Ominous storm clouds loomed over the Eastern Idaho State Fair Grounds Thursday evening threatening the first grandstand concert of the week featuring country star Chris Young. Thankfully, the only thunder was the thunderous applause and the roar of the crowd from the near sold out audience who came for the concert.
Young, who was Country Music's 2011 "Breakthrough Artist of the Year," played with energy and enthusiasm the hit songs that many of the fans were looking forward to hearing such as "The Man I Want To Be," "Tomorrow" and "Voices." He even threw in a classic rock tune by the group ZZ Top tune, "Sharp Dressed Man." Young also dedicated a song that he wrote called "The Dashboard" to all the U.S. Military members and their families.
While the teen and "20-30 something" crowd seemed to be the most prominent in the audience, plenty of young families could be seen clapping and cheering with their young children.
Senior citizens with walkers and scooters were spotted in the audience as well.
Grandmother, Monica Radford from Pocatello, who came to the concert with her granddaughter, preferred to stay a little behind the crowd and the noise, saying, "I love all of his songs, but it's kind of loud up close. I lost my granddaughter, but I'll find her later."
Idaho Falls teens Taylor Chistensen and Bailey Andreason said this is the first big name concert they have ever attended. The two agreed that it was an exciting event and that "there was a lot of energy in the air."
Young frequently expressed his gratitude to his fans throughout the concert, saying, "Thank you to all of you who listened to my songs on the radio and didn't turn them off. Because of you - we've had some number one hits on the radio."
Fans also seemed enamored with Texas teen Morgan Frazier, who did an excellent job warming up the crowd as the opening act. Morgan interacted nicely with the crowd by intermixing her signature country tunes with familiar classic rock cover songs by acts such as Pat Benatar, Journey, Led Zeppelin and Guns & Roses i
Frazier has been in the area the past couple of days sharing her anti-bullying message at public schools. She evoked a large round of applause from the audience by playing a song that she wrote on the subject called "Hey Bully."
"I was bullied horribly as a child. My mother had to take me out of public school and put me in a private school," she said. "I hear a lot about bullying on the news. It breaks my heart to hear that some kids are committing suicide before their lives even get started."
Country music fans will be treated to another top name act with Trace Adkins taking the stage in the grandstand Friday night.