Eric Church and his band of troubadours ride into town, six strings blazing, for a Friday night showdown with thousands of ride-or-die fans.
Eric Churchâ€™s 2017 Holdinâ€™ My Own Tour is an ambitious undertaking on many levels. With no supporting acts, Church will play 60+ dates throughout North America, ending with a two-night show in Nashville, Tennessee later this May. With five ACM Awards and three CMA Awards (including CMAâ€™s 2016 Album of the Year award for Mr. Misunderstood) the bar is set unfathomably high for such a gruelling schedule. But Churchâ€™s 3+ hour audio/ visual masterpiece proves to exceed that bar in every sense of the word.
The excitement is palpable as the Staples Center quickly fills with Stetson donning, heavily tattooed Southern California cowboys, each with their ladies walking proudly at their side adorned in their best â€œGood Girls Donâ€™t Miss Churchâ€ attire. The sounds of Charlie Daniels and Hank Williams Jr. play over the loudspeakers. The Jack Daniels is flowing smoothly throughout the crowd. Itâ€™s clear, weâ€™re in for one helluva rowdy night.
Suddenly the lights dim to one spotlight illuminating a lonely microphone. But no Eric Church. Over the speakers you can hear the riffs of the late Leonard Cohenâ€™s, â€œHallelujahâ€ trickle in, bringing an eerie hush over the crowd. The stage is set. Church service is about to begin.
Ivory notes lightly play and itâ€™s clear that the band are starting out this affair with, â€œMistress Named Musicâ€. Church finally appears on stage decked out in his signature black shades, t-shirt, and jeans. He croons through the slow, sensual diddy until it builds into a powerful, guitar-driven anthem where heâ€™s backed up beautifully by the Inglewood High School Choir.
Another crowd favorite, â€œOutsidersâ€, is offered up early on with blistering guitar riffs from Driver Williams. Church powers through hit after hit after hit, challenging the audience to try and keep up with him. Which they do, singing right along with the North Carolina native note-for-note.
Proving to be a sweet change of pace about midway through the first set is â€œSinners Like Meâ€ where Jeff Hydeâ€™s mandolin playing serves as a pretty backdrop for the otherwise guitar heavy numbers.
After an electrifying first set that could easily outmatch a lot of actsâ€™ complete show, intermission hits. Time for the crowd to refuel. And when the well-oiled, seven-piece band retakes the stage, they pick up right where they left off, ripping through hits, â€œAinâ€™t Killed Me Yetâ€, and a favorite with the ladies, â€œGuys Like Meâ€.
Next up is â€œRecord Yearâ€. Thousands of eager fans overtake Churchâ€™s vocals early on during this song and by the time the song ends, the applause is deafening.
Church then tips his proverbial hat to the Southern California crowd by playing (for the first time ever to a live audience) his groovy rendition of, Randy Newmanâ€™s, â€œI Love LAâ€. This works to take an already jacked up arena to a whole new level.
Church doesnâ€™t let off the throttle one bit, blasting right into, â€œJack Danielsâ€. During the number he disappears underneath the stage (followed closely by a camera man) where he proceeds in pouring shots of Jack Daniels for himself and his crew, downing them, all the while the rest of his band belts through the whiskey-laden jam.
Keeping things dirty, Church moves into a nasty version of, â€œCreepinâ€ with some swampy guitar riffs being offered up again by Jeff Hyde.
The night wraps up with a thought-provoking version of, â€œSpringsteenâ€ with the crowd chanting â€œoh oh oh oh ohâ€ right along with the tireless Church. After allâ€™s said and done, Eric Church effortlessly cranks through thirty-three songs, melting the faces off upwards of twenty thousand locked and loaded country fans along the way.
Thereâ€™s still plenty of dates to catch Eric Churchâ€™s 2017 Holdinâ€™ My Own Tour between now and itâ€™s final performance in Nashville, TN on May 26. For specific dates and other â€œChurch Choirâ€ news check out the link below:
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Event Date: 31-MAR-2017