When Eric Church took the stage for his “Blood, Sweat, and Beers Tour” on Friday night at the Sears Centre it took no less to pump out his brand of country music: heavy on pryotechnics, heavy on sound, and complimented with his red solo cup (and holder on his mic stand).
Following a beautiful, sunny Chicago afternoon shagging fly balls with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Church first fired up the crowd, and then slowed things down a bit, controlling the full house through a 90 minute set that featured all the hits wrapped tightly into his set.
Songs such as “Springsteen”, “Smoke A Little Smoke”, Homeboy”, “Drink In My Hand”, Two Pink Lines” (in its acoustic glory), “Keep On”, “Creepin'”, “Jack Daniels”, I’m Getting Stoned”, and “Country Music Jesus”, kept the crowd on their feet and singing along to every word.
“The first time I saw Eric Church was at Joe’s Bar with about 20 other people”, said Marci Braun, night host and Music Director, “it’s pretty incredible to see how much he has grown to filling the Sears Centre. Everybody knew every word to every song.”
The encore was quite possibly the highlight of the night for many.
The “smoke” that enveloped everyone on stage during “Smoke a Little Smoke,” was almost as visually pleasing as all the pyro, but “Springsteen” was the biggest highlight of my night for a few reasons: First, Eric opened the song with nothing but a piano.
Then after he moved to guitar, the song took a more familiar form, but as the song neared its end, Church found a way to keep the song going, even out to the parking lot.
After he told everyone what the song means to him, he told everyone to take out their cell phones, and the arena lit up like a starry night, and when everyone sang along with the “oh oh ooooh” part of the song, it was like one, big, unified chorus connecting through the song.
Steve Koscik / Marci Braun / Laura Taylor – US99.5