What would prompt 9,607 people to flood Verizon Arena in North Little Rock? The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour featuring Country Music’s album of the year artist, Eric Church, overtook the city Thursday, December 6. Eric Church was headliner on this tour featuring Justin Moore and Kip Moore. The doors at Verizon Arena opened at 6:30 p.m. to the floods of people waiting to see this show. Having a native Arkansan in the lineup made the lines that much longer. From the fast paced songs to the ballads, all three acts blew the crowd away.
Kip Moore took the stage at 7:30 p.m. opening with “Crazy One More Time.” Kip is a true performer. He was feeding the crowd. During his song “Fly Again,” he jumped off the stage and ran into the crowd. From climbing on section walls to performing in the pit, Kip gave one powerful performance. I look forward to seeing him live again.
Justin Moore took the stage after Kip Moore. Justin, being a native Arkansan, really got the crowd going. He opened with his song “Guns.” Before he performed “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” he dedicated the song to his grandfather. His performance of the song was very heartfelt and touching. The crowd sang the whole song with him. He played all his hit singles such as “Bait a Hook,” “Til My Last Day” as well as a Beatles cover, “With A Little Help From My Friends.” One thing Justin was sure to do is support the Arkansas Razorbacks. He even called the Hogs. When he walked out with his guitar and started strumming, the crowd knew what song he was about to play. “Small Town USA” was written about his hometown, Poyen, Arkansas. Once the song was over, he dropped to his knees. Justin thanked everyone for supporting his career. He seemed very overwhelmed and humble for the opportunity to get to play for his home state. We then called the Hogs again! His final song was his first single, “Backwoods.” Justin is an amazing artist and I look forward to hearing his new material and seeing him again.
When the lights started dimming, I was looking for the headliner. All of the sudden, Eric Church arose from underneath the stage singing “Country Music Jesus.” By this time, Verizon was packed and the crowd was going insane. Eric Church is different from any other country singer I have heard. He has the classic country sound. “I have a theory that all of us only get a small window of time to make records when people will really listen and care. It’s up to us to move the needle. People like Waylon and Cash or Garth and Strait-they all took the format and said ‘We’re going over here,’ and they all changed the direction of the music a little bit,” Eric said. On November 1, “Chief” won album of the year at the CMAs. Eric promised to sing every song on the album, and that he did. From “Jack Daniels” to “Sinners Like Me,” he did not fail to entertain the crowd. It is apparent that he really loves the music. He did not stop the entire show. He smiled and laughed the whole time. He looked as if he was having as much fun as the crowd, which is rare nowadays. He even broke out the banjo for “Creepin,” his new single.
I thought the concert was a big success. There are not too many artists who truly love the music, and this tour featured three amazing and talented artists. I cannot wait to see them live again.