Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Eric Church makes SMC history

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Cape Girardeau is the second stop on Eric Church's Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour. - Submitted photo

One of the biggest crowds in the Show Me Center's history will fill the venue this weekend as Eric Church makes his debut performance.

Church, a Grammy-nominated country music artist, will make the second stop of his Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour Friday at the Show Me Center.

According to Show Me Center director David Ross, gross ticket sales for the concert already are the second largest in the Show Me Center's history, and the concert could become one of the venue's top 10 most-attended events.

As of Monday morning, Ross said only 15 tickets remained, meaning more than 6,800 tickets had been sold. A record 7,692 people watched Hulk Hogan perform with the World Wrestling Federation in 1988. Aerosmith sold 7,352 tickets that same year to make it the most-attended concert at the Show Me Center.

Ross said a crowd this size brings a positive atmosphere to the Show Me Center.

"We feel very fortunate with the crowd that we have, and we expect it will allow us to have more concert opportunities with artists in the future," Ross said.

The ticket sales may be a result of Church's career rise in the past year. The Academy of Country Music named Church its "Top New Solo Vocalist" in 2011, while last month he received a nomination for "Best Country Album" for the 54th annual Grammy awards that will take place in February. Church was also named iTunes' "2011 Country Breakthrough Artist of the Year," and NPR Music chose Church's new album, "Chief," as one of its Top 50 Albums of the Year.

The cover of Church's latest album entitled "Chief." - Submitted photo

"He's in full swing right now," Show Me Center marketing director Josh Hanlon said. "He's got a kind of momentum going for him."

With the release of "Chief" in July, Hanlon said he anticipates most of the concert will be performances from that album, including songs like "Homeboy" and "Drink in My Hand."

But, he also said Church might still include a variety of his older songs from his first two albums as well.

"Personally, I've purchased some of his music, and it's something that's good for everybody," Hanlon said.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. with performances by Brantley Gilbert and The Cadillac Black. Hanlon calls this a good lineup of "rising stars."

"I would not be surprised if Brantley Gilbert is headlining his own concert by the end of the year," Hanlon said.

Ross said that the audience will enjoy the high energy performance on Friday.

"It's just going to be a very vibrant crowd," he said.

Tickets can be purchased online at at the regular price of $34.75 plus a service/convenience fee. Ross said he recommends people without tickets continually check back at the ticket office up until show time to see if any tickets have been released by the band at the last minute.