Thursday, February 7, 2013

Concert Review: Eric Church in Calgary

Eric Church rolled into Calgary last night for a Saddledom show that was promised to be, by Church, the best time of our lives. I left wondering when that moment was going to come - were they going to give us all $1,000 liquor store vouchers on the way out the door? Nope, didn't happen.

Eric Church's country rock, frat country, dude country or whatever you would like to call it was a lot less douchey when I was listening to Springsteen through my iPhone. For some reason it never occurred to me that the pot smoking, skull wearing rednecks were the target audience of Mr. Church. My mistake.

Once I got over the guy standing directly behind me yelling "YOUR MY DUDE" at the stage for the duration of the evening, I was able take in the performance of a man on stage. He plays well, sings great and wears the hell out of his aviators, but not a whole much else. His crowd interaction was minimal and he relied way to much on the fire blasters behind him.

Now I know what you are thinking, this is not a pop show Jes, it's not meant to be super flashy or a giant spectacle. I know this, but I have also been to shows of singer songwriters in the same venue where I felt like the musician has something going with the audience. For example, John Mayer - 10,000 times more stage presence than Eric Church.

Maybe it's a country thing? Carrie Underwood was at the Dome in October and, although her performance had a flying stage and a ton of tricks, I was left feeling a little dead inside. She's great, but almost robotic.

The most crowd interaction we got from Mr. Church during Drink in My Hand.

I wouldn't 'go see Church in concert again. Well, maybe if he was at a music festival, but I definitely wouldn't go see him as a headliner in a big venue like this. He wasn't bad and I can't pinpoint my disappointment, but I left in a state of - meh. It could have just been all the skulls, hate them...or the pot leaf Canadian flag - aren't you clever Mr. Church, you're like, soooo cool.


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