Amid all the hoopla surrounding this past Sunday’s Grammy Awards, there were several key moments for me, one of which was Miranda Lambert’s sassy performance of “Little Red Wagon.”
She claims she gets highly nervous before she sings and was happy she was on early so she could have a calming cocktail afterward, but the way she owned the stage, I didn’t notice. And I never get tired of seeing the genuine support from her husband, Blake Shelton. He is content on the sidelines, and he is always grinning and singing right along with her.
But even above Miranda, I found myself mesmerized by Eric Church. The “Chief” was up for four awards (pity he didn’t win) and no doubt had his mind on his very pregnant wife, Katherine, due at any second with their second child. His delivery of “Give Me Back My Hometown” was bittersweet and fierce at the same time.
Eric Church’s music is tough and honest. He lives the country life, and his fans love him for it.
Now headlining his Outsiders Tour, Eric’s set to roll into Cincinnati on March 21 at U.S. Bank Arena. What to expect? The unexpected.
He recently gave his “choir members” (as his fans are known) a once in a lifetime performance. On Jan. 31 Eric went onstage in Salt Lake City for a show. No big deal, right? Well, it was Eric, and only Eric.
“If you’ve seen our show so far on this tour, you’re probably wondering what the hell is going on right now. Well, so am I,” he announced to the crowd. “Here’s the deal: Yesterday we had the stomach flu strike our band, our crew, everyone. We had no one to hang video, lights, nothing. But I’m still here. I’m still standing. We’ve talked about how every show on the Outsiders Tour is different. Well, tonight will be the most different one. There’s nobody left. It’s just me. I’m going to give you everything I got.” And that’s not all. He rescheduled the Salt Lake show for Memorial Day weekend with the full band, for free.
You might be thinking, “How hard can it be to put on a show?” From what Eric recently shared with “CBS This Morning,” it appears to take a small village to put on the Outsiders. More than a 100 crew members work 18 hour days to handle the 170 tons of equipment used for the two-hour shows, all hauled around in 14 trucks (known as the “truck circus”) and eight buses.
The price tag to run this isn’t cheap. It costs $19 million dollars to run the tour for nine months. His management team broke it down for CBS: The stage is $3 million, trucks and buses are $3.9 million and lights, video and audio run $2.5 million.
And of course, salaries: $2 million to the crew members. But as evidenced by Eric’s Salt Lake solo show, it’s worth it. “Those guys, they’re my family,” he told CBS. “They would have my back in any situation, and I would have theirs.”
And from Eric Church, that’s a big “Amen.”
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Nancy Wilson is a morning radio personality for K99.1-FM.