Eric Church – CD Release Party in NYC: “Chief: Deconstructed”

Cheif: Deconstructed
Album Release Party
Bowery Ballroom, New York City
July 26, 2011

I had the pleasure of attending the cd release party of country music star: Eric Church.  The event was dubbed “Chief: Deconstructed” and was held at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on July 26, 2011.  This was the same day that his third studio album was released entitled “Chief”.  A bonus for the sold out crowd was that each ticket-holder received a hard copy of the album. 

Fans who are familiar with Eric Church’s live shows all know that they are full of adrenaline with chest pounding and boot stomping.  This night would be very different.  Upon arriving to the intimate venue, the stage had no drum set and no amplifiers; instead, it only had five stools.  The title of the show was “Chief: Deconstructed”, so no one had any idea what to expect.

It was very clear once Eric and four other men took to the stage and sat down, each with an acoustic guitar in hand.  This would not be the energetic and often hyper Eric Church show, instead it would soon become an intimate look inside Eric Church “the song writer”.  The other four men were Ryan Tyndell, Jeff Hyde, Luke Laird, and Casey Beathard.  Each of these men not only helped sing the eleven tracks of the new release, but were also Eric’s co-writers for the album. 

The show did not follow the exact tracklisting of the album.  However, each song off of “Chief” was played.  Eric started with Ryan Tyndell as they sang “Keep On” and followed it up by singing the ultra-country “Jack Daniels” with Jeff Hyde.  Jeff is not only a co-writer, but also is in Eric’s band.  The crowd already knew the words to this song as they sang along during the chorus.  Eric has been playing this song during some of his shows over the past year. 

In fact, Eric sang each of the songs as a duet with the co-writer who helped him write each of the songs.  The only songs he did by himself included the third song of the night, “Creepin'”, and the last, “Country Music Jesus”.  “Creepin'” has the potential to be a big radio hit for Eric as it is fast paced and rocks pretty hard. 

Luke Laird next sang “Over When Its Over” which is a nice song with a catchy hook.  Then Eric introduced Casey Beathard as “my favorite songwriter in Nashville”.  In fact, the song Casey sang next, “Like Jesus Does” is the first song Eric has ever recorded that he did not write or co-write.  Casey obviously explained that it was quite the honor for that achievement.  The crowd began to mysteriously chant “one more year”.  Eric caught on and quickly said “oh, is it because he looks like Brett Favre?”.  The crowd applauded and Eric laughed hysterically. 

“Like Jesus Does” is one of the standouts on the cd.  It is so radio friendly it is unbelievable.  I personally hope he releases it as a single at some point because I think it would shoot straight to number one. 

Eric next stated “we’ve played every place in America.  I’ve slept in every enviroment you can think of.  I am passionate of my music and right now we are the number one album in America.  It means so much to me and it is because of you guys I have this passion and we can do this.”  It was a great prelude to his next song “Springsteen”.  It is also a catchy tune that happens to be one of my favorites on the new album.  It includes Bruce Springsteen song titles cleverly placed throughout the track.  As always, you could heard different people in the crowd shout “Bruuuuuuuuuce”. 

Next Jeff Hyde sang “I’m Getting Stoned” which is a funny song about a man who found out his ex-girlfriend got married to someone else and he realizes he messed up.  The chorus is “she got a rock and I’m getting stoned”. 

Then Eric stated that the next song, “Hungover & Hard Up”, was his favorite on the new album.  It is a slower song about a man going through some struggles, all the while fighting off a hangover.  If this song isn’t pure country, I don’t know what is. 

Casey Beathard set up the background for the next song that was sung, “Homeboy”, which happens to be Eric’s new single on country radio.  Casey said he got the idea because his son was listening to some bad music on the radio and acting all tough so he said “what’s up homeboy?”  He then had that stuck in his mind and called up Eric to write the song.  He knew Eric was “the only person who could record the song”.  Eric and Casey let the crowd do most of the singing as everyone in the Bowery Ballroom that night seemingly knew the lyrics word for word.

