The line wrapped around the Taco Bell Arena on Nov. 16 as people buzzed and pushed in anticipation to see Eric Church, Justin Moore and Kip Moore perform for Church’s Blood, Sweat and Beers tour.
Kip Moore opened the show, and people continued to file into their seats as the house lights went completely black.
“I LOVE YOU, KIP MOORE!” screeched a girl from the front row as K. Moore launched into “Crazy One More Time,” a song off of his new album, Up All Night. After a few more songs, K. Moore finished with “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck,” periodically pausing to let the audience fill in the chorus.
Justin Moore, completely unrelated to Kip Moore, was the second opener and began his set with “Til My Last Day”.
“We just found out we went gold this week,” announced J. Moore.
“If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” which placed in the Billboard Hot 100 in 2011, began with dimmed lights and Moore’s request for everyone in the audience to illuminate their cellphones in remembrance of loved ones lost. The song details a young man’s fantasy of spending a day in Heaven to visit friends and family who have passed away. The song was written as a tribute to J. Moore’s grandfather. The song finished Moore’s set, and people waited anxiously as the crew set the stage for the main act.
“I definitely think Boise should continue with the big acts,” said Amanda Taylor, a junior nursing major. “I’ve seen quite a few major artists here and they always seem to be full-house concerts at every venue. I would love to see Jason Aldean perform here.”
The venue continued to fill as Church’s set time drew closer. The mosh pit was sweaty, beer was spilled and the line to the women’s bathroom stretched halfway around the building. Church has sold nearly a quarter of a million tickets to date on the Blood, Sweat and Beers tour, which is his first-ever headlining tour.
“I told somebody, I said, ‘I feel like we were in clubs just last year,’ and then I said, ‘Wait a minute, we were in clubs just last year,’” Church said. “It’s been a big jump. It’s been a fast rise since CHIEF has come out, but it’s been one heck of a ride!”
CHIEF has recently been certified platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and has sold over one million copies since its release in 2011. ‘Chief’ was Church’s grandfather’s nickname and has become Church’s nickname on the road.
The lights went out, the strobes started, and a giant banner with Church’s posterized face dropped from the ceiling. A collective cheer erupted through the packed Arena and fog poured from the stage as Church emerged. The roar from the crowd was deafening and bouts of swing dancing popped up in the pit.
“His songs are so relatable and catchy,” said Karey Hoke, a senior Mass Communicaitons/Journalism major. “Who hasn’t had Springsteen stuck in their head at least once? Or who hasn’t had a situation like the Jack Daniels song?”
Effects included fireworks, fire and explosions, and the flashing lights and strobes could cause a seizure. Cups of beer waved in the air during “Drink in My Hand,” the crowd sang the chorus to “I Love Your Love the Most,” and people belted out “Creepin’.”
“Eric Church is one of the best country singers out there, in my opinion,” Hoke said. “He’s the perfect blend of a redneck and cowboy.”
Church earned an ear-splitting encore, and he finished the show with “Springsteen,” which placed #1 in the Country Music charts last year, and sold over one million downloads in less than a year of its release.
Church recently won the Country Music Award for the 2012 Album of the Year.
“I spent a lot of my career wondering where I fit in–too country, too rock,” said Church during his acceptance speech. “I want to thank you guys for giving me somewhere to hang my hat tonight.”