Melodies Made Memories in London, Ontario with Eric Church
It was a damp Tuesday night in London, Ontario when Eric Church’s Holdin’ My Own Tour rolled into Budweiser Gardens. This was the 1st date of 7 on the Canadian leg of the tour. Now, this was no ordinary night where you show up at 7/7:30pm and hear a couple opening bands warm up the crowd. This was a show you want to be in your seat by 8pm, because when the music kicks in shortly after 8 its a jam-packed night full of Church. When the lights dimmed and only the spotted Mic was visible on stage, Hallelujah played over the speakers and set the mood.
The stirring rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah brought the adult beverage drinkers to their seats in a hurry. When the first chord was struck the crowd ignited into a chant of “Eric ‘Fucking’ Church”. To put it simply Eric is one of those singer / songwriters that could likely sing the phone book and make it feel like it was a big part of your life. He just has a way with words that seems to captivate audiences for literally hours on end…3+, to be exact.
The night kicked off with Eric and the band banging out Mistress Named Music and it quickly had the folks at Bud Gardens singing right along. I remember looking around the venue during the 1st song and seeing the vast majority of the 10,000 plus crowd were up on their feet. The night was filled with music that any Church Choir member (Eric’s Fan Club LINK HERE) would feel like they had died and gone to heaven. Song #3 of the night was the title track off Eric’s last album The Outsiders. We caught a little video of that and you can catch it below. The coolest part was EC’s team rarely allows video and we were lucky enough to be approved to share this clip with you.
As the night progressed it was songs like Carolina, Talladega & Pledge Allegiance to the Hag that had the crowd singing right along. And one of EC’s biggest hits, Smoke A Little Smoke wrapped up the first flawless set. There was a 20 minute intermission to give the patrons a chance to grab a drink or a bite to eat.The next set started with both Driver William & Jeff Cease appearing from light ramps from under the stage and the band ripping into Ain’t Killed Me Yet, which was co-written with Canada’s own Deric Ruttan, the second set packed as big a punch if not more of one than the first. To think that you really get two shows out of one is pretty amazing. Mr. Church has been able to produce some incredible sounds over the last 11 years and has amassed a HUGE following on both sides of the border and that was evident on this night.
My personal favorite from a 35+ song set was when the boys played Kill A Word. There is just something about this song that does it for me and to hear it live was awesome. After 3.5+ hrs of hangin’ with the sold out crowd, Eric signed off with a track off 2009’s Carolina album and what may very well be my favourite song on that album in Those I’ve Loved. And with a wave and a thank you Eric stepped off the stage and back onto the tour bus heading for another date with thousands more fans screaming out the lyrics that make so many memories.
Eric promised a night we would never forget and gathering from the fan reaction at the end of the night there were many memories made and a night most won’t forget. Thanks for the music, Mr. Church and thanks for inviting The Bus into your living room for the night! Be sure to check Eric and his kick-ass band in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton & Vancouver. There might be a few tickets left for these shows and we strongly suggest you make it to one.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76