Eric then spotted a sign in the crowd in which a young man was holding up that said “On My Bucket List: Take Shot with Eric Church”.  Eric actually brought the young man on stage, poured two shots of Jack Daniels and took it with him.  It set up the next song perfectly, “Drink In My Hand”.  It is a fun, easy-going song that I am sure will be heard at country music tailgate parties throughout America this summer. 

Finally, the last song of the night was “Country Music Jesus”.  Eric seemed to struggle with the lyrics and only sang half of the song, but maintained himself well.  For true fans of Eric Church, this night was quite special.  You did not get the energy of his normal rowdy live shows, nor the smoke and amplifiers.  Instead, you got a look inside the real song writer that he is – and got to hear the new tracks and the stories behind why they were written. 

As I listened to the studio album on my ride back home that night, it was amazing how different the songs sounded from the acousitc set.  Each of the songs were lyrically dynamic enough to sustain an enjoyable acoustic set, yet when the production and instruments were set to the songs, the music sounded that much better.  Overall, the album is phenomenal and I would highly recommend country music fans to purchase it.  And I will have a greater understanding and connection to the album after seeing the stripped down set that night at the Bowery Ballroom. 


1. Keep On
2. Jack Daniels
3. Creepin’
4. Over When It’s Over
5. Like Jesus Does
6. Springsteeen
7. I’m Getting Stoned
8. Hungover & Hard Up
9. Homeboy
10. Drink In My Hand
11. Country Music Jesus

Video Clips:

1) Jack Daniels
2) Creepin’

Jay-Z and Rihanna: Full of Surprises in New Jersey

Izod Center
East Rutherford, New Jersey

The Loud Tour was turned up a few levels from its usual decible meter at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey on July 21st, 2011.  This wasn’t because Rihanna had another eye-dropping wardrobe change or because she ran through the aisles of the crowd for the third time that night. No,t his was a much bigger “Concert Event” moment. 

During the few minutes after the last song of her set “Take a Bow”, fans observed a cop car pull up to the right side of stage in the backstage area.  The most observent fans, one of which happened to be my wife, could also hear a faint microphone check.  It was a male’s voice who simply made the noise “uh-huh uh-huh”.  I did not believe her when she said she heard that as I did not want to set my hopes up.  Of course, she was eluding to the fact that she thought Jay-Z was doing a mic check.  Much to my suprise, she was indeed correct. 

Rihanna came out of her encore to large flames on the giant screens behind her.  She sang only the chorus to her song with Eminem “Love the Way You Lie”.  She walked a few feet forward, stopped, and froze.  All of a sudden, a figure arose from a circular platform underneath the stage.  The man stood still, facing down, and was wearing a Yankees hat pulled down low over his eyes.  But everyone in the building knew exactly who it was and the place erupted. 

Jay-Z is arguably the greatest rapper of all time.  I certainly make the argument that he is.  No one has had more longevity in the Hip-Hop/Rap Genre.  He came out with his first cd back in 1995 has sold approximately 50 million records worldwide, and has eleven #1 records (the most of any artist, in any genre, all time).  After arising from the stage and standing still looking down for approximately ten seconds, you could feel that everyone in the IZOD Center that night felt the same appreciation for him, that I have.  The applause and screams were deafening.  He and Rihanna then put their hands in the air and made the diamond symbol that fans know as the “Roc” symbol.  The crowd responded in doing the same. 

Jay-Z and Rihanna then performed their mega-hit “Run This Town” together.  Rihanna looked to be as big of a fan of Jay-Z’s as everyone else in the building as she was all smiles while running around in admiration of her mentor.   Jay-Z’s smooth rapping style and vintage moves were in full effect as they executed the song flawlessly. 

Of course, everyone knew that this appearance would not be limited to one song.  After all, Rihanna’s first hit “Umbrella” was another song featuring Jay-Z.  They broke right into that song after “Run This Town” and everyone sang along with their camera’s flashing and their hands in the symbols of diamonds.  Jay-Z quickly exited upon finishing his verse and left Rihanna on stage alone to finish out her song. 

