“She is what I would be looking for in an ‘American Idol,’” Ulrickson said. “She seems poised and confident without being all about me. I will be surprised if she isn’t the winner, but whether or not she is, she’ll still have a career. We’ll buy tickets. We’ll go to her concerts.”
At Centerville School, Miller said the concert would be her first big show outside “American Idol.” Her only other live appearances had been at the Gulu-Gulu Cafe in Salem.
Miller was given a key to the city by Mayor Bill Scanlon at the start of the concert. Scanlon asked Miller where she was a year ago and she replied, “At BHS graduating.”
“Now you’re on TV more than anybody but the president,” Scanlon said.
Miller asked for a moment of silence in honor of the Boston Marathon bombing victims. She then sang the national anthem along with the high school vocal ensemble, a group she was in last year. She stepped back into the second row, saying she just wanted to mix in like she used to.
She went on to perform five songs, accompanied by her brother’s band, Exiting the Fall. Her parents, Guy and Tana, stood off to the side of the stage, singing along with their daughter.
Miller joked easily with the crowd, pointing out the dozens of signs, as well as a man in a blue beard.
“I want to walk into the crowd and say ‘hi’ to every single one of you,” she said.
“I’m so excited to continue this journey,” she told the crowd. “I don’t know what’s going to happen or where it’s going to end, but thank you for getting me here. It’s already a win. Thank you for making this hometown visit better than I could have ever imagined.”