By Ethan Chivari
The evening began with a single white spotlight focused on a single microphone stand with a recording of Jeff Buckley’s version of the late Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” playing over the speakers, this signaled that Church was in session.
Church always does things his way. His three-hour, 37-song, no-opening-act marathon Thursday night April 13) at sold-out Allstate Arena in Rosemont featured every selection from his latest Mr. Misunderstood album, eight songs each from Chief and Sinners Like Me, six from The Outsiders and five from Carolina.
Chief took the stage by himself with an acoustic guitar in hand, kicking off the show with “Mistress Named Music.” After a verse and chorus, Church’s band suddenly appeared at the back of the stage.
Church then put the pedal to the floor, tearing through “That’s Damn Rock & Roll,” the noisy, snarling “The Outsiders” and the roaring, “Knives of New Orleans.”
Throughout the long evening, Church energetically ran around the backdrop-free stage with its semi-circular runway (with diehard fans in the pit). There were microphone stands located at various spots on the stage, so fans on the sides and behind the stage got up-close attention.
A four-sided video screen was suspended over the stage, offering tight shots of those aviator shades and that crooked Church smile. All the video footage was in black and white except during the encore number “Holdin’ My Own,” which offered full-color close-ups of Church. Similarly, the lighting scheme during most of the concert was white, though in the second act there were splashes of red, green, blue and even orange at times.
Perhaps the most over-the-top reaction was for the hits from Mr. Misunderstood, namely the title cut and “Record Year.” Two other selections from that album, the funky “Chattanooga Lucy” and the cry-in-your-shot-glass “Mixed Drinks About Feelings,” were big winners as well, thanks partly to the contributions of backup singer Joanna Cotten, who was only introduced by name a few times.
Church didn’t talk much during the 3 hour, 39 song setlist, he gave the fans a concert experience they won’t forget about.
For more on Eric Church, click here
For photos from the Eric Church show at Allstate Arena, click here
Setlist, Eric Church live at Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL April 13, 2017
16. Ain’t Killed Me Yet
17. Guys Like Me
18. Lotta Boo Left To Fill
19. Record Year
21. Chattanooga Lucy
22. Tow Pink Lines
23. Like a Wrecking Ball
24. Sweet Home Chicago
25. Bille and a .44
26. Country Music Jesus
27. Give Me Back My Hometown
28. Jack Daniels
29. Before She Does
30. Mixed Drinks About Feelings
32. Three Year Old
33. These Boots
35. Holdin’ My Own
36. Sinners Like Me
37. Those I’ve Loved
38. Like Jesus Does
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