Rihanna’s performance pre-Jay-Z was a mixed bag for me.  The good: she had a lot of energy, a multitude of extravagant costume changes,  and high level production.  The bad: she seemed to be lip singing at times and I was confused by the background dancers in various songs (including men dressed as robots who destroyed a car on stage at one point).  

Overall, it was an entertaining and fun show.  She did not have much interaction with the crowd between songs other than statements such as “What’s up Jersey”, which she said over and over again, and also “Get Your F****ing Hands Up”, which was not necessary since there were so many children in the crowd.  She was at her best on her more sensitive and slower songs, when she was dressed in a very impressive yellow gown. 

She also ran through the crowd a few times which gave the fans quite the treat.  She even stopped at the back end of the floor opposite the stage to bang on a drum at one point.  It was a bit cheesy, but no one seemed to mind.  For me, that seemed to be the theme of the night (until Jay-Z showed up), it was colorful, fun, and sort of cheesy, yet everyone was having a good time.

But in the end, as much as Rihanna put forth her best efforts, Jay-Z upstaged her.  I do not think she minded at all as she owes a lot of her career to him.  In the end, it was a great surprise and left everyone in the building more than satisfied.  Uh-huh, uh-huh.


Rihanna Setlist:

1. Only Girl In the World
2. Disturbia
3. Shut Up and Drive
4. Man Down
5. Darling Nikki
6. S&M
7. Let Me
8. Skin
9. Raining Men
10. Hard
11. Breaking Dishes
12. Live Your Life
13. Unfaithful
14. California King Bed
15. Pon de Replay
16. What’s My Name
17. Rude Boy
18. Cheers
19. Don’t Stop The Music
20. Take A Bow

21. Love The Way You Lie (chorus only)
22. Run This Town with special guest: Jay-Z
23. Umbrella with special guest: Jay-Z

Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan Shine Bright at Mohegan Sun

Emotional Traffic Tour
with Luke Bryan and The Band Perry
Mohegan Sun Arena, Connecticut

If you are a fan of any genre of music, you have heard of Tim McGraw.  He has countless #1 singles, was the most played artist of the decade, and even did a crossover song with Hip-Hop Star Nelly which was accepted by all radio stations.   He is in movies, commercials, and even has his own cologne.  But for all of those achievements, the thing he does best is perform live. 

On July 23rd, 2011, Tim McGraw brought his Emotional Traffic Tour to Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.  The Tour is named after an upcoming album that he is currently in a legal dispute over with his record label.  The supporting acts on this Tour are The Band Perry and a rising star, Luke Bryan.

I was not able to see The Band Perry perform because I was awarded a meet and greet with Luke Bryan.  I have met Luke many times over the course of his career.  The first time was when he was doing a free acoustic set at a Longhorn Steakhouse in Atlantic City, NJ back in January of 2008.  He has come quite a long way from free sets at restaurants.  He now has three number 1 singles on the Billboard Country Charts.   He is on his way to a fourth number 1 with “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” which is currently number eight and rising each week. 

As always, Luke was incredibly nice and humble.  He takes the time to take a picture and  give an autograph with each meet and greet pass-holder.  Since I have met him seven times now over the past two and a half years, he recognizes me.   We spoke a bit about his upcoming headling tour which is the “CMT on Tour 2011”.  He said they will be making a stop in New York City which should excite most country fans in that area.

During his set, he utilized the catwalk to perfection.  Usually opening acts are hesitant to use the catwalk at all and stick to the main stage.  However, Luke is not the ordinary opening act.  He came out to “Country Man” and immediately ran all the way down the catwalk which stretched out from the stage all the way to the back of the floor section.  He had everyone in the Arena up and dancing the entire time.  He ran through hits like “Rain Is A Good Thing”, “Do I”, “We Rode In Trucks” and “Someone Else Calling You Baby”.  A highlight was the macho song “Drinking Beer and Wasting Bullets”.  Of course, his newest single (“Country Girl, Shake it For Me”) had everyone shaking and singing along to every word.  He ended the set, as he does with every one of his shows, with a remix of his first single “All My Friends” and Metalica’s “Enter The Sandman”.  Overall, Luke Bryan’s set was one of the best opening acts I have ever seen and had every bit of energy that a headliner would have. 

