Out of all of the area country shows, this summer concert is by far one of my favorites.
Since its inception back in 2005, with the exception of a few, I’ve attended the majority of the downstate “Concerts for a Cause” and since the crowd seems to get bigger-and-bigger each year, obviously, I’m not alone. What seems to draw fans to this rural, one-day country festival is the quality of the country acts booked.
Every year, I always look forward to their announcement of the lineup and thanks to main sponsors and promoter Lou’s LaGrotto, co-owner Merry Noonen and the local country radio station 96.5 The Wolf, this year was no exception. With the anticipated larger crowd, the concert moved to the nearby airport grounds in Peru, Ill. The first move since they began producing the show at the Cedar Point Sportsman Club.
Looking back, in the beginning of the year, when the organizers announced Eric Church and Trace Adkins would be taking the stage on June 25, there current radio singles were “Just Fishing”(Adkins) and “Homeboy” (Church). To singles that quickly became favorites of mine.
But more importantly, the show.
When Eric Church entered the stage, the crowd went wild. Playing all his well know singles including his debut “How ‘bout You”, his rocking attitude pleased his always rowdy crowd. He continued with his hit singles like “Hell on the Heart” and managed to add a little Illinois quip to his songs.
There’s no doubt the crowd that night mimic the meaning of a few of Church’s songs including “Sinners” and “Guys Like Me”. It wasn’t all rockin’ songs, the audience took a well-deserved break from rocking it out, when Church slowed the pace down a little.
Church’s hit single “Carolina” and his conjured tribute to Merle Haggard, “Pledge of Allegiance to the Hag” always gets his fans, known as “The Church Choir”, roaring with approval.
Following up with “Love Your Love the Most”, in which he sings about a particular love interest, you can tell that his fans the “Church Choir” are something Church really seems to loves the most.
Church closed out his portion of the show, both in song and a drink, with his recent radio hit “Smoke a little Smoke”.
After a brief intermission country music star, Trace Adkins to the stage “rough and ready” style and apparently with his “Game On”. Known as an artist that doesn’t need to jump around or have a lot of bells and whistles to garner fans attention, Adkins makes it clear he’s lookin’ for his “Hot Mamas” and those “Lady’s Love Country Boys”. And his lady fans appear to approve when Adkins drops those low notes.
He opened with “Whip A Man’s Ass” and then switched to a quick adaptation of “Hillbilly Bone”. The duet single he shared with Blake Shelton.
It’s Adkins songs about guys chasing woman that have become so popular. Aimed at the men in the crowd, Adkins went on with “Swing” a song about men trying so hard with the ladies and striking out. But Adkins offers a solution for those who seem to strike out too often. The perfect segues onto another hit song of his, “Marry For Money”.
Although Adkins has his share of songs about girls and cars, he can slow it down a bit, as he did with “Your Gonna Miss This” and a reminder to enjoy your time with family.