one out of the brothers. Scotty’s dad was the more conservative one. He was VERY proud of his nephew and was making it well known. As soon as everyone found out he was Scotty’s uncle almost EVERYONE around us wanted a picture with him. After he took pictures with some fans he spotted my poster and chatted to me about Scotty for a little bit. I took a picture with him and then he pointed out an elderly man who he said was Scotty’s grandpa. Everyone was going crazy again, now wanting pictures with Grandpa McCreery. After all the hub bub died down and it was finally 6, everyone happily piled into the concert arena. I was standing in line for almost 3 hours straight so my feet were already starting to feel a bit sore. Before the show started I bought an idol tour program, a pretzel, and milled around the arena and tried asking employees where the barricades would be after the show. It was too crowded so I decided to wait until intermission to ask again.

My seat was in row 23 in the middle floor section of the arena and was actually pretty good, and while watching past idol music videos and commercials, I saw Scotty’s parents and sister. His sister is so pretty and so thin! I was a little surprised. After spotting them I continued watching the videos onscreen until the show started at around 7:30. (Also to include, the whole arena was filled. Not an empty seat in sight!)

Showtime! :

Born This Way: The girls all sounded pretty good, but nothing really stood out. I loved Naima’s rapping part in the middle of the song. This was a song that was supposed to get everyone excited and dancing, but not that much people stood up from their seats. They were still loudly cheering though.

Empire State of Mind: Pia’s voice is absolutely beautiful. From all the feedback I heard about her not moving around that much, she sure moved around more than I thought she would. The arrangement of the song was perfect for her, and I loved the New York style graphics on the screen. It helped bring out the “New York” feeling.

California King Bed: I LOVE THIS SONG! So when I heard that Pia and Stefano were singing this on tour, I was absolutely looking forward to hearing it. When Stefano came out onstage I was so excited and all the girls started to scream. Their voices flow together really beautifully and they had so much feeling singing it.

Maggie May: As soon as Paul came out onstage, he tried to get the whole arena to get up and start clapping their hands. People were now dancing and cheering. He wasn’t really one of my favorites on the show, but he was enjoyable to watch. He looked really happy just doing his thing, dancing and smiling all over the stage.

Who Says: Ah Thia, a fellow Filipina. At the beginning of the American Idol season, I thought it was pretty cool that she and I almost had the same name. Except I have the “Ann” at the beginning of my name. And the “Thia” at the end of my name is spelled “Thea.” Watching her onstage at the concert made me notice just how pretty and strong her voice is. When she started this song, I could hear all the kids and tweens around me saying “That’s Selena’s song”, telling their parents excitedly. I absolutely love this song, but felt that Thia should’ve picked a different song. Maybe a song that was more…I don’t know…a song that made you want to get up and dance. This song is just a “bop your head and sing along to the radio” kind of song.

Tightrope: I was pretty unfamiliar with this song, but the girls all sounded pretty good and I really liked the bright yellow and black graphics in the background.

Grenade: I screamed loud when Stefano came out. I absolutely love his voice! He had so much feeling go into this song, especially when he dropped down to his knees.

DJ Got Us Falling In Love: People were starting to stand up once they heard the beginning chords of this song. I knew Stefano would be taking his shirt off at the end so I looking forward to that. Haha. He showed us his moves and everyone was cheering. When he did his little strip tease, the girls went crazy. When the shirt was completely off, I think more than half of the girls in the arena screamed their heads off. I still don’t get why he takes his shirt off during that song but… I don’t think it really mattered at that point. ;P

Animal: This was one of my favorite songs on the radio this whole year. I noticed that people started screaming loud when James got onstage. He and Casey had a cute interaction near the beginning of the song, jumping up and down. People around me were singing along.

On the Floor: When people were starting to sit down after the guys’ group number, Naima demanded them to stand back up. This girl can DANCE! She did a cartwheel and a split! If I was her, I’d be out of breath from dancing and singing. That takes a lot of talent and skill!

This Time: When Pia came onstage after like what, the 5th time that night, I could hear the people next to me saying, “Again?” Her single is just ok. Nothing really stands out from it that much. Her voice is still gorgeous though.

Firework: This song that Lauren, Pia, and Thia sang was pretty cute. Especially with the firework graphics in the background. Nothing too special though. I loved all of the girls’ dresses in this performance. In fact, I loved all of the dresses the girls’ wore for the whole concert. Wonder where they bought them… Oh and I noticed that Lauren didn’t have her cast on anymore. She got a lot of cheers when she came out onstage.