Tim McGraw would not be outshined this night.  When it was time for his set a giant screen was unvieled and the spotlight quickly shined on the other side of the Arena.  To everyone’s surprise, McGraw appeared walking down the aisle from that opposite side while singing one of his biggest hits, “Something Like That”. 

Tim utilized the catwalk more than any headliner I have every seen.  He wasn’t running around like a Kenny Chesney, but had a slow powerful walk that had every woman in the building scream and every guy admire his “swagger”.  He sang all of his hits from “Where the Green Grass Grows” to “Last Dollar” to “The Cowboy In Me”.  He even threw in some fan favorites like “Do You Want Fries With That” and “Red Ragtop”.  Whatever he decided to sing next was met with cheers, screams, and applause. 

I have seen Tim McGraw five times now and this was not only the best, but it appeared to be the most fun he ever had.  He seemed to give every single person along the catwalk, including myself, a high five.  He was constantly smiling, which is unique for the usually serious McGraw.  It was good to see him like that since I know he is going through that heated legal battle with his Record Company. 

He even surprised the crowd by bringing out The Band Perry for “Can’t Really Be Gone” and Luke Bryan for “Back When”.  Luke and Tim seemed like young teenagers having the time of their lives, singing, laughing and even hugging at points. 

Tim closed out his set with “Real Good Man”.  His encore consisted of  “Live Like You Were Dying”, “Indian Outlaw” and “I Like It, I Love It”.  Full of energy and bravado, Tim McGraw put forth a memorable performance that shows why he is still certainly one of the Kings of Country Music. 

Luke Bryan’s Setlist:

1. Country Man
2. Someone Else Calling You Baby
3. Drinking Beer and Wasting Bullets
4. If You Ain’t Here To Party
5. Drunk On You
6. We Rode In Trucks
7. Do I
8. Rain Is A Good Thing
9. Country Girl (Shake It For Me)
10. All My Friends (with “Enter The Sandman”)

Tim McGraw’s Setlist:
1. Something Like That
2. Where The Green Grass Grows
3. Down On The Farm
4. Last Dollar
5. Just To See You Smile
6. Please Remember Me
7. For A Little While
8. Right Back At Ya
9. Red Ragtop
10. Unbroken
11. Sail On
12. Can’t Really Be Gone (with The Band Perry)
13. Back When (with Luke Bryan)
14. Do You Want Fries With That
15. The Cowboy In Me
16. Southern Voice
17. Felt Good On My Lips
18. Real Good Man


19. Live Like You Were Dying
20. Indian Outlaw
21. I Like It, I Love It

U2’s 360 Tour Blasts Off in New Jersey

360 Tour
New Meadowlands Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey

There are a great deal of U2 fans on Planet Earth. After all, they are one of the few bands who can go on a World Stadium tour and pretty much sell out every ticket for every show. But for the multitudes of people who support U2, there seem to be just as many U2 haters. Whatever it is, I do not understand why there is all the hate. Sure Bono can get a bit preachy, so what some of their music has hidden political messages, yeah the Spiderman musical was an abomination, and okay The Edge wears a wool hat in 100 degree heat. Put those minor details away and they are still a band who puts out fantastic music and can entertain thousands on end in ways other bands could only dream of. 

I saw this tour approximately two years ago at the “old” Giants Stadium. That was also the 360 Tour and I learned something that night, sitting farther back and higher up was actually the best seat in the house. All of the other shows I go to, I do my best to get the closest and best seats in the house. For this concert, I selected my seat very carefully – upper deck, middle of the section, straight on view of the stage – this allowed me to see everything. A U2 360 Tour experience is not only a concert, but it is a spectacle that one can only exeprience to understand.

