By Matthew Reitz
Over 500 people showed up to see Josh Batsone in concert at the Fulton War Memorial on Friday night.
Fans of Batstone and NBC’s “The Voice” got the chance to see a performance many of them had long been waiting for after his stint on the program in March. Diane Garcia of Oswego, who brought her 10- and 12-year-old grandsons to the concert, said they are big fans of “The Voice” and felt let down after Batstone appeared only briefly.
Garcia said she and her grandsons were excited about the concert and the opportunity to meet Batstone afterwards.
“It’s special when it’s somebody local,” Garcia said.
The 18-year-old Fulton native was accompanied on stage by 26-year-old Billy Harrison of Syracuse. Harrison also accompanied Savannah Harmon, the opening act.
In interviews prior to the event, Batstone said he was excited for the concert in his hometown, and saw it as an opportunity for the community to come together for a night.
“This is a moment we can come together as a community,” Batstone said as he began the show.
The nearly two-hour performance was followed by a meet-and-greet with the crowd, in which Batstone, Harrison and Harmon spent roughly another two hours taking photos with fans and signing autographs. The trio stayed until they got a chance to meet every fan.
Batstone’s parents, Nicole and Michael, said they were “very happy” with the concert’s turnout, with Michael noting that the crowd was “respectful and impassioned.”
Nicole said her son’s rise to notoriety has been “a little overwhelming,” having been by Josh’s side through his time on “The Voice,” and said it was hard to describe what the experience has been like.
“It’s a journey and you just see what happens,” Nicole said.
After the concert, Batstone called the show “an incredible success” and thanked everyone for coming.
“It was pretty awesome — my first concert after ‘The Voice,’” Batstone said. “The turnout was exactly what I was expecting.”
Batstone said he has a few more concerts in the works and would like to record an album in the not-too-distant future.
“We are definitely going to try to get an EP out,” Batstone said.
Nicole said Batstone planned to use some of the money from the concert to help pay for time in a studio. A portion of the proceeds will also go to Fulton Knee High and Lady Raiders basketball.
Batstone said he will have at least two more concerts in the area before moving to New York City to pursue a career in music. He is excited to be performing June 5 at the Westcott Theatre in Syracuse. His mother said he would also be playing at the 93Q Summer Jam on June 8 in Baldwinsville.