Eric Church April 26, the Chelsea
It’s now taken for granted that dozens of acts playing Southern California’s annual Coachella music festival will schedule concurrent concerts in Vegas, but we never get the same spillover effect from Coachella’s country-music sister festival, Stagecoach. Judging from the turnout and crowd response for Stagecoach headliner Eric Church at the Chelsea on Saturday night (he played Stagecoach the night before), that might be changing. Church noted that the show was his only recent gig as a solo headliner, and he expressed his excitement throughout the nearly two-hour performance. “We’re going to try a setlist we’ve never tried, which is a really bad idea,” he promised after the first few songs, and during the encore he literally ripped his setlist in half as he extended the set beyond what was planned.
The sold-out Cosmopolitan crowd returned Church’s enthusiasm, singing along to hits like current single “Give Me Back My Hometown” and perennial favorite “Springsteen,” holding their boots up in the air during “These Boots” and taking drinks of the title beverage in “Jack Daniels.” With four guitarists (including Church) onstage, the sound got a little monotonous at times, especially during some extended instrumental passages, but it was all in service of Church and his band having a great time. Church’s brand of country is heavily influenced by classic rock (it’s no coincidence his biggest hit is titled “Springsteen”), and he conducted his show like a true rock star. Maybe next year he can convince some of his fellow Stagecoach performers to join him.