I unforunately missed the opening act, Interpol, as the traffic along the New Jersey Turnpike is always absurd. But concert-goers that night all had the same reaction upon walking into their sections: a collective “wow”. A giant “claw” draped most of the field making it a stage the likes no one has ever seen. Digital Cameras and Smartphones were clicking away way before Bono even stepped foot on the field. Lines of people waited their turn to take a picture in the aisle with the “claw” behind them. It truly is a sight to behold.

After a bit of a wait, the Stadium lights darkened and the claw started flashing. You could hear David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” song being played and you knew the claw was about to transform into a spaceship. The four members of U2 appeared on the big screen as they walked out of the backstage entrance with Bono taking up the rear. They ripped into an older song “Even Better Than The Real Thing” and the concert was off and running.
I would be lying if I said the whole concert ran smoothy and perfect. In fact, I sat there scratching my head during the band’s first five songs. Not because the songs were more of the lesser known hits, except “Mysterious Ways”, but because the acoustics in the Stadium were downright awful. The instruments’ volume were turned up way too loud and Bono’s signature voice was hardly audible. The crowd knew every word to “Mysterious Ways” which helped, but the other four songs were hard to listen to. Someone at the New Meadowlands Stadium must have also had my same opinion as things changed for “Get On Your Boots”. All of sudden everything was in sync and Bono’s voice matched up with The Edge’s guitar. For the rest of the evening, the inital disapointment was a distant memory.
Bono is the ultimate front man. Energetic, preachy, excitable, and strong. He took over the that enormous stage with the grace of seasoned veteran. There were moments, such as during the fourth song “Until The End of the World” that Bono led his bandmates The Edge and Adam Clayton as they all walked around the circular stage. During other songs only Bono and The Edge stood at the forefront as the lights swarmed the Stadium and the two “legends” were shown on the big screen. Bono also stood on moving bridges that connected the main stage to the circular catwalk. He was in constant motion, which played perfectly into the hands of the real star of the show: the claw.

Again, U2 haters are all the same. They hate the preachiness of Bono, despite his preaching is all about helping the people who are less fortunate. Another big knock is that U2 needs to use gimmicks such as the claw. For all those haters out there, I challenge you to come to a U2 Stadium tour and witness the claw, then tell me it is a silly gimmick. It is a incredible beast. Equipped with giant screens that can morph at any minute into different shapes and sizes. It has ever changing lights that really make you think that the stage is a spaceship and it was going to levitate off of the New York Giants’ field. At times, the “Clawed Spaceship” went from green to orange to blue to red in a matter of seconds. It is truly amazing.

U2 was best on their biggest hits such as “Beautiful Day” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. But the one song that really stood out to me was “Magnificent”. Bono’s vocals were at its peak on this song and the stage changed colors rapidly with the fast moving lyrics. That particular song along with the vocals, The Edge’s helicopter style of guitar strumming and the illuminated claw were just that, Magnificent.

I had heard rumors swirling all week about the possible guest appearances by Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen, both of which are some of my personal favorites. Jay-Z toured with U2 as an opening act in Australia and they have a remix of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” which gets steady play on my ipod. Bruce is a long time friend of Bono and a native to the swamp lands of New Jersey. In fact, the Jersey crowd showed U2 that Bruce really is the King of NJ as at least four times during the night you could hear chants of “Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce”. Bono even sang a snippet of the E Street Band’s song “The Promised Land” and took a sign from the crowd which paid respect to the late member of the band, Clarence Clemons. But alas, no Bruce, no Jay-Z.

In the end everyone walked away happy and amazed by the stage. The encore was a bit slow and long and most of the crowd bowed out with two or three songs left. I stayed to the end, until the spaceship landed, fully appreciative of U2’s music and eagerness to give their fans more than just a show.

