December 17th, 2013
By Tammy Vega
Brett Eldredge played the last US99.5 Live Country Show series at Joe’s On Weed St. Tuesday night and I was lucky enough to score some tickets for the station’s last show of the year. You aren’t able to buy tickets to these shows – the only way you could attend was by either winning tickets through the station or from one of the sponsors which included: Coors Light, Blue Chip Casino, Allstate, Seattle Sutton and F.Y.E. The fact that tickets weren’t available to just anyone gave Joe’s Bar a really cool vibe that evening. You knew that many of Brett’s fans tried their absolute hardest to be at his show that night. Whether it was waking up at 6 am and hoping to be the 99th caller on the radio or by knowing someone who knew someone who knew someone else and bugging them 24/7 to try to help you get in!
I loved the intimate setting that this show had – it’s really something else to be able to watch an up-and-coming performer play an acoustic set; it lets their talent truly shine. Brett Eldredge had no problem connecting to his audience from the moment he walked onto the stage. He has this charming vibe that makes you feel like you’ve known him all your life – that guy next door type of feeling.
Waving and flashing the crowd with that inviting smile of his, he grabbed his guitar, sat in between his guitarist, Jesse, and drummer, Nick, and went right into singing a melody of 2 Pac’s “California Love”. Only tonight, he changed the original lyric of “California” to “Chicago.” Following the mini-intro, Brett went right into “Tell Me Where To Park”. If you’ve had the chance to listen to his “Bring You Back” album that was released in August via Atlantic Nashville you know how excited this song makes you feel the second you opens the album. It was a great choice to pick this song to start the show off. Even though this was an all-acoustic set, the night was just as alive and energetic as any other regular show.
Brett took the time to tell us about the stories behind every song he was performing, making the show feel very “storyteller” like. Throughout the set you were able to learn a lot about him and where he comes from – especially when he sang “Signs” which centers around his hometown of Paris, IL which is about 3 hours south of Chicago.
Brett mentioned how much he loved girls from the Midwest and how he always imagined singing “Mean to Me” to a special lady one day. As he sat up there and played to the crowd you could tell every girl in the crowd was imagining he was singing the song for them personally.
Halfway through the set a mini dispute began with a few girls standing next to me, but that wasn’t enough to draw my attention away from the incredible set that Brett was giving up on stage. Ladies, ladies, ladies be nice!
Avoiding the mini meltdown happening next to me, I listened and learned that “Bring You Back” was the only song on his album that he didn’t write. He explained that sometimes you come across a song that you really feel deep in your heart and this was one of the ones that he really wanted to record. When he sang this song you couldn’t help but feel that same feeling he talked about. He sang it with so much emotion you would think he wrote it himself.
Bringing the tempo back up a bit, Brett told the crowd that he really didn’t know if the next set of songs would work acoustically but to bear with him. Oh, they worked, alright! Brett had the whole crowd singing along to a variety of covers including: “Red Dirt Road,” “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde,” “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” “Hanging Around,” “Georgia On My Mind” and “Your Body Is A Wonderland.” I loved the fact that he threw in a John Mayer song – ever since the first time I heard Brett Eldredge’s voice I could tell he had a big John Mayer influence.
Brett made sure to get everyone in the Christmas spirit, being that it was only a week away. He threw on his Santa hat, drank whiskey out of a Christmas cup and walked all over the stage singing “All I Want For Christmas Is You”.
The show was coming to an end and everyone knew what song Brett was going to leave the night with. “Don’t Ya” is Brett’s current single that has been lighting up the charts all over the country. Recently gaining him the #1 spot on Billboard’s Country Radio Airplay Chart he graciously took a moment to thank US99.5 and his fans for their continued support and Joe’s Bar for providing him with some of the best times of his life.
I’m excited to see where Brett’s already successful career will take him. Lucky for me and his fans, he’s the kind of person who has no problem sharing details of his exciting life through social media (Follow him on Twitter and IG @BrettEldredge)! If this small, acoustic show was so encompassing, I can only imagine what it’s like to see Brett play on a regular night!