Eric Church's Friday night visit to the BMO Harris Bradley Center is teed up to be one of the best shows this year. And judging from the buzz, reviews and what I’m hearing from FM 106’s Kerry Wolfe about the country star's "Holdin’ My Own" tour, Milwaukee’s Friday night will rock with nearly 40 tunes and three-plus hours of music.
Like many performers, Church, 39, is his own man. He’s a mega-star for sure, but an "Outsider" still to many. He’s loves the stage, and you’ll be madly impressed if you see him on Friday.
Here are the four things I’m looking forward to the most.
1. "Kill a Word"
If there’s an anthem for the time, it’s this. It’s country music at its finest: preachy, a bit corny and simply wonderful.
2. Genre be gone
Country is America’s music, because it’s all types of music: gospel, blues, rock, pop, rap.
Country dominates because it’s authentic, honest and doesn’t take itself so seriously. It can, of course, be serious - like many rock artists. Indeed, you’ll likely hear multiple Church/Springsteen comparisons during the show. If you’re not a "country fan," use this show to bust your notion of what the genre is or isn’t. Music is music – and trust me, Eric Church will prove it.
3. "Three Year-Old"
Warning to my wife and the friends we’re going to the show with: I might weep a bit when I hear this tune live. How can you not love these lyrics?
You can be a cowboy on the moon
Dig to China with a spoon
Talk to Jesus on the phone
Say "I love you" all day long
And when you're wrong, you should just say so
I learned that from a three year old
4. The unexpected
The set lists for the tour have been somewhat consistent, but Church is infusing between five and eight different tunes for each stop. With his love of music – especially of Merle Haggard; Church’s "Pledge Allegiance to the Hag" features Haggard – and his own impressive catalog, I’m looking forward to the unexpected and some cool covers on Friday. Church said this at his Lincoln stop at Pinnacle Bank Arena in January:
"Here's the thing: We’re gonna play everything. I don't care how long the show may be, I still want you to give it to me the whole time," he said. "At the end of the night, either you're gonna drop or I'm gonna drop."
Bring it, Chief. Bring it. We can’t wait.
Eric Church plays the BMO Harris Bradley Center at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 14. It’s a two-set show, with no opener.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.