1) Even Better Than The Real Thing
2) The Fly
3) Mysterious Ways
4) Until The End of The World
5) I Will Follow
6) Get On Your Boots
7) Magnificent
8) I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
9) The Promised Land (Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band cover)
10) Stay
11) Beautiful Day
12) Elevation
13) Pride
14) Miss Sarajevo
15) Zooropa
16) City of Blinding Lights
17) Vertigo
18) I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Remix)
19) Sunday Bloody Sunday
20) Scarlet
21) Walk On
22) One
23) Where The Streets Have No Name
Encore 2:
24) Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
25) With or Without You
26) Moment of Surrender
27) Out of Control

Paul McCartney @ Yankee Stadium (7/15/11)

JULY 15, 2011

Approximately one month ago, I caught wind that 1/4th of the Beatles was going to be going back on tour in the United States.  Any music fan appreciates not only music created by the Beatles, but also how they changed the very fabric of the music business.  Paul McCartney has always been my favorite of the Beatles.  The New York Yankees are my favorite sports team.  So when I heard Sir Paul was going to be performing on the home turf of the Yankees, there was no way I was missing out. 

I ended up trying for the best tickets I could through the pre-sale.  I was pleased with Section 109.  Myself and two of my friends took a train directly from Connecticut to Yankee Stadium.  That is how big this concert was, Metro-North actually had a “special” rail called the Yankee Clipper that was running both Friday and Saturday straight from Connecticut to Yankee Stadium without having to change trains or take a subway.

It was still light out when Sir Paul McCartney walked on stage.  He had a guitar in hand, with black pants on, a white button down, and a shiny blue blazer.  He wasted no time as he and his band ripped right into a Beatles favorite “Hello Goodbye”. 

I have seen a lot of legends in concert such as Bob Dylan, Elton John, and Leon Russell.  However, a lot of those artists have lost a step or two in their vocals.  This was not the case with Paul.  He sounded strong, clear, and as if he has never slowed down.  He took the fans in Yankee Stadium that glorious Friday night on a journey through Beatles hits while sprikling in songs from his stint as the lead singer of Wings as well. 

One moment that had the entire stadium laughing and cheering at the same time was when he stated to the crowd: “Who is this Derek Jeter guy?  I hear he has more hits than me!”  You could faintly hear the Yankee Stadium patented “Der-ek Je-ter” chants , but this night was all about McCartney.  You could tell he was having a good time as well.  At one point he shouted “I have never done this song live – ever!”  He then sang The Beatles song “The Night Before”.  This was very indicative of this special night.  No matter what song he sang, whether it be a legendary Beatles classic, a well-known Wings single, or an obscure B-side Beatles song, the crowd knew the lyrics and sang along.

He really sounded strong on “Paperback Writer”, “Eleanor Rigby”, and “Back in the U.S.S.R.”.  Thinking back on the concert, those were definitely some of the strongest vocal highlights.  Of course the massive hits such as “Hey Jude”, “Let It Be”, and “Maybe I’m Amazed” created sing-a-longs that had fans from the age 10 to 80 feel like they were singing with their best friends while sitting around a camp fire. 

However, the most memorable moment for me, from the entire three hour show, was when he sang the Wings song from the James Bond Soundtrack: “Live or Let Die”.  An eruption of fireworks and explosions blasted forth from behind the stage as well as the opposite side of the Stadium.  It was quite an amazing sight to behold.  Of course, Sir Paul did not waiver in his performance of the song.  He kept even keel and each word was perfectly audible; all despite the freakish display that reminded most of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. 

The three song encore turned into a second, five song encore.  It was, simply stated, a special night equipped with close to forty songs by one of the most recognizable figures in music history.   Not maybe, I was Amazed. 


1) Hello Goodbye
2) Junior’s Farm
3) All My Loving
4) Jet
5) Drive My Car
6) Sing The Changes
7) The Night Before
8) Let Me Roll It
9) Paperback Writer
10) The Long and Winding Road
11) Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
12) Let ‘Em In
13) Maybe I’m Amazed
14) I’ve Just Seen a Face
15) I Will
16) Blackbird
17) Here Today
18) Dance Tonight
19) Mrs. Vandebilt
20) Eleanor Rigby
21) Something
22) Band On The Run
23) Ob La Di, Ob La Da
24) Back In The U.S.S.R.
25) I’ve Got A Feeling
26) A Day In The Life
27) Give Peace A Chance
28) Let It Be
29) Live and Let Die
30) Hey Jude


