Season 5 of The Voice. To say "thank you" for their support, Cole performed last night for fans in what was billed as "A Hometown Thank You" concert.
Fans clamored for tickets as soon as the concert was announced; tickets were free but limited to 1,000 people. They were available Christmas Eve at noon and by the end of the day the tickets were gone with people begging for them; some were even offering to pay up to $100 for a ticket. It looked like they all showed up last night.
The line to get into the venue snaked down halls and around corners; fans could buy t-shirts and fill out "Questions for Cole" cards.
Cole opened the show by thanking the fans, who roared when he walked on stage. He explained that the original concept for the evening was going to be a meet and greet session so he could meet his fans and say thank you, then play a couple of acoustic songs and that would be it. It didn't work out that way!
Cole's band stepped up in the days before the event to help him out and in the end they played for an hour and a half last night. Cole kept saying, "OK I'm going to play one more, well, two more...", and he was having so much fun I suspect they just had to pull him offstage.
Wearing his trademark fedora and equiped with at least three guitars, Cole opened the show to wild cheers. Early in the set was Clapton's "Crossroads" which just goes to show what viewers of The Voice never got to really see about Cole Vosbury. The young man is a guitarist. Oh, he has a great voice, no doubt, but he can tear up a guitar.
Fans wanted to hear songs from The Voice as well and Vosbury did not disappoint as he picked up his acoustic guitar and played "Maggie May," "Better Man," "I Still Believe in You," "Let Her Go," and "Adorn."
Time for another guitar switch and this time the left-handed Vosbury borrowed a bass (which he had to play upside down) for "Pumped Up Kicks." Excellent!
Cole's proud father, Robin Vosbury, came on stage with some "questions for Cole" cards which fans had filled out as they entered the venue. We learned that Cole's favorite color is purple and that it's difficult for him to name a "favorite guitar" but he noted that he does have a Fender tattoo, so, "you can't go wrong with a Fender." One of the people that influenced him to sing was his grandmother, Nita Lynn. She was, of course, on the front row!
Back to the music with another guitar switch and his next song was Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," and then it was time for a jammin' arrangement of "Movin' On Up" which is the song that turned C-Lo Green around for Cole on The Voice to get the whole journey started. Vosbury said, "You know, when I woke up one day with this arrangement of "Movin' On Up" in my head, I had no idea it would take me to where I am today." The crowd roared!
By this time the fans are dancing in the aisles as Vosbury launches into "Rich Girl," which was clearly one everyone wanted to hear.
Vosbury never appeared nervous or uneasy on the stage; he was completely humbled and thankful and at this point he was having a wonderful time. He asked the crowd, "Okay, well, what do you want to hear now?" He complied with a request for "Sharp Dressed Man," and then with a request for "Purple Rain" which was amazing.
Time for another tune from The Voice as Vosbury played "To Be With You."
The crowd clamored for "Shameless" and Vosbury gave thought to playing it on his keyboard but decided he didn't have something he needed so he explained he would try it on the acoustic even though they had not practiced that one as a band. "We'll find out together" how it works out, he said. There was no way he wasn't going to give them what they wanted, and "Shameless" was wonderful.
His last song of the night was an awesome "Dirty Diana" by Michael Jackson.
All in all he played about 18 songs in an hour and 40 minutes. Midway through the concert Shreveport mayor Cedric Glover presented Vosbury with a plaque and a proclamation declaring January 3, 2014 as Cole Vosbury Day in Shreveport.
As I said, I don't think Vosbury was ready to leave the stage: he was relaxed and having a wonderful time. The fans were more than willing to stay as long as he wanted to play.
After the show Vosbury met with fans, signed autographs, posed for pictures, and thanked everyone for their support.
A very humble and talented young man, it is safe to say that Cole Vosbury has a bright future ahead of him. It's always important that young stars surround themselves with the right people to guide their careers and with such a wonderful family behind him I think Cole Vosbury is on the right track.
(Photos via the author; more pictures can be found at The Shreveport Times.)