I’ve never purchased membership in a fan club in my life but when it was announced that Eric Church was coming back to Ottawa and the best way to guarantee great seats was to become a member of his Church Choir fan club, that’s exactly what I did. On Friday night, the show we had been anticipating since that day in September, finally arrived and we would not be let down.
There was almost as much hype around Eric Church’s “Holdin’ My Own Tour” as there was/is around Garth Brooks’ Man Against Machine Tour and all I can say after having witnessed the show myself is that it’s all true.
The show started with a lone spotlight at center stage, shining on a lonely microphone. From somewhere in the distance Eric’s voice could be heard singing the haunting melody of the late Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. That would set in motion one of the most simple yet spectacular shows I’ve had the pleasure of attending since founding Sound Check Entertainment.
The stage was setup in a circle surrounding a pit. At various points on the circle mic stands were placed to ensure that no part of the arena would be left out, and they weren’t.
Many performers now a days rely on flashy effects as part of their show, not that there’s anything wrong with effects I admit I’m a big fan, but Eric relied on two simple effects…his voice and some pretty impressive lighting. No doubt Eric loves his fans, he made that clear leading up to the tour by reclaiming thousands of tickets from scalpers and throughout the show by telling the audience and engaging with them and letting them engage in the show.
A highlight for me, and many in attendance, was the powerhouse backing and supporting vocals of Joanna Cotton. On more than one occasion Joanna joined Eric on stage and together they rocked out some of the most powerful songs of the night including “Kill A Word”. My two favorite moments of the night were his incredible performance of “Give Me Back My Home Town” which made the packed house at Canadian Tire Centre explode followed by “Springsteen”.
If you have the opportunity to catch Eric’s “Holdin’ My Own Tour”, or any other tour you will be glad you did. I have no doubt that I’ll be waiting in line to catch Eric on his next visit to Ottawa, whenever that may be. Visit www.ericchurch.com for full details on where you can catch him next!