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HTX Rodeo 2014
Big Night at the Rodeo

Eli Young Band battles bad acoustics, honors military and poses for selfie in crazy concert

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Eli Young Band at Houston rodeo March 2014
The Eli Young gets into the music during their RodeoHouston performance. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Eli Young Band, flag, at Houston rodeo March 2014
It was Armed Forces Appreciation Day at the rodeo, so flags were flying high. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Mike Eli of Eli Young Band at Houston rodeo March 2014
Mike Eli bonds with the audience. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Eli Young Band at Houston rodeo March 2014
Eli Young Band overcame bad acoustics to give a rousing rodeo performance. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Military Appreciation Day Houston Rodeo Eli Young Band March 2014
Armed Services Appreciation Day at the rodeo drew a big crowd of military personnel. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Eli Young Band at Houston rodeo March 2014
Guitarist James Young and Mike Eli get down. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Eli Young Band at Houston rodeo March 2014
Eli Young Band, flag, at Houston rodeo March 2014
Mike Eli of Eli Young Band at Houston rodeo March 2014
Eli Young Band at Houston rodeo March 2014
Military Appreciation Day Houston Rodeo Eli Young Band March 2014
Eli Young Band at Houston rodeo March 2014

Men have been cursing the Eli Young Band for their hit song Crazy Girl back in 2011, for their not-so-subtle way of telling women everywhere that being crazy was more than just OK, they'd love us for it. It became the top country song that year and women (like myself) have been embracing the crazy ever since.

Although there may have been lots of crazy girls in the crowd of the 59,299 in attendance, the acoustics Wednesday night didn't leave fans with a whole lot to go crazy about. The craziest and most applaud-worthy part of the night came when lead singer Mike Eli introduced Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell just a few songs in.

 The craziest and most applaud-worthy part of the night came when Eli introduced none other than Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell just a few songs in. 

"If we're going to come back to the Houston Rodeo, Military Appreciation Night is the night to do it," Eli said before introducing the former Navy SEAL and author of the best-selling book that was recently made into a hit movie. "That's an American hero right there and it's an honor to share the stage with him tonight," he added as the Houston crowd rose to their feet to honor Luttrell in a way that Texas is known for.

Right off the bat, the acoustics were off, and the problem didn't seem to correct itself throughout the 12-song set. The first three songs had at least one portion where the mics or sound completely cut out, leaving fans to sing a few words on their own.

The fellas played their hearts out, jumping around and praising Houston along the way with a few obligatory and strategically placed "Houston, TX" reminders scattered throughout, but it was clear the acoustics were getting to them as well. During Always the Love Songs, Eli tripped up on his words, took a step back from the mic and just smiled at the crowd.

Subpar acoustics aside, he and the rest of the band had a lot to celebrate, having just released their third album, 10,000 Towns earlier that day. In honor of their new album, Eli announced that everyone in attendance could snag a copy for just $5, saying "we hope you dig it, so cheers," lifting up his commemorative cup.

The crowd got a little more into it and sang along during Drunk Last Night, followed by the band's own country tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was clear the guys were having fun on stage and really giving it all they had, which is really what the Houston Rodeo is all about.

 One male concert-goer didn't hesitate to stand up and snap a selfie with Eli serving as merely a prop in the background of his evening.  

The most priceless moment of the night (military honorees aside of course), was when the band took their act on the dirt and greeted fans in the front row. One male concert-goer didn't hesitate to stand up and snap a selfie with Eli serving as merely a prop in the background of his evening.

Color me jealous, because that was genius.

If this was your first time seeing EYB perform live, know this — they do have the vocals and talent to back up all the praise and are just as good as they sound on the radio. Here's hoping the acoustics get worked out over the next few weeks of rodeo concerts and that every entertainer puts in as much heart as these small town kids did.

It's clear EYB is a product of Texas, still receiving a huge applause from what was left of the audience at the end of the night.

Set List:

On My Way

10,000 Towns

Love Songs

Skeletons

Drunk Last Night

Gimme 3 Steps

Breaks Heart (fly)

Dust

When It Rains

Guinevere

Small Town Kid

Crazy Girl

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