Oliver Anthony Delivers a Night of Unity and Hope at CMAC with ‘Out Of The Woods Tour’

Photos by Rebecca Clark | Review by Renee Clark Quade & Rebecca Clark

On June 22nd, Oliver Anthony’s “Out Of The Woods Tour” made a stop at CMAC in Canandaigua, NY. The evening kicked off with an impressive performance by the opener, Levi Foster. Foster, along with his three-piece band, delivered an old-school sound that was delightfully reminiscent of Johnny Cash.

His cool vibe and heartfelt gratitude towards the receptive crowd set a warm tone for the evening. Among his standout performances were “Virginia Rain,” “Don’t Make Cents,” and “Stuck With Me.”

Foster’s humor was apparent when he joked about fans following him on social media but not home, endearing himself further to the audience. His talent as a songwriter was evident, and he primed the crowd perfectly for the headliner.

When Oliver Anthony took the stage, his entrance was marked by a genuine smile and a respectful hat tip to the audience. He opened with a comment on the world’s craziness, followed by a heartfelt reading from the Bible, which hushed the massive venue into a respectful silence.

This moment of reflection was deeply appreciated by the fans, who cheered in support. Anthony’s humility was palpable as he thanked the audience for their support, sharing that he had no record label backing him, just his dog, and was blown away by the packed venue.

Anthony began his set with a stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace,” performed solo before bringing out his full band. His initial forays into songwriting, inspired by moments of solitude in the woods with his dog, lent an authentic and raw edge to his music.

He performed a touching love song about his wife, titled “Always Love You (Like a Good Old Dog)” and shared anecdotes about his life, including the story on having just $800 in his checking account when approached by a record rep. Anthony shared that they told him to sign or risk being a flash in the pan, which reinforced his gratitude for the packed show.

The night was filled with memorable covers, including a powerful version of “Simple Man” and an impromptu performance of “Freebird,” which evoked the crowd as they held up their cell phone lights. Anthony’s storytelling between songs added a personal touch, especially his reflections on societal issues, emphasizing unity over division.

Anthony’s song “Doggon It” and “I Want To Go Home” resonated deeply with the crowd, leading to more Bible verse readings that were met with cheers. His performance of “Momma’s Been Hurting” struck an emotional chord, highlighting the struggles of everyday life.

One of the evening’s highlights was Anthony playing his hit song “Rich Men North of Richmond” twice, responding to the crowd’s enthusiastic demand for an encore. He closed the set with “Cowboys and Sunsets,” a poignant track about the fleeting nature of beauty and life.

Anthony’s live performance was a testament to his growth as an artist. Unlike some viral sensations, his stage presence and vocal skill proved that he had honed his craft well before achieving widespread fame. His voice, filled with passion and soul, carried a sense of purpose that resonated throughout the venue. His talented band, especially the young violin player, added a chilling depth to his music.

The stage backdrop featured a photograph of Anthony’s family, connecting to his personal history and paying tribute to his grandfather, Oliver Anthony. Born Christopher Anthony Lunsford, he uses the name Oliver Anthony professionally to honor his grandfather and the 1930s Appalachia where his grandfather was born and raised.

We hope Anthony’s backdrop and his passion for his family’s history will inspire the audience to cherish and print their own family photos in this digital age.

The concert drew country fans that resonated with Anthony’s unapologetic views and old-country sound. The audience’s enthusiasm was evident as they chanted “USA” and waved an Oliver Anthony 2024 flag, expressing their support and shared opinions.

Anthony’s music created a night to remember, delivering powerful messages of hope and validation that made the audience feel united and among like-minded people.

Oliver Anthony and Levi Foster Photo Gallery