Saturday night the Eli Young Band light up 4th Street, in Louisville Kentucky at the Mercury Ballroom. Having sold out venues all across the world they had yet another packed house in the Ballroom with fans toughing out the cold to enjoy a night of great country music.
Mike Eli founded the band in 2000 with guitarist James Young, bassist Jon Jones, and drummer Chris Thompson during their time at the University of North Texas. The Eli Young Band has had overwhelming success with having three singles go number 1 (“Crazy Girl”, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”, and “Drunk Last Night” which has given them platinum, multi- platinum certifications; Grammy and CMA nominations. The band also came away with ACM award for “Song of the Year” with “Crazy Girl”.
Opening on tour with Eli Young Band is country new comer Levi Hummon. Bringing the crowd to life playing some of his own music and covers of some of country’s most popular songs Levi set the stage for what was looking to be a boot stomping, sing at the top of your lungs night.
The led background radiating towards the fans waiting eagerly for the headliners to take to the stage. The led background was of the Eli Young Band logo and then the lights begin to fade as the band takes to the stage one by one. They kick off the night performing songs from their most recent album “Fingerprints” with tracks like “Saltwater Gospel” one of my personal favorites for Mike Eli’s enthusiasm and strong vocals. Others include “Skin and Bones”, and the deep soul hitting “God Love the Rain”.
The voice of The Eli Young Band is reason alone to see them in concert but the stage presence was uncanny. The bass player Jon and guitarist James lighting up solos with Mike throwing his hands up serenading the crowd singing “Amen” at the end of “Saltwater Gospel” to running and jumping around the stage. Mike has a way to sing a song and bring you into it like no other. His strong vocal range is something a lot of artist’s do not achieve and is a characteristic that puts the band on a list of performers that if given the chance I would see again.
Unexpectedly Mike starts the intro to “Come Together” powering through it as a cover that The Beatles would be proud to hear. Lasting for 5-7 minutes it was great to see such a solid country band that is talented in writing their own lyrics, multi-instrumental, and confident in their sound to pull of such a song that is as iconic as it is.
The Eli Young Band went on to perform some of their biggest hits like “Drunk Last Night”, and the always moving and motivating song “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”. “Guinevere” was also a huge hit with fans as they erupted at the first chord was stung. Looking around seeing all the hands in the air, everyone singing along word for word and seeing Mikes emotion on his face and in his actions as the crowd was singing right along was a rollercoaster ride for him it was easy to tell he loves his job and his band mates that have become family over the past ten plus years.
Did they play “Crazy Girl”, or “Dust”? Well we won’t give away the set list but we will suggest checking out The Eli Young Band when they are close, or make a trip out of it because they’re show is worth it. They leave it all on the stage for the fans and it’s a night full of funny moments. They interacted with fans all night long. It was fun watching Jon throwing picks for every fan who wanted one and seeing where they went. He had to have gone through 20-30 picks.
You can check them out on Bandsintown app and here at their website for more tour information and to order your copy of their latest album “Fingerprints”