My husband and I had the good fortune to see Eric Church's Blood Sweat & Beer's Tour in Oklahoma City on March 8. We were blown away by the show and I decided that this was the show that I wanted to be the first arena concert for my two teenage children ages 16 & 13. We LOVE Eric Church in our family and the kids were quite perturbed when my husband and I went and didn't take them. But due to some of the lyrical content of his songs, I wasn't sure it was the best show for them to attend.
But seeing the show erased any doubt in my mind. Some other parents have questioned why I would encourage my kids love for Eric's music. And I have to admit, a couple of times when I heard them signing along in the car to my CD's, I did cringe. (Smoke a Little Smoke, Two Pink Lines) Not exactly subject matter that we discuss in our household. Then I realized, despite my personal denial, I am the parent of two teenagers, and this type of content is what they will be faced with in their lives, very soon. Thanks to some of Eric's songs (Springsteen and Yound and Wild), I remembered what being a teenager was like for me. So I decided to use Eric's song lyrics to open up dialogue with my kids. Even cultural things I would not expect to have discussed with them, who is OJ Simpson and Lee Harvey (Before She Does),the appreciation for country legends (Pledge Allegiance to the Hag), even the death penalty (Lightning). Eric's continual reference to his faith in many of his song's, even gives me an opportunity to talk with them about that, how we are imperfect person's that have to ask for forgiveness for our mistakes (Sinner's Like Me, She Loves Me Like Jesus Does).
So, I had the opportunity to take my kids to Eric's concert in Topeka, KS on May 18, 2012. And because of a very gracious friend we were able to obtain Meet & Greets. My kids were beyond excited and I was a little nervous. When you are a kid (and a grown up) you idolize the artists that you feel like you connect with, and I didn't want my kids to be disappointed if they met Eric and he wasn't everything they imagined. Well, he was and MORE. He could not have been more gracious and friendly with the kids. My daughter (who is almost 13) was first in line to meet him and we had been told there would be no personal articles signed. She couldn't resist the tempation and asked him first off if he would sign her boot. The tour folks immediately interceded and said no, there would not be any of that. Eric immediately said, "Yeah, I'll sign her boot!" She was on cloud nine.
We went on to enjoy the rest the best concert they will ever see. And as we left the Expocentre, wringing wet with sweat from being on our feet the entire show, dancing and jumping around, totally exhausted and no voices left, it created a chance for another dialogue on the 2 hour drive home. Topics covered were:
1) Work Ethic- When you are doing a job, LOVE IT! Give 150% of your self, just like Eric did on stage. We are in AWE of how much he gives and how humbled he seems to be by his fans and his success.
2) Teamwork- When you see somebody working that hard and giving that much of theirselves, you have to jump in and give them that much back. And that is what Eric Church Fan's do! An Eric Church Concert is a full contact sport with NO PADS! It is amazing how much interaction he can give the fans in an Arena setting.
2) Long Term Goal Setting- My daughter said (at age 13), "Well, mark that off my bucket list, I've met Eric Church. Now to spend a whole day with him." LOL. It is good to have dreams and goals.
I am so excited for my kids that they got to have such an AMAZING first concert experience. I am also a little sad for them. There is NO WAY they will ever be able to top this. I hope every time they look back on it they think of their Mom. Funny how a melody sounds like a memory.....
Needless to say we are Eric Church Fans For Life at our house.
Great story - so glad I read this.
Awesome story. Great teachable moments.
My oldest son was five when we took him to his first EC concert.. We also had dinner with him that night and my son got to go on stage. He has NEVER forgot that and tell's everyone EC is his best bud and he is going to be just like him. All he listens to is EC and will ask mom can I say that?lol it's cute. I can say that was a very big highlight in all of our lives and I am glad he was able to do that and have a role model like that.. He is now 9 and I do watch which shows I still take him too.. My count is in the 90's and his is in the 20's.. No PIT for him though and he get upset about it.I have 2 year old triplets and can't wait till they are a little bigger to go to their first show..I think you did the right thing and it will be a while new world now!!
What a great story - thank you for sharing :)
EC's music has started dialogue in (and among) many, many different circumstances.
I just love that man!!
Sounds par for the course for Eric.
I should be buying tickets for my 5th Eric Church Concert in the morning, and will be taking the 14 year old daughter along
Thanks for the post! Happy that you all had such a great time.
Thanks for sharing your awesome story!
See, this is the Eric we all know but no one on the "outside" sees. They just see what the media shows and judge by just "skimming" the waters, not actually getting to know him. If people saw more of THIS Eric and not judged just by what he sings in his music (Smoke a Little Smoke and I'm Getting Stoned), they would understand how kind, loyal, PROFESSIONAL and caring he is to his fans, and NOT just for the $$$.
Thanks for sharing!!
Well said, Carolina!
and that my friends....is what it's all about! :)))))))
I was scared to read this post, I wasn't sure what was in store for me but...WOW...what a fantastic letter!
*sniff* I'm so proud of "our" Eric Church :)
I couldn't have said it any better myself!!!
That was a fantastic post, thanks for sharing your marvelous experience; the thoughts regarding the kids(my kids are 12 and 10) are very much appreciated. What a night to remember!
I'm glad to hear you had such a good experience meeting and seeing Eric! it's the very reason I have been a devout follow since 2006 and have been to 34 shows (latest one was last night in Denver).
Congratulations! Sounds like y'all had an amazing time! That is absolutely amazing and also shows how much power Eric's music has and how it can keep families close and bring generations together!!!!!