Let me start by saying that I really enjoy being a part of this forum and this group of fans. I like to read other peoples opinions and reviews of shows they've attended so I thought I would share mine. My EC history goes a little something like this. I have been listening to country music since 1994. I like a lot of different artists but never really latched onto one as my "favorite". Most of all I enjoy live music and in my opinion no music is better live than country. Last March I got tickets to see Jason Aldean in Toledo, OH (where I live). I saw on the ticket that EC was opening, and I recalled a few of his songs that were played on the radio (Two Pink Lines, Hell on the Heart, etc.) and thought well this should be cool, at least I know something he sings. So I get to the show and the couple sitting next to my wife and I were newlyweds. We got to talking and come to find out they were in town from Maryland JUST to see this concert. I thought, man they must really love Jason Aldean. I was wrong. They came to see EC. I thought this seemed a little odd, considering that at that time EC wasn't half as popular (mainstream popularity, I mean) as he is now. About halfway through the first song (Before She Does) of EC's set I knew EXACTLY why these people were there. It was crazy. I had seen virtually every "major" country artist live up to that point and not a single one of them could come close to touching the emotion and intensity that EC was pouring out up there on the stage. And he was just the opener! I became a fan before the first song ended. Since that day I have seen him live 5 more times, twice on this tour, each time better than the last. I have the shirts, the hat, the book, all the music etc. I talk him up to all my friends to the point that they think maybe my obsession is unhealthy. I check this website daily for anything Eric and to see what you guys have to say about the music/tour etc. My wife says I have a man crush. Whatever. The man and the music speak for themselves. Like many of you believe, there is no such thing as enough EC. Okay maybe it is a little bit of a man crush.
Before I get to the performances, let me say a couple things about the arena and the paperless ticket situation. I thought the arena was nice. The concourses are little narrow so it was crowded between performers and at the beer/merch. stands. Plenty of bathrooms and exits. There seemed to be a shortage of ushers. There was a group of 12-14 people that basically lingered on the stairs in the area between my section and the section next to mine. I was in the 3rd row of section 112, right off the corner of the stage. The only people closer were the ones in the pit, and the 2 rows in front of me and those people purchased VIP tickets. I understand that you want to be as close to the action as you can get, but its a little bit annoying when you have to fight your way through a sea of people just to get a beer or use the bathroom. If I wanted to do that I would have got a pit ticket. This doesn't reflect the performance or EC, just an observation about the rudeness of some people and the lack of order at this particular venue. Rant over. I must be getting old. Okay...I've read some nightmare stories about paperless tickets and long waits in line because of it, but on this particular day there was none of that. There was a little confusion because I had purchased (2) pairs of tickets so my CC pulled up two different orders and the ticket guy didn't know how to print both with one swipe. Called his boss, she figured it ou. Minimal delay.
Kip Moore - I thought he was good. I only knew the two obvious songs, Beer Money and Someting Bout a Truck. His set was about 35 minutes and he really gave it his all. He even jumped off the stage and ran through the pit and sang a little bit. The crowd, especially the younger girls, really seemed to dig this dude. He signed autographs after the show.
Justin Moore - Great. Second time seeing him and he was better than the first. Sang all of his hits. Interacted with the crowd a lot. Liked that he had the crowd take out their cell phones to honor is grandpa during "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away". I know E does this during Springsteen so its not a new thing, but I can appreciate the meaning behind it with this song. Maybe that's why E didn't do it this time? Don't know. So Justin was awesome, a true cowboy, and I'm guessing will headline one day. A pretty good fit for this crowd.
Eric Church - What can be said? It was awesome. I thought when I saw him in May that it couldn't get any better. Wrong. While it was virtually the same show I saw 5 months ago, it just seemed to be bigger and louder this time around. The crowd was a lot larger, that I know. Setlist included all of Chief (what artist has a CD that they can play the entire thing at a concert? Hard to believe its only been out a little over a year. It feels like I've been listening to it forever). Anyway, setlist...I don't know the exact order so I'm not gonna try to remember it. I know he played all of Chief, Lotta Boot Left to Fill (my personal favorite), Hell on the Heart, How Bout You, Guys Like Me, and Pledge Allegiance to the Hag. Acoustic set had Like Jesus Does, Sinners Like me and Love Your Love the Most. Encore was Smoke a Little Smoke, These Boots, and Springsteen. Highlights for me were the entrance in the smoke and the curtain dropping, anytime there was flames, the BOOMS during Drink In My Hand, the lasers and smoke during Creepin, and the shadow boxing/fireworks at the end of one of the songs (can't remember which, might have been How Bout You?). A couple differences in the setlist from May were no Carolina (replaced by Over When its Over) and no Two Pink Lines (replaced in acoustic by Like Jesus Does). From what I understand hes mixing up the acoustic set a little bit nightly. Would have LOVED to hear Lightning. Maybe another time. As far as presentation there were a few new backdrops, maybe a little bit more flame action, and lasers during a couple songs, mainly Creepin. Other than that it was Eric, his guitar, and his band. It amazes me how he can sound exactly like the recorded versions of his songs. And the band, as usual, was incredible. With a band that good I'm surprised I've never seen Eric introduce them and let them get a little solo in. Maybe he has in the past? Anyone know? So bottom line on the performance? 10 out of 10. Unfortunately I don't think I'll make any more stops this year but I'm HOPING for a way to maybe go to Indianapolis this weekend. We'll see.
Side note - I know that my fanhood doesn't go back nearly as far as some of you on here but I consider myself a pretty hardcore fan. I know the music, the stories behind some songs, the band, etc. It was shocking to me to see how few people sitting in my general area actually knew all the songs. I saw so many people on their cell phones texting/facebooking/etc during songs that weren't Springsteen or Smoke A Little Smoke. I know selling a ticket is selling a ticket, no matter who buys it, but it just seems to me that if you are going to go see a performer you should at least know more than their trademark song (although to the Church Choir, Springsteen is not the song that made Eric or the band). Their loss, but it is sad to me. Maybe they were there to see Justin Moore and will get hooked like I did.
So, thats my review. If you got this far, thanks for reading.
I don't think Waylon done it that way
And if he was here he'd say Hoss, neither did Hank
Great review. I am counting the days down to Nov 26 in Charlotte. Glad to hear he sang Over when its Over. But I hate to hear he left out Carolina. Being from NC that is one of my all time favorites. However I am certain considering Charlotte is about an hour from where EC is from he MUST sing Carolina. Just hope he still sings OVer When its Over...
I agree the energy he brings to his live shows is unbelievable. Like you I have seen all the major artist and nobody comes close. If you have the chance to see Garth Brooks live its almost the same energy (I am assuming, I saw him years ago before he "retired/Vegas")....
Thanks again for a great review
Thats terrific, so glad u had a great time...and front row is super!...I usually go alone and meet people and have a blast. I have 2 shows next weekend that I am counting down the days for!
Thanks for reading it, I tend to ramble at times. I did request a M&G and was denied, AGAIN. I ended up going to the Indy show last weekend at the last minute. Met another Choir member there actually. We were front row in the pit. Every bit as good as Cinci.
That was a fantastic review! I really enjoyed readig it. You definitely sound like a hardcore fan to me. Thanks for posting!
Randy, now that was a review! Thank you for taking the time to post. I love that your wife calls it a "man crush" - I don't think you are the only man with a man crush on Eric - he is awesome! Did you request a M&G?