Kip Moore at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Kip Moore
Bowery Ballroom, NYC
w/ Chase Rice
August 3, 2012

Kip Moore brought his band up from Nashville to the busy streets of New York City as they took to the stage at the Bowery Ballroom on Friday night.  Moore, who is arguably country music’s newest rising star, released his album, “Up All Night” on April 24, 2012.  Before the show began I was able to catch up with Kip and he told me he was “going to rock it tonight”.  Let’s just say, he lived up to those words. 

Chase Rice, a relatively new name on the country circuit kicked off the show with a few acoustic tunes.  Rice is a former runner up on CBS’ “Survivor” during the season set in Nicaragua.  He has a very nice touch in his songwriting and connected with the crowd, despite sitting on a stool the entire time and not having a back-up band.  Songs such as “Only A Country Girl” and “Dirt Road Communion” seemed to resonate with fans and many even knew the words.  He told me after the show that he plans on setting out on Tour in the Fall with Kellie Pickler, among other names.  I look forward to hearing more from him the future

When it was time for Kip Moore to the hit the stage, the Friday Night New York City crowd was amped and ready.  Moore and his band came out swinging with “Crazy One More Time” and his newest single, which is currently #35 and climbing on the Billboard Country Singles Chart, “Beer Money”.  The crowd seemingly knew every word and Moore was full of smiles and energy as he and his talented band pounded out the two album favorites.  He stated to the crowd “man, I can drink with the best of them, but NYC you kicked my ass.  I came crawling back at 4 am last night”. 

Throughout his set, Moore thew in humorous statements in between his songs.  Moore has been dubbed the “Hill-billy Springsteen” for his songwriting style as well as his gravely voice.  This was extremely apparent on a song called “New York City, which he played acoustically.  He apparently had written that day in his hotel room when a “certain feeling overcame him”.  But this intimate song really showcased how much talent he has. 

Amongst numerous party songs that had the crowd enticed throughout, he mixed in a few love and breakup songs.  He talked about the three stages after a break-up before singing about the stages in “Fly Again” and he had all love birds hugging and kissing during the amazing song “Hey Pretty Girl”.  He stated he wrote that song when one of his guitarists told him that his wife was having a baby and they needed to really make it happen at that point.  His statement “we are all designed to find someone who you can go through life with” really resonates during that song.  I personally think that “Hey Pretty Girl” should be his next single. 

Moore was full of anecdotes and commentary on his songs and he told a true story of telling off a record company who wanted to change who he was during “Reckless”.  But the highlight of the night came when he spoke about his old pick-up truck.  He told the crowd his first  truck had 400,000 miles on it with no air conditioner and the windows wouldn’t go down.  But one day his father let him take his truck and … “Something Bout A Truck” was born.  The crowd sang most of the first verse and Moore was happy to let them do it.  A full on sing-a-long ensued and Moore was most active and energetic as he absolutely fed on that energy (see video below).

Moore finished off the flawless set with a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”.  I was hoping for a Springsteen cover, but no one seemed to mind.  I have been extremely impressed with his first album and was hoping his live performance would live up to my expectations.  That night, he did that and more.  He truly showed me he has the “it” factor that many new artists lack.  I expect we will hear a lot more from Kip Moore in the future. 

 SETLIST

  1. Crazy One More Time
  2. Beer Money
  3. Mary Was the Marrying Kind
  4. Reckless
  5. Good Time Girl
  6. New York City
  7. Fly Again
  8. Motorcycle
  9. Baby Break My Heart
  10. Gunna Be a Big One
  11. Tell Me Where the Party At
  12. Hey Pretty Girl
  13. Something Bout A Truck
  14. Free Falling (Encore: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Cover)

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

ERIC CHURCH
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. 

Setlist:

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’