• Ron RoXtar*

Eric Church Doubles Down In Toronto


March 8th and 9th Toronto, Ontario Scotiabank Arena


Double Down is the perfect name for this tour with its changing set lists and visuals. You have to give full credit to Eric Church for giving fans two nights of hearing pretty much most of the songs you would want to hear along with some surprises. Yes, we realize there is always something you might wish he would have played, but clocking in at least two hours and 45 minutes on an average night playing over 30 songs is way more than almost anyone else who is out on the road.


Let’s look at both nights in comparison. Night one the pre show opening background song was Electric Worry whereas on night two it was Led Zep’s When the Levee Breaks. Each

opening song for Eric himself were in stark contrast to each other. Night one Eric and band came out partying with a high energy That’s Damn Rock n Roll. Eric made full use of the front stage ramp that engulfed the many fans in the pit area. Night two Eric strolled out all by himself on the walkway and performed a subdued acoustic Drowning Man. Already being on the outside ramp Eric got the party going with Country Music Jesus into Cold One.

There are very few artists who can connect with an audience as close as Church can. Night one he sang an entire song to the right side stage giving those sections a centre stage experience. I have to say of all the show’s I’ve ever seen (and that’s a lot) I’ve never seen any artist autographing as many items as much as Church did on night one. A standard situation on any given night is during A Record year fans hold up mostly vinyls and Eric signs quite a lot.



Later on during These Boots was a second round of autographing but primarily on cowboy boots handed to him as he made his way around the ramp. Eric was even generous enough to take a boot thrown to him from the side stage seats in the reds.


While Eric regularly drinks from a cup holder on his mike stand the real drinking happened during Jack Daniels where Eric went back (under) stage and poured Jack Daniels into some red cups, handed them out to road crew and they all downed a gulp. On night two Eric came back onstage with a cup and traded off with a fan’s mickey from the front row.


The bonus about seeing Church on his only Canadian dates is we were treated both nights to some firsts. On night one Eric went Canadian by performing Neil Young’s Rockin’ in The Free World. He then kept it Canadian and country by performing an early Shania Twain hit No One Needs to Know. Night two was a first time ever performance of Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl and then a sing-a-long on The Band’s The Weight.



Toronto certainly got more originality than any other of the Mistress Named Music medleys

other cities have had… so far. Eric kept it mostly Canadian on both nights. Night one’s medley integrated Bryan Adam's Summer of 69, Neil Young's Heart of Gold a surprising Alanis Morisette Hand in my Pocket, but the biggest applause came when Church broke into Bobcaygeon from The Tragically Hip. In fact it just might have been the biggest applause of the night. It was the Mistress Named Music medley that ended night one.

Night two the medley was at the end of the first set and with completely different songs. Church kept it Canadian with Michael Buble’s Home, Bryan Adams Heaven, Neil Young’s Old Man, Tragically Hip’s Wheat Kings, The Band’s Up On Cripple Creek and of course Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. The non Canadian songs were Cryin’ from Roy Orbison, 1234 from Feist which seemed totally out of place.


While Eric was constantly using hand movements and body gestures to infuse his performance while he was at the centre stage microphone. When he did move around the stage or outside ramp he would have his guitar slung behind his back in true Springsteen fashion. When background vocalist, Joanna Cotten strutted her way to the stage front or on the pit ramp it all belonged to her. Church and Cotten worked the stage and trade-off lead vocals like a pair of country banshees.

The crowd connection couldn’t have been felt more than when Eric went into the left side crowd on the floor while singing his major hit Springsteen. On night two Eric went into the right side of the crowd. Again mixing things up between the two nights.

Check out the exclusive video footage from Eric Church covering The Weight from The Band in Toronto on Night two of the Double Down Tour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIdNcXpq704


If you’re wondering about seeing this tour on both nights when it comes to your town I would highly recommend it as you will certainly get two different shows.


Night One setlist

Electric Worry (preshow intro music)

That’s Damn Rock & Roll

Desperate Man

How ‘Bout You

Mr. Misunderstood

Cold One

Over When It’s Over

Round Here Buzz

Drink In My Hand

Carolina

Creepin’

Guys Like Me

Talladega

Hangin’ Around

The Outsiders

The Snake

Knives of New Orleans

Record Year

Monsters

Pledge Allegiance to the Hag

Jack Daniels

Higher Wire

Mixed Drinks About Feelings

Rockin’ in the Free World

No One Needs to Know

Smoke a Little Smoke

Like a Wrecking Ball

Some of It

Keep On

Give Me Back My Hometown

These Boots

Springsteen

Mistress Named Music / Sundown / Heart of Gold / It’s All Been Done / Bobcaygeon / Summer of ’69 / One Hand in my Pocket / Hey Jude / Mistress Named Music


Night Two setlist

When the Levee Breaks (preshow intro music)

Drowning Man

Contry Music Jesus

Cold One

Smoke a Little Smoke

Before She Does

Round Here Buzz

Creepin’

Hippie Radio

Chatanooga Lucy

Talladega

Lotta Boot Left To Fill

Homeboy

Drink In My Hand

Mistress named Music / Home / 1234 / Crying / Old Man / Wheat Kings / Up on Cripple Creek / Heaven / Halleluah

set 2

The Outsiders

Give Me Back My Hometown

Record Year

Desperate Man

Kill a Word Pledge Allegiance to the Hag

Some of It

Jack Daniels

Livin’ Part of Life

Higher Wire

Cinnamon Girl

The Weight

Mr. Misunderstood Hangin’ Around

Like a Wrecking Ball

Sinners Like Me

These Boots

Springsteen


I'd also like to give a special shout-out to the band playing with Eric Church. They were not introduced at all on either night and they deserve to be introduced every night.

Joanna Botten - vocals

Driver Williams – lead guitar, rhythm guitar

Jeff Cease – rhythm guitar, lead guitar

Jeff Hyde – acoustic guitar, banjo, background vocals

Lee Hendricks – bass guitar

Craig Wright – drums

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