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Casey Abrams of 'American Idol' fame to sing tonight for DSU

Casey Abrams

Casey Abrams is no stranger to some of the brightest lights the entertainment world has to offer.

However, the former "American Idol" finalist said Thursday that he prefers an intimate concert setting to a stadium show.

"I've done stadium shows with 10,000 people and those are great," Abrams said. "But I love the little theaters the most. I'm definitely feeling the small venues."

Abrams, who describes himself as a "spontaneous, jazzy rock 'n' roll" artist, will bring his talents to Dickinson State University for a 9 p.m. show tonight at Dorothy Stickney Auditorium.

One of the centerpieces of the school's 2013 homecoming weekend, the show is free to DSU students. General admission tickets are $15 and there are less than two dozen VIP tickets remaining. Those include a post-concert meet-and-greet with Abrams for $25.

"We wanted to do something different this year for homecoming," said Therese Parfrey, a DSU senior and student homecoming committee co-chair. "(DSU) President Coston's wife mentioned we should go for something big and we decided on a concert because it has never really been done before for homecoming."

Though he has performed on well-known TV shows like "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Ellen DeGen-eres Show," Abrams is probably best known for his appearance as a finalist during the 10th season of the hit talent-search show "American Idol" in 2011, when he finished in sixth place.

Following "Idol," Abrams has split his time between his home base in Los Angeles and a full slate of concerts he performs both domestically and internationally. In 2012, he released his first album, which is self-titled.

"It was a little different after American Idol because you're really thrust onto the scene," Abrams said. "I was nervous at first, but things have been going really well. It's been better than I expected. I basically travel around, play music and tell stories, which is pretty cool. I have a really cool fan base of people who like to have fun. I hope people come check it out."

Because of weather concerns this weekend, including possible snow, the Abrams show was moved from an outdoor venue at the Biesiot Activities Center to the more intimate setting indoors. Stickney Auditorium has a capacity of 730.

Though he admitted he wasn't very familiar with Dickinson, or North Dakota for that matter, Abrams said he is excited for the show, adding that "nobody in the audience is safe" when he performs.

"I tend to get pretty intimate with my audience, especially in the smaller venues," Abrams said jokingly. "I like to get people involved and sometimes there are victims, so beware. I never know what will happen until I'm up there, but it's going to be fun. I think people will like it."

Parfrey said one of the traits Abrams brings to the table is his uniqueness as an artist.

"He's so cool," Parfrey said. "I think he's pretty different than what Dickinson has seen in the past. He has his own style and plays a bunch of different instruments. He has a jazzy voice and really just does his own thing. I know a lot of students had heard of him because of his time on "American Idol." We think it will be a really good environment and fun night."

Other homecoming activities for Friday include coronation at 6 p.m. and a pep rally at 8 p.m. Doors for the concert open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the DSU Information Center, online at or by calling 701-483-2090.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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