Concert Review: Brett Eldredge Brings The ‘Beat of the Music’ to Boca Raton
Longtime fans of country music maven Brett Eldredge have waited nearly three years for him to return to South Florida; he last played the area in October 2018. The country star’s performance on Friday night, October 1, wasn’t just another concert but also a welcoming back from country music-starved fans who packed the Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton and showed support for the Illinois native.
Opening the night was accomplished Australian singer/songwriter Morgan Evans, who set the pace for the night by getting the capacity crowd on their feet singing along to a curated selection of hits including fan-favorite tunes “Kiss Somebody” and “Day Drunk.” The always-smiling barefoot performer wandered about the stage, guitar in hand, delivering an inspired set. Clearly, he was glad to be there performing for a crowd that gave him a warm reception. Indeed, Evans gave a very expressive performance, showing outstanding technique and virtuosity.
With the crowd now primed and pumped, it was Eldredge who appeared to be a relaxed, casual, kicked back, and have-fun performer whose audience showed up, some looking country-cute and others over the top in western wear like they just stepped off a horse, not quite the norm for South Florida. The beer was cold, and there was plenty of it; fans came for a good time, and there was a buzz in the air as the crowd settled into their seats on the warm, humid night. However, in the midst of a pandemic, not a mask in sight. No vaccine card or negative test required; indeed, very 2019.
At exactly 9:05, Eldredge’s band came out and took their spots on stage. With the players in place, the band fired up their instruments, first the drums and then the guitars. That’s when Eldredge, 35, casually strolled onto the stage to enthusiastic applause from the sold-out, highly-charged crowd. The charismatic singer wasted no time and immediately got into “Where the Heart Is” from his latest album, Sunday Drive (2020).
Eldredge, dressed in his usual attire — t-shirt and jeans, with his acoustic guitar hanging at his waist — strummed through the catalog of his very best. Indeed, while Eldredge used the show to look ahead, he also presented a few past highlights to remind the crowd why he’s held in such high esteem with those who love well-crafted songs. Next, Eldredge performed 2013’s “Don’t Ya,” taking full advantage of the natural acoustics in the Mizner Park Amphitheater by stepping to the edge of the stage to sing just a few steps from the front row, engaging his audience up close and personally. The crowd, now hooked and feeling it, joined in and sang along nearly word-for-word to every song for the rest of the night. He followed up with “Gabrielle” from Sunday Drive (2020), then followed with a medley of his very best tunes including “Love Someone,” “Cinnamon,” “Drunk on Your Love,” “The Long Way,” “Crowd My Mind,” “Good Day,” “Mean to Me,” and “The Reason / My Girl.”
He performed his most successful charting song to date, “Lose My Mind,” with evocative backing from the band and offered emotionally charged song “Fire” with plenty of passion and great harmony vocals. The band got into it in a celebratory “Wanna Be That Song” that became a crowd sing-along to end the night. As they wrapped up the night, the crowd demanded more; after all they endured a pandemic and several years of waiting since his last show. Everyone knew it wasn’t over; they cheered and whistled; they needed one more song. After nearly two hours of his amazing set, Eldredge obliged and closed out the night with fan-favorite “Beat of the Music.”
Indeed, by drawing on his life and experiences and through dedication to his craft, making every word and every note count, Eldredge showed how true stories, well told, can make us all view our lives more deeply—and live them with more sensitivity and feeling.
Tour: Good Day Tour
Setlist: Where the Heart Is, Don’t Ya, Gabrielle, Love Someone, Cinnamon, Drunk on Your Love, The Long Way, Crowd My Mind, Good Day, Mean to Me, The Reason / My Girl, Lose My Mind, Fire, Wanna Be That Song Encore: Beat of the Music