Smooth: Casey started off the song really smooth and sexy, just playing his bass. When the full band started to play, everyone started cheering and standing up.

Moanin: Casey and Haley have really good chemistry onstage and their voices meshed perfectly together on this song. Loved it.

Harder to Breath: Before Casey sang this song, he made a joke about seeing Scotty backstage and saying that it was getting “harder for him to breath.” This prompted laughter and cheers from the crowd. Also I noticed, I forgot if it was either this song or Smooth, but someone from the crowd handed him this weird looking doll that looked like a monkey? Or something like that..

Forget You: Mostly everyone stood up for this song. Since this song is pretty well known, there were lots of people singing along. I didn’t particularly like the outfits they all wore though…

Intermission: During my time at intermission I walked around the arena asking where the barricades would be after the show to much success! Also while walking around, I bought a Scotty headshot. :D

Flat on the Floor: Lauren got a pretty good reception when she came out. Sadly I sort of ignored this performance as I was digging around in my purse looking for my camcorder for Scotty’s performances that I would try and record later.

Like My Mother Does: Absolutely love this song! I was actually listening to this and “I Love You This Big” on the way to the concert arena that morning. Lauren has a beautiful voice and it gives me goose bumps when she reaches her upper register in this song.

If I Die Young: This is probably one of the better known new country songs out right now. I have loved this song ever since I first listened to it a couple months ago. It seemed that people recognized the tune immediately. Everyone was swaying their hands and glow sticks.

Sweet Child of Mine: This was when it actually felt like an actual concert. We could all hear James, but we couldn’t see him. When he finally appeared at the back of the arena, the crowd went crazy. He was like, three feet away from me when he was walking to the stage. Everyone stood up and screamed loudly!

Uprising: Everyone stayed standing up. They were so pumped! James has an amazingly incredible voice. He can reach so many high notes, though not as high as Adam Lambert in my opinion, but still very impressive.

Never too Much: Jacob has a really good gospel voice. I felt bad though that people were starting to sit down after James’ performances ended. You could see that Jacob was trying his best to connect with the audience.

You’re All I Need: Sadly I don’t remember much from this song, though I do remember that Jacob’s voice sounded really good and powerful.

House of the Rising Sun: Haley has such a smoky, sultry, jazzy type voice. I love it. She got a good amount of screams when she came out, though not as loud as James.

Bennie and the Jets: I remember when she sang this song after her elimination. It was stuck in my head for days. Her voice is absolutely beautiful and I love the way she sings this song.

Countdown to Scotty: As soon as Countdown to Scotty began, the crowd went BESERK! When the past winners were being shown on the screen, people would either cheer or keep quiet. Carrie Underwood got the most cheers when her winning was shown. When the winning of Kris Allen showed up, some people around me were booing. I mean, I get that each and every person is entitled to their own opinion about who should’ve won, but you don’t have to be rude and boo…

Your Man: When Scotty the hometown boy, came on everyone started screaming and cheering as loud as they could! Everyone was on their feet! When Scotty emphasized, “I can’t believe how much it turns me on” shrieks could be heard all around the arena. It was pretty surreal seeing Mr. Scotty McCreery in the flesh. North Carolina was proud to have their boy back!

Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not: I swear, all the girls were swooning when he started the song. So many girls of all ages had their poster with these lyrics on it. Everyone was cheering as loud as they could!

(I think after this song Scotty was telling the crowd how happy he was to be back in NC. He was telling us about how he always went to sports games at the RBC center and that this was the stop he had been most looking forward to. It almost looked like he was about to be emotional.)

I Love You This Big: LOVELOVELOVE this song! Everyone in the arena was waving their glow sticks and hands in the air. It seemed like everyone connected with Scotty through this song.

(After this song I think this was when Scotty tells the arena to put the lights back on because he forgot to tell his fans thank you. He’s so genuinely nice. It made me like him even more! More than I did before.)

When You Say Nothing At All: Scotty and Lauren are so cute together. Their voices are absolutely lovely when they sing together. Especially with this song. It’s beautiful.

Gone: This is one of my favorite songs that Scotty sang on Idol. When he performed this song on TV, he got to show the funny side of him with the cute funny faces he made. Everyone was dancing and I even did the little pistol thing with my hand whenever he sang “Bang, Bang!”o

Finale: I left during Faithfully to go to the barricades so I didn’t really have much input to say about it. I watched a video of the finale though, and I loved the songs they sang. I heard that Scotty also wore a jersey at the end.

