The Good, The Bad, The Ugly ….. and The Amazingly Awesome!!!
I have had a few memorable EC/B shows but I gotta say this one ranks up there at the top!
I’ll admit to being skeptical of the “Arena Eric” – could he still kick my ass if I wasn’t on the front row? Would he forget how he got to the arenas? Would the same connection still be made with the music? Would “the show” overplay “the music”? I’ll admit I had all these questions to be answered and doubts to put to rest with the Blood, Sweat and Beers tour …. Shoulda never doubted or wondered about EC, he always “brings it” at a higher level than we ever expect possible or see coming!! He has a great supporting team but Eric is the definite Choir Leader
The Good: almost everything.
The ECB looked good – rested, happy, sharp and having fun. We heard almost everything – all 3 albums were very well represented. Somebody posted the set list from the ARK show and it was the same for MS. The way the show is “arranged”, it would be difficult to change it up … but he would do it just because he could :P
The handling of the VIP was great. They moved us (about 150?) quickly and efficiently into the Black Label Lounge. We received our SWAG – the show ticket, autographed poster, tshirt, lanyard and a cool set of shot glass & shooter glass . The music played was from EC’s iPOD – very cool There was only one bump&grind club song and the rest were old school Southern Rock. The food was excellent; the drinks expensive but convenient and the atmosphere was of a private party with everyone having at least one thing in common;) All in all, the VIP was nice but certainly not a necessity – they sold all the SWAG at the merch table – and a hindrance if you want to be up front in the pit or hear the first opening act.
On his guitar strap, he has his grandfather’s Chief of Police badge near the bottom front …. Very cool … if you get a chance, snap a picture of it coz I didn’t think to do so.
The Bad: very little
EC did two quick songs (Like Jesus Does & Before She Does) during the VIP – he wasn’t in the room for more than 10 minutes. He threw out a quick “does anybody have any questions?” as he was walking out but he didn’t give anybody time to ask any – coz you know I had a few!! Of course, he was late – I mean, using his own “Church time”. There were actually 2 VIPs going on. Next door, there was a room set up (complete with table decorations) and there were a lot of “suits” that kept cutting line and walking straight into that room – found out later that there were some people from Nashville that had made the trip to Memphis/Southaven. So, I’m sure he had to smooze the sponsors before coming to the VIP party. But, he did come and do his two songs.
The Ugly: only one ugly
The price of the new merch is crazy!! Tshirts = $30, Hoodie = $50, an AUTOGRAPHED “Song to Sing” book = $50 (that one pissed me off, hell I paid more than that on a Choir special), hats = $25, bottle opener = $15 …. It’s all cool stuff but damn - they sure do like it a lot :P
The Amazingly Awesome: EC and the ECB!!!
EC changed banners/backdrops like Carrie changes outfits!! He dropped a different banner for each “phase” or multiple “sets within a set” . There are lots of lights and fire shooting straight up in the air. The steps are still there for Lee, Driver and the new Jeff to walk up. Hyde still comes to the front during but I don’t remember him going to the top. He stayed to his side of the stage and the others were all over the place (remember when they would get their cords tangled if they did that??)
EC enters to “Country Music Jesus” by walking up from under the stage – not a platform rising, but him walking up stairs from somewhere under the stage … very cool entrance … (he exits the same way at the end of the show)
The set list is the same as other shows this weekend. With the banner order and the “sets within a set” it would be difficult to change the order … and it really works this way … totally kick ass. It is a true EC set list with him taking you through all the emotions – the ups & downs & fast & slow & plain ole redneck attitude … he legitimately kicks your ass for 90 full minutes and then you want him to do it again!!!
OH, Eric plays a melody on a piano at the beginning of Springsteen!! He still holds the banjo during Creepin’. He does “Sinners”, "Love Your Love" and "Two Pink Lines" by himself – just him, a black backdrop and a spotlight – that part felt like a throwback to the days when it really was just a man and his music – it was flippin’ awesome!! "Livin' Part of Life" was inserted into "Jack Daniels".
In summary, I just love him and he still loves me, so all is well with the world :)
Carla (in LA)
ECB FAN and Proud Choir Member
Great review, Carla!! I'm so excited to get to a show soon...from the looks of it I'll have to wait 'til April for Bloomington, then Hoffman Estates.
So did you end up doing the pit or reserved with your VIP?
PS That pissed me off just a tad too about the books being signed for fifty...
Can't wait for Bloomington!!
Love the reviews ladies! Thanks Carla and Laurie.
Kinda like the old days...:)
MY Opinion of the vip experience:
In my opinion it depends on what you are expecting to get out of the VIP experience as to how you will feel about it. If you expect to get EC time you’ll be disappointed, if you have GA and want to get stage front and stay for the 2 acoustic songs by EC you’ll be disappointed. If you want to have a pleasant experience in a nice warm room with friends and food and drink you won’t be disappointed. :):) The VIP experience was 2 hrs Eric did play 2 acoustic songs. It was not necessary to be first in unless you wanted a table people did start going to the small stage about 45 mins before time for Eric to begin and there was time for questions however our group dropped the ball and Eric left the stage rather quickly when no one asked a question. So have your questions ready people!!!...:)
The process was smooth we were lead into a room showed ID’s got our tickets and goodies …poster is very high quality, T-shirt is classic EC and another gift. Food was pretty good, drinks are not free. Personnel were very nice and co-operative. There was a comment from the staff that they threw this on us last minute…I said but you are doing such a great job he laughed and said but you are in the front of the line…LOL Also we could leave the venue to bring our goodies to the car as we hadn't hadn't entered the arena yet.
Very Nice Carla!
Thanks, Carla for such a thorough review. I'm anxiously awaiting the Greenville, SC VIP experience. It's nice to have such great information on what to expect!
Thanks for posting!
Thank you for posting!! I've been waiting all weekend for a review of the first shows! I'm going VIP on Thursday when he comes to Madison and I'm counting the minutes :) super excited he's back on the road!