Arts, Off Campus

Tyler Childers Charms Boston Calling’s Night Two Audience

A blue pickup truck traverses the Bluegrass Parkway, passing several Kentucky staples, like Dee’s Drive Inn restaurant, along the way. 

As Tyler Childers opened his Boston Calling set on Saturday, night two of the festival, with “Whitehouse Road,” the visuals displayed behind him transported the audience to the roads Childers grew up driving on. The truck’s drive along Kentucky freeways paired nicely with the opening track, which spoke to the people and places that ground Childers.

But the truck’s journey quickly took a funky turn. The Appalachian Mountains in the background turned to starry skies as the truck made its way into outer space, flying past aliens and giant disco balls.  

This eclectic opening set the tone for the rest of Childers’ 20-song set. Childers’ performance was passionately rooted in his country upbringing, but his witty commentary kept the crowd laughing in between songs.

Early on in his performance, Childers made a joke surrounding the festival’s name, before candidly explaining that he had planned the joke before the show. 

“Boston Calling. ‘Hello, hello, who’s there?’ ‘It’s Boston!’” Childers said. “I thought it was funny, I said earlier, ‘I’m gonna say that when we’re on the stage, that’ll be funny.’”

After the opening song, Childers sang “Country Squire,” an upbeat tune and the title track of his third studio album—a fact Childers joked about once the song ended. 

“That last one was called ‘Country Squire,’” Childers said. “It is the title track off the album called Country Squire. That’s why it’s called the title track.”

Childers’ gravelly voice carried the next two songs, “I Swear (To God)” and a cover of “Trudy” by The Charlie Daniels Band. Without moving around much, Childers still commanded the audience with his preacher-like presence.

Childers brought the most energy to the following song, “Rustin’ In The Rain.” He embraced more movement than before, beating on his chest and grasping the air in front of him as he sang.

Next, Childers transitioned to “Shake the Frost,” contrasting with the previous track. 

“That’s a song about making love,” Childers said. “This is a love song.”

A vulnerable outcry of love, “Shake the Frost” left the audience swaying back and forth as they sang along. 

“You remind me of a Sunday / Back home in ole Kentucky / With the church choirs just beltin’ to the pines / And I love you like the mountains / Love’s the way the mornin’ opens / To a soft and bright greetin’ from the sun,” Childers sang.

From there, Childers performed “All Your’n,” another “love song” of his, which he introduced as a song he wrote for his wife. 

“All Your’n,” Childers’ most popular song, brought the crowd’s energy to its highest point, as audience members loudly sang along with the soulful tune. 

“So I’ll love ya ’til my lungs give out / I ain’t lying / I’m all your’n, and you’re all mine,” Childers sang. 

The rest of Childer’s set cycled through songs from several of his albums. During “Purgatory,” Childers showcased his impressive fiddle-playing skills. Throughout the night, the consistent fiddle and pedal steel guitar sounds brought a folksy feel to the country set.

Childers closed his Boston Calling performance with “Lady May,” an acoustic, heartfelt song about loving someone. 

Despite not performing a few fan favorites, including “Feathered Indians” and “Charleston Girl,” Childers still delivered a compelling performance, carried by his unique, rough-yet-smooth voice. His consistent, lighthearted commentary kept spirits high as he jumped from track to track. 

“I hope you heard some songs you like, some songs you didn’t know, some that maybe you didn’t like,” Childers said as the set ended. “Maybe you’re like, ‘Y’know, it ain’t nearly as bad as I thought it was the last time I heard it.’”

May 29, 2024

Leave a Reply