Eric Church packs Show Me Center on 'Blood, Sweat and Beers' tour
By Melissa Miller ~ Southeast Missourian
A near-record crowd of more than 7,060 people packed the Show Me Center on Friday night to see country up-and-comers Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert.
While their singles are climbing up the country music charts, Church and Gilbert came to Cape Girardeau with rock 'n' roll attitudes.
Both wore baseball caps instead of cowboy hats. Gilbert's drummer even sported a red Mohawk.
"It's not cookie cutter country. They make their own rules. They have their own style," said Tyson Powell, of Marion, Ill.
Extra ushers and security staff were on hand to help handle what Show Me Center marketing director Josh Hanlon described as a party crowd.
To accommodate the fans coming out for the "Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour," the Show Me Center had more than 100 kegs of beer on hand to quench concert-goers' thirst. Crowds waited in lines that wrapped halfway around the building at times for beer.
Church encouraged fans to raise their cups as he sang on a stage with silver kegs incorporated into the design. Fans around the arena stayed on their feet throughout the entire show, which included several pyrotechnic displays.
Final totals haven't been calculated yet, but as of last week, this show had the second-highest grossing ticket sales in the Show Me Center's nearly 24-year history, according to Hanlon. The venue's highest grossing show to date was Toby Keith with Rascal Flatts in March 2003.
"This show definitely has the potential to be our number one overall," Hanlon said.
Only 10 other events have drawn crowds of over 7,000 people to the Show Me Center.
Hanlon said the timing of the concert couldn't be better, with Eric Church having the No. 1 single, "Drink in my Hand," on the Billboard Country Music Chart this week. Being a Friday night, when many people don't have to work the next day, helps too, he said.
"When you take somebody, like Eric Church, that's really hot in the country genre and put him with Brantley Gilbert, who is an up-and-coming star and has written songs for other people, it's so much of a party atmosphere," Hanlon said.
Gilbert wrote two Jason Aldean hits, "Dirt Road Anthem" and "My Kind of Party." Aldean performed at the Show Me Center last year.
Church performed on tour last year with both Aldean and Toby Keith. The "Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour" is Church's first arena headlining tour.
This is so awesome to hear. Great for Eric, great for the church choir, and even better for country music in general. Only one more week until I get to see him in Saginaw and this article makes me wish it was tomorrow. Thanks for posting this Drew.