Scotty McCreery was a just another face in the crowd when he climbed onto a roller coaster for the first time at age 11, during a visit to Carowinds.
On Saturday night, the amusement park will be the site of another first for the Raleigh-based country singer: His outdoor concert will mark his first time headlining a show in his home state at a venue this big (Carowinds’ Paladium holds 13,000).
And just like he was when he climbed onto that “Top Gun” coaster, McCreery is a bit nervous.
“If I’m out in Iowa doing a show, I play for them and I won’t see them for another year or something,” says the Garner native, 20. “But anytime I play in Carolina, I’ve got all kinds of friends and family that are coming out to the shows that I’m gonna see or talk to the day after. So I better put on a good show for them, or I’ll hear about it.”
(He also will headline Packapalooza – N.C. State’s back-to-school party on Hillsborough Street – on Aug. 23.)
The 2011 “American Idol” winner spoke with the Observer about his love-hate relationship with being on the road, his allegiance to North Carolina, and why he’s fine singing other people’s songs.