First let me start off by saying, I promise I’ll stop being an Eric Church fan blog after I come down from this high. (I totally just lied to you, but it’s fine). If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I am a) A huge Eric Church fan, and b) “Record Year” is my absolute JAM right now. (Yeah, I got to hear it live, no big deal, I didn’t cry or anything).
Every April, country fans from all over Arizona come together at the one and only, Country Thunder. It’s four days of music, camping and hangovers. This year, we were lucky enough to have Mr. Eric Church back on the main stage. There was mud, there was a chill in the air, and did I mention mud? But let me tell you, it was worth it.
The second the stage went dark, the crowd went wild. Then, in the spotlight, our Country Music Jesus was there singing “Knives of New Orleans” from his most recent album. I think he did a great job mixing in those old crowd-pleaser songs such as “Smoke a Little Smoke”, “Drink In My Hand” and “Springsteen”, while also mixing in his “new” sound that I have come to love. By new sound, I mean his real sound. But this is a music festival, after all, not an arena tour, so the party songs are to be expected. And they did not disappoint. (See full setlist below).
I can’t leave out the tribute to the late Merle Haggard. Church sang a cover of Haggard’s “Heaven is a Drink of Wine” followed by his song “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag”. Now, he has sang that song each time I have seen him, but it just seemed fitting considering how recent Merle’s death was.
Then there was “Record Year“. It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. I took a video so you can hear for yourself, but keep in mind, I was going for audio quality over visual quality. Enjoy.
The thing I love about seeing Eric Church live is that he is present. Sometimes he will skip a line of a song to laugh at someone in the crowd or heck, sometimes he forgets a line or two. He isn’t just on autopilot when he is on stage like some artists. He is there with the rest of us. You can tell that he loves performing and that he is having fun on stage. I can’t think of very many artists who do the same. He also just has a voice that was meant to sing live. He sounds just like he does in the studio versions and it’s not for the same reason that Justin Bieber does, if you catch my drift.
If you’ve never had the chance to see him perform live, take this as a sign to buy a ticket to the next closest show. Then let me know how it is!
As always, find me on Twitter and let me know what you think! What’s your favorite Eric Church song?
Knives of New Orleans
Drink In My Hand
Give Me Back My Hometown
Heaven Was a Drink of Wine (Merle Haggard cover)
Pledge Allegiance to the HagGuys Like Me
Like a Wrecking Ball
Mistress Named Music
Lotta’ Boot Left to Fill
Smoke a Little Smoke
Dancing in the Dark /Springsteen