Oliver Anthony Music performs at the Municipal Event Center in Marion, NC on October 11, 2023. (Photos by Isaac Macias)

Oliver Anthony Music Delivers Unforgettable Night to a Packed House in Marion

Staff Report
Photos by Isaac Macias

Marion, NC — The Municipal Event Center was alive with the sound of acoustic guitars and adoring fans as Oliver Anthony Music took the stage last night. Delivering soul-stirring songs that echo the authentic, salt-of-the-earth style of singer/songwriters from generations past, this is one concert that the community of Marion will be talking about for years to come.

The Concert Sold Out In Minutes

The name “Oliver Anthony” may have been the draw, but folks in Marion remember him as Chris Lunsford, the hardworking young man who once put in long third-shift hours at a local mill. That chapter of his life ended abruptly in 2013 due to a severe head injury, which fractured his skull and forced him to move back to Virginia for an extended recovery. Yet his connection to Marion came full circle when the concert — which took place in the very same mill-turned-event venue — sold out in an astonishing 17 minutes, drawing approximately 1,000 enthusiastic fans for a night that was truly unforgettable.

Cody Andrews, owner of the Marion Wing Factory eatery and bar, was instrumental in orchestrating this much-anticipated homecoming.

The Setlist Resonated with the Crowd

Anthony’s performance included hits like “Ain’t Gotta Dollar,” “I Want to Go Home,” and, of course, the chart-topping number-one hit “Rich Men North of Richmond.” But the night wasn’t just about the music; it was about the message. Each song seemed to resonate deeply with the crowd with lyrics that had them singing along.

Notably, Anthony maintained his tradition of reading from the Bible during his set. Later, he delighted concertgoers by making paper airplanes out of lyric sheets and flying them into the crowd.

Smooth Operations Despite a Full House

Although there was concern about handling such a large crowd, everything went off without a hitch. Andrews had prepared well, urging concert-goers to utilize the ample public parking spaces in downtown Marion. From the seamless entry process to the respectful audience, the event set a high standard for future performances at the venue.

A Message That Hits Home

The most compelling part of the night wasn’t just the entertainment aspect; it was the raw honesty that Anthony brings to his music. With a life story steeped in struggle and an awareness of the real pain that grips so many — from mental health issues to economic hardship — his songs serve as a rallying cry for folks searching for meaning amid chaos.

Anthony has made clear that his music wasn’t produced for the spotlight or the big stages; it’s music born from real life experience, that aims to connect people on a deeply human level. In a world where digital distraction often drowns out authentic connection, Oliver Anthony Music’s words and music cut through the noise, offering a much-needed moment of unity and, perhaps, a path back to what really matters.