There’s no denying Boston loves its tailgating. It’s serious business and everyone plays their part. The moment an artist is announced, what qualifies as strategic event planning kicks into high gear. Beginning with parking lot layout, there’s the props, mascots, makeshift bars and drinking tables hosting all sorts of illegal activity. Barbeques are hot, coolers are cold and music is loud. The convoy to the venue is rolling – it’s party time !
Nothing stops Boston from full-scale tailgating. They set up early and break down late.
Except on Sunday, June 5, 2011 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass, something changed and it was soon discovered Eric Church was to blame.
It was the Jason Aldean My Kinda Party Tour and Eric Church was an opening act. And like nothing I’ve ever witnessed before, a moment in tailgate history, barbeques shut down, Igloos packed up and a steady stream rushed the venue. Word spread The Chief (Church) had his hat and sunglasses on – which meant one thing – it’s showtime !
Boston settled in but never settled down.
Eric Church exploded onto his set and instantly there was “absolutely, positively, no doubt in my mind” Boston was willing to be held captive and Church was willing to take control.
But let’s not forget, it’s been reported Eric Church recently returned to prison for the shooting of Homeboy. So when he unexpectedly charged the catwalk armed, there was no time to take cover. Church opened fire with a strong, steady, stream of . . . water? whiskey? Whatever it was, The Chief made it clear he was rough, rowdy and ready to rock.
And rock he did. The venue reverberated and the Choir kept rhythm. Then halfway through Eric’s heartfelt performance of “These Boots” a young lady, intoxicated by Church charisma, stripped off her western wear and surrendered to this hard-core cowboy her cowboy boots. Church completed his performance holding his prize boot up for all to see. He then appeared to slip something into it and returned it to its naked owner.
But a frenzied night of unexpected happenings continued. Serving hits from his 2006 debut album, “Sinners Like Me” and his 2009 sophomore follow-up, “Carolina”, Eric Church was charging the stage and charging the crowd. And with a seismic shot of energy, Eric’s hard-core, country-rock delivery of “Lotta Boot Left to Fill” erupted into a double-fisted, beer-chugging finale.
If this was your first introduction to Eric Church, you may not know, Church is no newcomer to the industry, the stage or the fans.
Eric Church debuted in 2006 with a critically-acclaimed album that unfortunately didn’t gain much in the way of “industry accolades” but which his fans (the Church Choir) reference like the Bible. “Sinners Like Me” showcased Church’s master songwriting, storytelling and whiskey-soaked vices – I mean vocals. In 2009 “Carolina” was not just a follow-up sophomore release, it’s hailed and held by the Choir as a double dose of Church.
On April 3, 2011 Eric Church took home the trophy and title for “ACM (Academy of Country Music) Best New Solo Artist”. And on July 26, 2011 Eric Church is scheduled to release “Chief”, his third studio album. Watch for it and Eric Church at a venue near you because Church has a set of vocals and a kick-ass performance you don’t wanna miss and you won’t want to end.
There’s no denying Eric Church’s raspy vocals, rugged looks and bad boy attitude are “heaven on the eyes”. But when you’re addicted to a sinner, saying good-bye is “Hell on the Heart”.
And nowhere was that more apparent than at the Comcast Center June 5, 2011. With a heavy scent of an unmistakable substance permeating the air, it was foggy yet clear, Boston took Eric Church’s impending departure and “Smoke a Little Smoke” seriously.