31) Lady Madonna
32) Day Tripper
33) Get Back

(Encore 2)

34) Yesterday
35) Helter Skelter
36) Golden Slumbers
37) Golden Slumbers
38) Carry That Weight
39) The End

Kid Rock at the Comcast Theatre, Hartford, Connecticut (7/7/11)

I attended Kid Rock’s Born Free Tour this past Thursday (7/7/11) at the Comcast Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut.  I am not ashamed to admit that I am a fan of Kid Rock.  I have always been amazed how he has been able to stay relevant in the country, hip-hop, and rock communities throughout his career.  He is respected by the likes of legends like Rev Run of Run DMC, Hank Williams Jr., Bob Seger, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Willie Nelson.  Since I am a fan of all genres of music, going to a Kid Rock show is what I would call a mish-mash celebration of music. 

In typical Kid Rock fashion, he amplified his performance in Hartford with pyrotechnics, background dancers, lights, large screens, American Flags, a gold bald eagle, and at times, fire blasts that would make Super Mario proud. 

Highlights of the show were his hilarious folk-country songs: “Lowlife” and “Forty”.  Both are songs in which Kid Rock does something different than most of his other songs, he makes fun of himself.  His multi-platinum hits like “Cowboy”, “Cocky”, “Never Met A * Like Me”, and “American Bad A$$” all shout lyrics of ultra confidence personified, so it works very well when he switches it up and pokes fun at himself. 

Another highlight was when Kid Rock performed an instrumental jam session by himself! He played everything from the electric guitar, to drums, the bass, and even scratched on the dj turntables. It truly showcased how the man who is “straight from the trailor” is actually mutli-talented. 

At one point he brought out Sheryl Crow (who was also the opening act).  They combined voices for a cover of the song “Love The One You’re With” and they sat down in two stools and sang their classic hit “Picture”.  However, for some unexplainable reason, Sheryl left the stage and they did not sing their brand new single “Collide”.  I was looking forward to hearing them sing the new single especially since they sang it together a few weeks ago at the CMT Awards and it is the current single released to radio.  Once she was announced as the opening support for the Born Free tour, I thought it was a slam dunk that they would perform “Picture” and “Collide” together.  Why they chose to avoid “Collide” and do a cover of an older song was quite confusing and very dissapointing. 

Of course, the set ended with Kid Rock’s most famous song “Bawitdaba”.  He performed the legendary song with no shirt and an array of pyrotechnics that would make Kiss proud.  The lights went black for a few minutes and he came back out to three of Kid Rock’s best and most unique songs:  “All Summer Long” fit the 90 degree July day perfectly as he used every inch of the stage and had the entire amplitheatre singing along.  Kid then showcased more of his music skills as he sat down to a piano and sang the emotional “Only God Knows Why” song.  He closed with a Patriotic Anthem that would make Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, and James Brown fist pump “Jersey Shore” style. “Born Free” had the entire crowd rocking and bleeding patriotism.  Equipped with American Flags and more pyrotechnics, Kid Rock finished off another energetic evening that truly took music fans through a music celebration of all genres. 

1.      American Bad A$$
2.      God Bless Saturday
3.      You Never Met A * Quite Like Me
4.      Lowlife
5.      Keep Your Hands to Yourself
6.      Cocky
7.      Slow My Roll
8.      Midnight Rider
9.      Cowboy
10.  Care
11.  Somebody’s Gotta Feel This
12.  Fist Of Rage
13.  I Am the Bulldog
14.  Sugar
15.  Flyin’ High
16.  Forty
17.  Love The One You’re With (with Sheryl Crow)
18.  Picture (with Sheryl Crow)
19.  Instrumental Jam Session
20.  So Hott
21.  Bawitdaba

22.  All Summer Long
23.  Only God Knows Why (on piano)
24.  Born Free

The night I was part of the Dierks Bentley Concert (March 2011, Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut)

as featured in the following articles:

Here is an account of a show I went to in March of 2011.  It was the opening night of the Jagermiester Country Tour.  The headliner was Dierks Bentley.  It was probably the most memorable concert experience I have had yet:

I arrived to the venue (Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut) to get my tickets from Will Call and found out I had Row A, Center. On top of that we had a meet and greet with Josh Thompson, one of the 3 opening acts. We spoke to Josh for awhile and he seemed very humble and we were impressed by his live show. He has a great future ahead of him.

