Tonight is the 2019 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. While there are a bunch of different awards being given out, the most talked about award has to be that of Entertainer of the Year. Maybe it’s because the field is strong. Maybe it’s because last year there was not a single female nominated and this year, Carrie Underwood is nominated- deservingly so. She’s a rockstar. The other nominees are Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban. Frankly, I am surprised Thomas Rhett wasn’t at least nominated.
Now I don’t have a vote in these awards. But if I did, chances are I would have given my vote to Carrie Underwood. She balances family and a nonstop road life playing for thousands of fans every week. She also is the face of Sunday Night Football and so much more. Like I said before… rockstar.
But here’s the thing- I didn’t get to see Carrie’s show on her 2019 tour. But who did I see on tour this year? And pretty recently… Eric Church. Got to see his show at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH. This wasn’t my first time seeing the Chief live. I saw him a few years ago at the TD Garden when Chris Stapleton opened for him. But after seeing this show, I had no doubt in my mind. Eric Church is the freakin’ Entertainer of the Year.
This was a night of 3 hours of live music from Eric- BY HIMSELF. No opener. Sure, there was a 20 minute intermission in the middle. So 2 hours and 40 minutes. There was no grand pyrotechnics. Just Eric, his guitar and his phenomenal band. Hit after hit after hit being played. Fans singing back every word to him. He captivated the crowd as he made his rounds around his ‘O’ shaped stage, shaking hands, signing boots, even giving his glasses to a young fan in the crowd before making his way back to the stage through the crowd. How many artists out there can say they have played three hours of music by themselves with no opener? Not many. And this isn’t the first time he’s done this as he played solo on his Holdin’ My Own Tour.
While this second leg of the Double Down Tour was just one night in the respective cities, the first leg was 2 nights in each city including Boston, Philadelphia and Nashville among others. Each show being different- two separate and unique setlists. And the Nashville shows were at none other than Nissan Stadium. Yes, Eric Church sold out TWO shows in a football stadium BY HIMSELF.
So I apologize to the other nominees. Actually, I don’t. Y’all have arguments to deserve this award but for me, the Entertainer of the Year is Eric Church. He’s been nominated twice for this award, in 2015 and 2017. And didn’t win either time. It’s time for Eric Church to get the damn recognition he deserves.