Josh Turner and Raquel Cole showed up at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Saturday and pumped up the Athens country scene.
Walking into the auditorium, attendees could feel a very country, southern vibe from the atmosphere. Cowboy hats, flannels and cowboy boots were the preferred dress code of the night for many of the concert goers. Fans were ready to enjoy the multi-platinum MCA Nashville recording artist with a beer in one hand and the other in the air.
As opener Raquel Cole stepped on the stage, only a couple seats were empty. She wowed the crowd with top favorites like “It’s For Real This Time” and “Personal Truth.” She also did renditions of “Ex’s & Oh’s” by Elle King and “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. Cole had a great sound and incredible voice that contained a rasp that adds to her unlikely country vibe.
As a new up-and-comer, Cole wowed the audience and was well received. Before the end of her set, Cole invited the crowd to take a selfie with her.
“Ohio has the nicest people, and I’m not just saying that,” she said.
By the end of Cole’s set, MemAud was full. The crowd patiently awaited Josh Turner and his band, who took the stage with “Time Is Love,” a song for his album Punching Bag.
Paige Reid, a freshman studying forensic chemistry, and Tori Bagshaw, a sophomore studying forensic chemistry, were all pumped up and ready to see Josh Turner.
The two women are avid country fans and listeners.
“(We) already have plans to go to Kip Moore,” Reid said.
Reid and Bagshaw sat together to enjoy the experience together.
“The newer country is kind of mixing pop with it, so I think older country is a little better, but even Josh Turner will keep going with (older country),” Bagshaw said.
No one in the crowd left disappointed, as Turner didn’t leave without playing crowd favorites. “Long Black Train,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” and “Hometown Girl” had the crowd up on their feet screaming.
Before leaving, Turner made sure to give the crowd some advice.
“If there’s anything out there missing in your life, you can find it at Josh Turner merchandise,” he said.