From playing any show, any venue, to anyone who will listen is pretty much how it goes when you’re beginning your career. Only few actually succeed in an industry now that requires you to not only be unique, but original and have a voice that resonates with a group of people. It’s something special when you can connect with an entire region of the country let alone having fans all over the world.
In, what now seems like a short three years Tyler Childers has gone from playing eastern Kentucky and West Virginia fair grounds and small bar rooms to becoming arguably one of the biggest stars in Country music.
He’s opened for acts like Willie Nelson, Jack White, and the legendary John Prine to name a few. He’s played some of the biggest festivals main stages, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, and Bonnaroo even allowing him to curate a section of last year’s festival.
The reason this is so important here in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is because you can find anyone, at his week-long run here and ask them, “when was the first time you saw Tyler Childers?”
The question will almost certainly garner a response of a time when that person had seen Tyler Childers at an intimate show in Cincinnati, Lexington, or Huntington or any small town in-between. They’ll talk about that first show like he was their friend they were so proud of; they’ll maybe even have a fun drinking story with Tyler after that show.
The reason that is, is because that’s actually who Tyler is, he writes songs that deeply connect to people whether you’re from New Zealand or Lawrence county Kentucky. He addresses his audiences like he’s shocked to see they are still coming out, his humble upbringings from eastern Kentucky wouldn’t allow for an arrogant stage presence.
He is real, often un-phased by fame and what it has to offer, and so deeply connected to his Appalachian roots that it makes him that much more likeable to someone who may not share the same story but is willing to hear his.
Wednesday, night Childers played his second night of three sold shows at the Madison Theater in Covington, Kentucky. Tickets for the originally planned two nights, sold out in under 45 minutes, which would lead to adding another night.
Now if that doesn’t show enough dedication to some of your earliest fans, Childers even addressed issues with scalpers on other ticket sites trying to upcharge his tickets to nearly $200 a piece. Tweeting “There’s just a special place in Hell for Scalpers in general… Let those fuckers eat their investment. Don’t buy scalped.”
As he took the stage Wednesday night, Childers was introduced by a packed and rowdy crowd. It seemed as though the Madison Theater was really pushing its limits with what a sold-out show looks like there. It was nearly impossible to move, once again proving that Childers may have had his last show at a small theatre eventually graduating to arena size venues.
The thing that may be the most impressive about this three-day run for Childers could be his ability to keep crowds guessing. For such a young artist with a limited recorded catalogue he and his band have a number of crowd favorites that they can interchange with.
Songs like ‘Messed Up Kid’ that he played Monday night or ‘Redneck Romeo’ have become these unrecorded favorites that you can only hear at his shows. A personal favorite of mine from any Childers show is always his renditions of ‘Trudy’ by Charlie Daniels Band or ‘I Got Stoned and I Missed,’ by Shel Silverstein. Both of which he’s played this week and each song has a way of getting any crowd going.
Childers and company have grown into a sort of renaissance band that tours constantly and continues to challenge themselves. With growing popularity comes bigger venues and this band continues to rise to the occasion.
A three-day run is nothing to down play, they require stamina and the ability to continue to change and surprise those in the crowd who go to each one of those shows. It is an impressive feat and yet not surprising, this is just something we’ve become used to with Childers, his ability to stay true to both himself and his fans is what keep the crowds and venues growing.
Childers will finish off his run at the Madison Theater tonight for once again another sold out show.