Nashville recording star Eric Church brought “The Outsiders World Tour” through Austin on Wednesday, March 4 to a hot reception on a very cold evening.
As a cold front blew across Central Texas and temperatures outside dropped, alt-country rockers Drive-By Truckers warmed things up inside with a fast-paced set. By the time Eric Church took the stage, the candle was lit and the Erwin Center had transformed into a good old-fashioned country party.
The show opened with the first hit single off of Church’s latest album (and the namesake of the tour), “The Outsiders,” moving quickly into a heavy, dripping rendition of the crowd favorite, “Creepin’.”
While country acts are typically front-facing in performance, this show was played in the round, and Church and the rest of the band did a great job keeping the entire house engaged. With a giant catwalk looping around the back of the stage and microphones staged every few feet, it would be hard to imagine anyone feeling left out at this show.
Church, who welcomed his second son in mid-February, said he usually lets the crowd dictate the set list to some extent, taking suggestions on what to play next. But he said, “after sleeping about 2 hours in the last 2 weeks, I’m gonna play what I damn well want tonight!” – much to the approval of the crowd.
It’s easy to see why this bad boy of country music has established a place at the top. His demeanor is cool but approachable and his music is edgy without being off-putting – and above all else, he knows how to throw a great party.
By Mike Kordell