When it was time for the headliner to hit the stage, the crowd was full of energy. Not only was it the Jagermiester Country Tour, but it was also St. Patrick’s Day and the crowd was fired up. Dierks came out in a cloud of smoke and cranked out hit after hit, starting with “Feel That Fire” and “Free & Easy”. He played some new songs that were fantastic as well, highlighted by a new party song called “Am I The Only One”. One of the highlights of the show was when he and his band took the crowd through an acoustic set of songs that have influenced them as artists (including Alabama’s “Dixieland Delight”, Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”, and U2′s “Pride”, among others).

After the acoustic set, Dierks asked the crowd “is anyone out here getting married?” Since my wife and I were sitting in the first row and we were not getting married until the following month at the time, she raised her hand and Dierks spotted us. He handed me his microphone stand and invited us up to the stage. He proceeded to ask me what date we were getting married on, looked on her ring, made a bunch of jokes with us and sang a new song to us called “Diamonds Make Babies”. It was a hilarious song which warns men about proposing to their girlfriends because if you give her a diamond, expect the kids to follow and your life to completely change. The song was hysterical, he even let me sing part of the chorus. It was an abosolutely amazing moment.

The last song of his set (before the encore) was “Come A Little Closer” and he approached me again. At this point, Dierks said into the microphone “I’m taking your girl up here, okay?” I said sure and he pulled her up on stage. At this point he started singing the song to her and making hilarious comments about me and her. He then gave her the microphone to hold to the crowd and the entire arena started singing the song back to her. He went from side to side of the stage doing this with her until he suddenly ran away leaving her on stage by herself holding the microphone to the crowd. She didn’t realize for a few seconds and when she turned around to give him the microphone back, she freaked out! She ran right over to me and gave me the microphone and I sang the chorus back to her. The crowd went crazy and everyone was laughing and cheering. He then came back out to save her and signaled for me to follow them on stage – I jumped up and followed them backstage and the three of us took a picture together.

Dierks not only gave us an unforgettable night, but backstage he actually thanked us! He said “thank you guys for making that so much fun for me”. I responded by saying “No way – Thank you. That was an amazing experience”. He then went back out for the encore and finished off with “Sideways” and “What Was I Thinking”.

For anyone who has not seen a Dierks Bentley show, I highly recommend it. The concert was high energy, with a wide range of his greatest hits, new songs, and covers of classic songs from multiple genres. I cannot thank Dierks enough for the experience he gave us.   It was once in a lifetime and we are grateful for how amazing he is to his fans.

Everyone should check out a phenomenal website entitled:

They give up to the minute breaking news on the world of country music.  You can also follow them on twitter: @cmilove

I have had the opportunity to write a few articles as a guest writer for this amazing website.  Check them out below:

Toby Keith: New York City (August 20, 2010) :

Toby Keith’s new album: track by track (October 6, 2010):

Darius Rucker: New York City (October 12, 2010):

Rascal Flatts: New York City (November 20, 2010):

Your Concert Review Headquaters

What’s going on everybody,

Bear with me as I start my first blog.  I am new to the blogging lifestyle, but I am a seasoned concert-goer.  I have been to well over 150 concerts in my life and enjoy live music more than any one I know. 

I have always been into taking pictures of the shows I have been at so I have created this blog to not only give a review of some of the shows I see, but also to list the artist’s setlist and some pictures of the event.

Stay tuned because in the next week alone I will be reporting back on the Paul McCartney show in Yankee Stadium, U2 at the New Meadowlands Stadium, as well as Rihanna, and Tim McGraw.