The night kicked off with the opening act, Brandy Clark. She performed well, band sounded good. The audience, the ones that showed up that early, were engaged and looked happy to see her. Other than the god awful feedback from the sound system, (thanks to Clair Global) it was a performance well done.
From there, now around 8:00pm more of the audience filled in, Dewight Yoakam took the stage. They switched on a couple more lights for his performance, still nothing compared to what was hidden amongst the production to come. He did his thing, I heard a bit more of the audience singing along which was fun.
Eric Church then took the stage around 9:00pm. No grand entrance, he just kind of appeared. The drummer had a grander entrance being lowered from the rigging on to the stage from behind a video screen. The inner part of the stage now appeared to be spinning 360 degrees which was cool for the fans stationed behind the stage.
Now that the entire group is on stage, Church opens with the hit The Outsiders, then soon to follow was Creepin and Guys Like Me. By this point I went from skeptical journalist to awed concert industry professional. Coming from a producer background, I was blown away. This set was filled with creative, new automation provided by the revolutionaries over at Tait Towers. This set was easily one of the most advance and creative sets that I have seen since Katy Perry’s Prismatic Tour. (Another Tait masterpiece) From mechanical engineering elements never seen before to a giant 45 foot dragon shooting up in the air in 45 seconds then deflating even quicker, I was in a happy place.
In the beginning part of the show Church proclaimed to the joyous audience that tonight was about the music. The passion behind it. That he was going to play songs from every album and further than that, he promised, “tonight is going to be one of those nights you remember forever.” He said he was in the mood to play as long as he wanted to and they’d stop when he was ready to do so. More or less in those words, the audience went wild. It was so genuine that I could not tell if it was a scripted masterpiece or a personal message for the Mohegan Sun audience.
Regardless, he continued to play songs like Drink In My Hand, Sinners Like Me, and Smoke A Little Smoke. Once we got to Jack Daniels another preemptive dialogue proceeded with a personal story about a previous experience at Mohegan Sun. He opens with, “a few years back we just finished up a show and I was in the mood for some Jack Daniels… I ordered a bottle up to my hotel room, rather more of a gallon than a bottle” or something of that sorts. He then continued to inform the audience that the bottle cost $500, poking a bit a fun at the casino… the dialogue soon gracefully led into the song and the audience roared with applause.
Now on to what I thought was close to the end show…we hear songs like These Boots and the hit Springsteen. But then Church says, after an arrangement of different songs, “I don’t feel like stoping yet, so here is what we are going to do: I am going to say a song name to the band and we are going to play it.” The band then continued to play songs like Roller Coaster Ride and a couple others before they finally wrapped it up around 11:45PM.
From the power house Messina Group to Tait Towers and all contributors between, a job well done. I suggest you all go see this show. Bring your kids, your family, your dog(venue permitting) everyone will enjoy it. Church is continuing on a US run until early next year. TICKETS HERE