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Oliver Anthony Plays Concert in Moyock, North Carolina: Review – Billboard

Written by on 20/08/2023

Over the past couple of weeks, singer-songwriter Oliver Anthony (real name: Chris Lunsford) has seen his name recognition surge as his song “Rich Men North of Richmond,” which criticizes various issues including greedy politicians, high taxes, low pay, and issues surrounding the welfare system. A performance video, posted by radiowv on Aug. 7, has earned over 25 million views, while the song itself has topped the iTunes country chart and the Spotify Top 50-USA chart and seems to be a contender for the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when it arrives on Monday (Aug. 21).

Anthony brought his live show to fans in North Carolina over the weekend. On Saturday (Aug. 19), he spearheaded a free show at Eagle Creek Golf Club and Grill in Moyock, N.C., a tight-knit community just south of Norfolk, Va., with a population of just over 5,000 people (as of the 2020 census).

Attendees began showing up to the venue around 11 a.m., as lawn chairs and blankets proliferated across the grounds, and people packed in close to the stage, standing shoulder to shoulder prior to the singer-songwriter’s afternoon set. Some members of security estimated the day’s attendance roughly between 6,000 and 8,000 attendees.

Prior to his set, a drone could be seen flying over the crowd, while camera operators filmed crowd footage, noting it was intended to be used for an upcoming music video. A merch stand featured T-shirts emblazoned with Anthony’s name, with some of the shirts also bearing crosses or scriptures. A few lawn signs emblazoned with “Oliver Anthony 2024” were scattered across the lawn, while some children were sporting “Oliver Anthony for President” shirts.

The “Rich Men From North of Richmond” hitmaker took the stage, which was decorated with American flags, and began his afternoon set in a unique fashion; not with crashing cymbals or jangly guitar rhythms, but with prayer. The crowd stayed quiet as Anthony followed by reading a biblical scripture.

He began his set with “I Want to Go Home,” before offering up “Ain’t Gotta Dollar,” “’90 Some Chevy,” “I Gotta Get Sober” later performing his main draw, “Rich Men From North of Richmond.” No pyrotechnics, no flashy stage lights, no choreography; Anthony primarily stayed close to the microphone, playing a set heavy on mid-tempo songs. Though he noted at one point that his grizzled voice was a bit tired, he sounded strong as he rolled through a slate of songs he’s released over the past year or so.

Though some conservative-leaning media personalities were among the many sharing the song, initially helping it to gain traction, the artist himself made no political statement during the show, keeping his music front and center. He kept his comments to the crowd brief, primarily thanking them for their support of his music. At one point, the crowd began chanting “USA! USA!” and at another moment, a crowd member attempted to begin a “Let’s Go Brandon” anti-president Biden chant that quickly fizzled, even drawing criticism from some attendees seated farther from the stage. Other attendees held up American flags during the performance.

Though Jamey Johnson previously showed up as a surprise guest during one of Anthony’s previous shows; the Moyock show had no special guests, but the artist did reprise a performance of Johnson’s “In Color,” welcoming one of the day’s opening acts to the stage.

Here, we look at five standouts from the day:

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