VIDEO: Thousands gather to hear chart-topper Oliver Anthony perform hit songs

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Country music sensation Oliver Anthony thrilled fans when he belted out his hit song, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” not once but twice, back-to-back, to a large crowd outside at Eagle Creek Golf Club & Grill in Moyock on Saturday afternoon.

Bouncing to the beat, singing and strumming his guitar with emotion and heart, the red headed, red bearded country singer delivered his best renditions of this overnight mega-hit. The tune was the No. 1 song downloaded on iTunes last week after he played it live at another Currituck venue, Morris Farm Market in nearby Barco, on Aug. 13.

Anthony also holds the second place slot with another hit song, “Ain’t Got a Dollar,” two slots above country superstar Jason Aldean’s Try That in a Small Town in fourth place. Anthony’s two songs remained in those top slots Monday morning. It was also announced earlier this week that “Rich Men North of Richmond” made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 in the top spot.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

His star is on the rise and rumors were floating around social media Sunday that he had already turned down an $8 million deal from a country music company recently.

Known for carrying his Bible to shows, the down-to-Earth young man from Farmville, Va. started off the concert with a prayer, which hit home with a patriotic crowd of fans from Currituck, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and beyond.

His voice seemed a bit strained as he belted out song after song addressing modern day society and its woes. Anthony appears to be just a regular guy with some powerful messages. One of the songs pays tribute to a small town operating a mill and another criticizes pay.

He arrived early in a security-style Suburban with dark tinted windows, according to an eyewitness in the long beverage and t-shirt line. And yes, there’s a t-shirt with the graphic: Oliver Anthony for President.

So when he walked around to the back of the stage with two of his three large dogs on a lead and an innocent-looking entourage of mostly women and children along with security guards, the crowd went wild, including Derek Forbes of Shawboro.

He was there with hopes of meeting Anthony. Forbes works hard as a plumber and relates to Anthony’s songs about working class folks.

“He speaks to our souls, those of us working our asses off for pennies,” he said. “His songs just spoke to me, something about this just hit home.

“At the last gig Sunday, he stuck around three or four hours,” Forbes continued. “A real down-to-Earth guy.”

Nags Head restaurateur and music enthusiast Richard Welch felt the same about Anthony and commented about the show online.

“We really enjoyed seeing this guy live,” he said. “He had a real roots vibe.”

Forbes arrived early at 11 a.m. to get a good seat and enjoyed Tailgate Down band who opened up the show. Four hours later, the man of the hour walked by carrying his guitar and walking two dogs who quietly laid on the stage during the show.

Forbes said his goal for the day was to meet Anthony and shake his hand. It seems a lot of the other fans had strong feelings for Anthony, too. After he played the hit song the first time, the crowd – conservatively estimated at more than 3500 people – went into a loud chant: “USA … USA … USA …”