In May 28 IssueBy Kim GrahamNews-Register Reporter
Small town country boy, Justin Moore, brought down the house, brought the audience to tears, and lifted them up again with his soulful acoustic and high energy, rockin' country performance.
Week before last, Thursday, May 19th, Russell County Auditorium was overflowing with excited fans in the first ever sold out show at the venue.
"We were at maximum capacity," said Russell County Auditorium Director Susan Melton. "We sold out and brought in some extra chairs in the back."
Extra chairs really weren't necessary for the lively crowd.
As soon as Moore strolled on stage, the audience leapt from their seats and settled in at the stage for the evening.
All the audience had up close and personal access to the country idol enjoying not only his music but also the view.
"I loved his Wrangler butt," said Russell County High School freshman Kelsey West. "I loved his music, too. He's so down to earth."
Even since hitting the Nashville scene, Moore hasn't strayed far from his love of rural America which endeared him to Kentucky as well.
"We've played a lot of places all over the U.S. and we've learned where it's real country and where it's not," Moore told his amassed fans. "Kentucky is country!"
He talked about his love for all things country including hunting and fishing.
In fact, he said earlier in the day on Lake Cumberland he caught a really nice small mouth bass he plans to have mounted.
Moore posted "I love KY" and a link to a picture of him with his catch on Twitter, a popular online social network.
It's safe to say Kentucky loves Justin Moore, too.
"Everybody that I talked to said they loved the show," said Melton. "It's the best show we've had at the auditorium so far."
Moore's genuine delivery of heartfelt, self authored songs struck a chord with the crowd.
"Whenever he sang those touching songs he seemed honest," said Russell County High School Sophomore Andrea Roberts. "When he sang If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away, it almost made me cry."
Part of Moore's appeal is his down home attitude of compassion for others.
"If I affect one person in a positive way, then I'm doing my job," Moore professed.
Russell County Auditorium is the ultimate intimate venue for interacting with famous acts on a level not possible at larger arenas.
"Having the chance to be that close to a country star is not an everyday thing in Russell County," said Roberts. "I'm really excited to have the auditorium in the area to see concerts."
Other folks are learning about the auditorium and traveling great lengths to attend shows.
"We had people travel to (Justin Moore's) show from across the board," Melton said. "In addition to local fans, people came from Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Ohio."
Justin Moore and all the other quality shows presented this year have set the stage for future events at the auditorium.
"It really ended our spring concert series on a high note," Melton said. "Now we're ready to start our fall line-up."
She said their next big event at the auditorium is June 7 - 11 with Treasure Hunter's Road Show.
Local folks can search their closet and attics to bring in antiques and have them appraised in possibly sell them Melton said.
"July 21st is slated for country music star, Neil McCoy," Melton said. "The show should be confirmed soon."
Other upcoming shows include, up and coming country duo Aly'an Saturday, September 24th and country rock group Herrick Saturday, October 29th.
For more information regarding future shows at Russell County Auditorium, call 270-866-6300.