Barricade time! : My mom and I left early (since it took a while to walk to the barricades) and we took a spot in the middle section. Some people were already starting to come over. We waited for about 45 minutes. Thankfully we had some pretty entertaining and funny security guards who kept on joking with the fans. Around this time I met up with my friend Allie, who went with me to my last Idol concert (see last year’s concert recap), and was a Scotty fan this year.

The first person to come out and meet the fans was Jacob. He high fived everyone and really took his time with the fans. When he got to us, my mom and I each got a picture with him and his autograph. He had to bend down for the picture and so I got a whiff of his cologne and told him he smelled good. He was like, “Really?!” and sniffed his shirt. He’s a sweetie. I thought it was funny when my mom gave Jacob a hug. She kissed his cheek for a good 5 seconds. Haha!

Casey was the next person to come out. He went down the line of people high fiving them. He seemed like such a goofball. I got a picture with him, but forgot to get his autograph. Before he went on to the other fans, I asked him if he could do one of his signature growls so I could videotape it. He jokingly said that I’d probably think his growl was stupid and politely declined. Out of the Idols that came out, he and Lauren I think took the longest time signing and taking pictures with fans.

Third person to come out was Naima. She also went down the line high fiving people. She’s very pretty in person. She seemed talkative and was really nice. I got a picture with her and her autograph.

The next person to come out was Pia. She high fived people down the line, and as I was looking at her I noticed just how short she was! I’m Asian so I’m only 5’3. I know I’m a teen and all, but I think I already stopped growing. She looked like she was about 5’1! She is absolutely gorgeous in person though and I told her that. She’s really nice and I got a picture with her and her autograph.

Next person to come out was Stefano. I was really excited to meet him since he was one of my favorites! I told him I loved him and asked for a picture and an autograph. I also gave him a bracelet that said “Music is my life” that had a guitar charm on it, to which he looked at it and said, “This looks pretty sweet.” He seemed pretty tired though when he was with us. It must be from all the stress and lack of sleep on tour. When he asked the crowd how we liked the show my mom told him that she liked it when he took off his shirt because he had a sexy body, which made him chuckle. Oh Mom…Haha!

Next one to come out was Lauren. She took a long time getting to us. She spent lots of time with her fans, which I admired. Especially the little kids. She would carry the little kids over the barricade or just carry and hold them so they could take a picture with her. Her brother was by her and when she told her fans his identity, people were asking him to sign their things too. She was telling us he was single and how his twitter name is Tyler Alaina. When she finally got to us it was getting late so she could only sign stuff. She has a deeper speaking voice than I imagined. She is so pretty in person though and really does talk your ears off. A girl beside me had that new promo picture of Scotty for Lauren to sign and she was like, “He looks good…oh uhm I mean…” and laughed. Her and Scotty’s friendship is so cute.

After about twenty minutes of no more new Idols showing up and chants of Scotty’s name, time was starting to tick by. It was already around 11:50 and the security guards told us that if anyone else came out it would most likely be Scotty, but they said they weren’t positive. A couple minutes after that, the security guards were acting all business-like and screams could be heard. Scotty McCreery was finally coming out! It was absolutely crazy! He was being rushed by his handlers, but when he got to each to each fan he was so sweet to them. He tried to get in pictures with the fans, but he was getting too rushed. His parents and sister were with him, and they were recording the crowd. Scotty hugged everyone he could reach. When he came to hug Allie and I I felt like I was on Cloud 9. It was a really good hug too, and he held my hand for a bit. I’ll never forget that moment. I told him I loved him too. He is so sweet and he definitely deserved to win American Idol. I’m so proud that he is from North Carolina. North Carolina pride baby! North Carolina pride! It didn’t even matter that much that I didn’t get a picture with him or his autograph. I knew that he would come back to good ‘ole Carolina pretty soon. I’m looking forward to that day.  It was past the stroke of midnight (the time the idols are supposed to leave the venue) when Scotty finished up.

Overall 7 out of the 11 idols came out. Haley, James, Thia, and Paul were the ones absent from the barricades. This season’s concert was pretty good, though I still like season 8 and 9’s concert tours better. Probably because I connected with those Idols more since I never had missed an episode. It seemed that last years’ Idols took more time with the fans. But I’m not complaining. This concert will still be one of those memories I’ll never forgot. Thanks guys for sticking around to read this. I know it was really long. Scotty was the absolute highlight of my night and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him. I want his CD to come out. Like NOW.

Until next year’s tour… Adios!

About mj santilli 35002 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!