Concert Review: WPOC’s 2012 Sunday In The Country

This past Sunday, I went to the WPOC’s Sunday in the Country Concert. It was like I’d gone to work, but with louder music and prettier people. I spent 7 hours out at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md listening to Craig Campbell, Jana Kramer, Justin Moore, David Nail, Thompson Square and Eric Church.

Eric Church Performs at WPOCs 2012 Sunday in the Country Concert

Craig Campbell, who I’ve reviewed before some on this blog, came out as the opener. He’s best known for his lead-you-to-dirty thoughts ditty ‘Fish.’

The first time we did it, I was scared to death/
She snuck out in that cotton dress/
Jumped on in and we drove to the lake/
Put her hand on my knee and said I can’t wait/
I had everything we needed in the bed of my truck/
Turns out my baby loves to…

She wants to do it all the time/
Early in the morning, in the middle of the night

He was as good in person as he is on radio. He had a steady and even stage presence; walking around calmly and interacting some with those folks in the front row. He went through numerous songs of his including my favorite ‘When I Get it’

Jana Kramer, who I am less familiar with, came out second. She was very enthusiastic; running, jumping and dancing all over the stage. My favorite part of her show was when she did Cheryl Crow’s ‘All I Wanna Do.’

Justin Moore Performs at WPOC's 2012 Sunday in the Country ConcertJustin Moore came out with sunglasses on to belt out ‘Guns.’ After a few songs with glasses still on, he told us that he wasn’t trying to out-cool Eric Church, but, at a show the night previous, he got poked in the eye and couldn’t open his right. Moore commanded the stage with his presence; entertaining the crowd with his music and some sexy hip swivelin’ (and Moore’s a boy who’s hips deserved to be swiveled). He got us riled up even more with a sing along version of ‘I Can Kick Your Ass.’ The disappointment for me in his set was the absence of ‘Back That Thing Up’; my favorite of all the Moore tunes. I did like how he included ‘Small Town USA’ in the middle of his set. So many artists finish with the biggest hit at the end. This change-up in line-up helped to make his set fresh.

David Nail was, unfortunately, a downer after seeing Moore and Kramer. His music is great, but his placement after two high-energy artists was a mistake. He should have been placed closer to the beginning; before or right after Craig Campbell. Nail’s music fits more with Campbell’s style. The one highlight of Nail’s performance was when he did Adele’s ‘Sometime it Hurts Instead’, which Luke Bryan had done as well back at Jason Aldean’s concert in July. This goes to show the widespread appeal of Adele and her music and how country can be incorporate crossover well.

Thompson Square was good. Shawna Thompson came out in a very shiny bubble skirt, with a large belt around the waist and cat-eye makeup. She sure is a knockout. I had a hard time takin’ my eyes off her. It was an incredibly classy way to bring some high heel to country. I missed most of their set do to waiting in line for my food, but what I did catch was impressive; including, ‘Are You Going to Kiss Me Or Not’, which ended with the husband and wife duo kissing themselves. Shawna mentioned that she and Keifer had just celebrated their 13th anniversary. It was a bittersweet announcement; being made in a state that will be, shamefully, voting on gay marriage equality this coming November. Hopefully, we gays and lesbians will be able to make those same kind of announcements 13 years from January.

Eric Church Performs at WPOC's 2012 Sunday in the Country ConcertWhen Eric Church came out on stage, he started out quiet; playing his guitar slowly. Then, the curtain behind him dropped; revealing his band while Church went full tilt insane. Talk about energy. He was running all over the stage playin’ and screamin’ and a beating his chest like a guitar stummin’ Tarzan. Church told us at the beginning of his set that he was going to give us an experience like no other artist–something that I have heard every other artist who plays a live venue say, but Church made pretty good on his word. Aside from his off the wall energy, there were shooting flames coming up on stage and electric sparks falling down on it. A backdrop to the band changed frequently. This added some visual interest and keeping ya from getting tired of looking at the same thing for 90 minutes. Unfortunately, being a school night for me, I wasn’t able to stay for the full set, but from what I saw, Church is definitely a man who’d I’d go see in concert again.

Shout out to the folks of WPOC and Merriweather Post for putting together such an entertaining Sunday.

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