Eric Church v. Concert Experience

What an experience! I bared the cold to go to the Eric Church concert on Wednesday at the Frank Erwin Center. Although I knew who Eric Church was, I didn’t know very many of his songs and was honestly not sure if I was going to enjoy myself at the concert. Now thinking back it’s really hard to differentiate between liking the artist and enjoying the concert. In my opinion, the concert was okay, but I really liked Eric Church and have a new found interest in him as an artist. Confusing, right? Not really once you start to think about all of the things that can affect a concert experience.

The openers, Drive-By Truckers, were a rocky start. The guitar drowned out the vocalist to the point that I really didn’t understand what he was saying the entire time. Their stage presence was so-so; they seemed more involved with what was happening on stage and not the audience, at some points completely turning away from the audience. Watching from high above (in a seat where even the jumbo viewing screens were blocked), it was obvious that the crowd was not feeling them either. The general admission floor was practically at a complete stand still. Because I am more attuned to really active floor audiences that come with other genres of music, this was really surprising, but as it continued, it became more and more obvious that it wasn’t just because this was a country music concert. Continuing to scan the audience, I noticed that nearly everyone around me had their phone out and was scrolling through Facebook and Twitter feeds. If people don’t even want to put their phone down to listen to you, you are doing something wrong! When a high pitched squeal rang out in the Frank Erwin Center, a guy behind me summed up there entire performance perfectly, “That was the best thing I have heard all night!”.

Already frustrated with the night, my friend and I decided to snag some seats down closer to the stage. Once we sat down, crossing our fingers to not have an awkward encounter with someone saying “Umm.. That’s my seat”, the view of the stage was epic. We waited for Eric Church anxiously. As he began with a few of his more well-known songs, it became obvious that the people we were sitting by were ready to party, and party hard. The couple immediately next to us proceeded to make-out, grind on each other (at one point the guy picked the girl up in a very intimate position to say the least) and scream the entire night. When Church played “Smoke a Little Smoke”, a few brave souls decided it was the perfect time to light up a smoke, not the legal kind. The smell surrounded us, and the crazy woman next to us was intent on finding out who she “needs to be friends with” to have a little fun of her own.

Now don’t get me wrong; Eric Church was phenomenal! His stage presence and audience interaction was incredible; from playing fan favorites to telling stories to signing boots that were thrown on stage, Eric did it all and gave us more than we could have ever imagined for a Wednesday night concert. No matter how fantastic an artist’s performance is, a concert experience can be hindered by anything from openers to the people around you. With this in mind, in the future, I would like to ward you against intertwining the two. Eric Church was awesome! My experiences at the concert were not quite as good, but that does not mean I think poorly of the artist.

How was your experience? Has a bad experience at a concert made you think differently of an artist in the past?


Filed under Austin, Live Music, Reflection, Reviews

3 Responses to Eric Church v. Concert Experience

  1. Abby Shamis

    My freshman year (2 years ago) I went to an Eric Church concert. I loved it too! Unfortunately I was not able to go to this one but it seems that I may have lucked out a bit. I remember the concert being really engaging and everyone having a really good time. The venue had this huge dance floor where people were dancing and two-stepping (I keep the two in separate categories) which probably benefitted the rest of the audience that didn’t want to dance. He did this one thing where during a song EVERYONE took their boots off and were holding them in the air. I didn’t really understand but it seemed to be a thing of his, I wonder if he did that again this time. I think he’s a great entertainer with a couple of really good songs. I’m glad you enjoyed the concert despite the crowd and the bad opener, though!

  2. Jordanne Mickle

    Abby, although he didn’t prompt the audience to do so, when he sang “These Boots” people did hold their boots up. Some even threw their boots to him, and he signed them. I also had someone light up a joint about 2 rows in front of me. I dealt with the smell, however my friends had to cover their noses it was so strong. I’m sorry your concert experience wasn’t the best. It was actually my first concert and I really enjoyed my experience along with Eric Church’s personality. He really does try to engage the audience. My only wish was that he had a better opener and that “Devil, Devil” wasn’t such a weird thing with the long video intro and strange inflatable devil.

  3. Marissa Gallardo

    I didn’t mention it in the post but both the devil blow up/video thing and the people taking off their boots was really very strange. The “Devil, Devil” video went on for way to long and I wasn’t really able to focus on the performance with the weird blow up. I didn’t really understand initially why people were taking their shoes off, but once a lot of people were doing it, I assumed it was one of his “things”. Abby, it’s really interesting that you say that people were dancing and two stepping. In all off the concerts that I have been to , there is never enough room to move around that much. Now with having seen Eric Church and hearing your description, I am very interested in going to see a show with a general admission, standing ticket.

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