Concert Review: The Best Country Show of 2012
On Friday, November 9, HP Pavilion hosted what is likely to go down as the Bay Area’s best country show of 2012. An incredible line-up of three of the most popular country stars of the year – Kip Moore, Justin Moore, and Eric Church – gave an incredible performance, and star-struck fans had the opportunity to meet one of their favorite singers after the show.
Kip Moore opened the show with one of his classic hits, “Crazy One More Time.” Though there were only 6,500 people attending the concert in a stadium that seats 13,000 (a relatively low turnout for HP Pavilion), you would never have known from the deafening roar of cheers after each of his songs. Two of Kip’s biggest hits, “Somethin’ Bout a Truck” and “Beer Money,” were performed with tireless energy, and the audience sang along at every line.
After Kip’s set, he announced, “San Jose, you have been so good to me that I will sign something for every single audience member here after the show.” Ecstatic fans went crazy after this promise, and Justin Moore took the stage for his set almost immediately after.
Justin Moore’s hit of the night was “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.” He told the crowd the history behind the song – that it was written in memory of his grandfather, after he passed away – and asked every single person to hold up their cell phones. The lights went out, and only lighters, flashlights, and a spotlight shone in the darkness for the duration of this beautiful song.
Eric Church came out strong for his performance, opening with “Country Music Jesus.” Walking out from underneath the stage amidst a cloud of smoke and flashing lights, the curtain that had remained down during both of Moores’ performances dropped to reveal a full band, and boxes of fire around the stage that periodically burst into flames.
“This is going to be an incredible night…I promise you I will live up to that.” And live up to it he did. Church performed for nearly two hours, never compromising his tireless energy and powerful voice. One of the best parts of the concert was when Church was alone on stage, as he told the audience that it was important for him to return to how he started his music career, “just myself and the audience.”
After his time performing alone, Church finished the concert with some of his top hits. These included “Drink In My Hand,” “Creepin’,” “Homeboy,” and “Smoke.” The overpowering cheers from the audience – which never paused for even a moment during Church’s set, grew louder as he left the stage and thanked the audience. However, Church returned to answer the call for an encore, performing his most popular hit, “Springsteen.”
After the concert, an endless line swung around HP Pavilion as exhilarated fans waited their turn to meet Kip Moore. This was a huge showcase of Kip’s character, as he willingly volunteered to stand for hours smiling, talking, and signing autographs for his awe-inspired fans, in order to make their dream of meeting him come true.
Overall, the concert was a complete success. Excellent stage effects – multi-colored lights, clouds of smoke, and flames – added to the unwavering energy and incredible talent of each of the country performers. The smiling faces of all audience members leaving HP Pavilion said it all: this was truly the best country concert of the year.