Eric Church’s The Outsiders Tour

About a month ago, a few of my closest friends and I braved the chilly rainy Austin weather and headed to the Frank Erwin Center to attend the Eric Church Outsiders Tour. After hearing from Dusty that I could get tickets for ten dollars as a UT student, there was no way I was going to pass up this concert. Having seen many country music concerts in the past, I knew I was in for a treat.

Eric-Church-Outsiders-World-TourBefore the concert, I had occasionally heard the name Eric Church but barely knew much about him or his music. I was familiar with a few of his hit songs like “Springsteen” and “Talladega” that are constantly played on country radio, but never really thought of him as a top performing country artist. That being said, going into this concert, I had no idea what to expect from him or his songs.

Dawning our best “country” clothes, cowboy boots and all, my friends and I waited anxiously for Eric Church to start playing. We got there early enough to (unfortunately) catch the opening band, Drive-By Truckers. These guys were definitely an interesting choice for a country concert opener. They were a heavy rock band that seemed to yell more than sing, making it extremely difficult to understand what they were even saying. It’s safe to say that most everyone in the arena was relieved when they finished their set.

However, the wait was worth it when Eric Church finally walked casually onto the stage wearing his signature aviator sunglasses, plain t-shirt, and baseball cap. He immediately got the crowd pumped up by shouting things like “Hook ‘em Horns” and anything else related to the great city of Austin. I was amazed at how relaxed and normal he looked and sounded. He had such energy and charisma it was hard not to completely immerse yourself in the experience. I was completely taken off guard when he announced that he was going to be playing whatever he wanted to, with no set list. He pumped up the crowd by telling us that there was no set time limit to how long he would play and that “he would stay there all night”. He wanted everyone to simply enjoy themselves and the music he was about to play. This was so cool to me because it seemed like nothing was going to stop him from having fun and performing the way he wanted to. Nowadays, most huge concerts like his are carefully scripted and arranged a certain way, but Eric Church made it clear that this was not going to be a cookie cutter performance.

Florida Country Superfest  Inaugural Season Day 1The crowd’s excitement rose as he jammed to popular songs such as “Drink In My Hand”, “Smoke a Little Smoke”, “Give Me Back My Hometown”, and “Homeboy”, making each performance special and important. His audience interaction was more than I could’ve hoped for. From signing a woman’s rhinestoned boots that were thrown to him onstage to talking to the audience like we were his best friends, he took the time to make every single person there feel included in the experience. Stories about his little boy and home life moved the show along in between more top hits like “Springsteen”, “Creepin’” and “Cold One”. My friends and I stood up out of our seats the entire show, dancing and singing along even to the songs we didn’t know. During one song there was a huge inflatable monster looking thing that randomly popped up in the middle of the crowd. The whole show up to this point had gone on with little effects, making it a very raw and natural performance. To me, it was an unnecessary effect that took away from the simplicity of the concert, but nevertheless entertaining.

Eric-Church-on-ACL-350x350Eric Church’s concert was unlike any other performance of a male country artist. It wasn’t staged or scripted. There was no glitz or tons of special effects. He wasn’t trying to sell himself or his music. It was simple yet extremely engaging and memorable. This was the most natural performance from a rising star I have ever seen and for that I really admire him. He definitely took me by surprise throughout the show and forced me to completely change my view of him. Now I definitely see Eric Church for the talented singer he is and have since become a bigger fan of his than I think I ever thought I would be. By his last encore, I was so thrilled that my otherwise ordinary and boring Wednesday night had turned into a memorable concert experience shared with my good friends. To anyone who loves Eric Church or doesn’t know a thing about him, I would highly recommend seeing him in concert for an exhilarating and memorable experience.

1 Comment

Filed under Austin, Bro Country, Live Music, Reflection, Reviews

One Response to Eric Church’s The Outsiders Tour

  1. Courtney Gonzalez

    Well I’m sad I missed such a great concert! I wish I would have been as brave as you but unfortunately the rain and cold always win. I am also in the same boat as you when it comes to knowing little in regards to Eric Church besides his handful of popular songs. I do however see him being very charismatic, so it doesn’t surprise me that he put on such a good show. Thanks for your review of his concert because now I will certainly try and catch him the next time he is in town. It always helps to have someone tell you ahead of time what you can expect of a performance.

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