Eric Church first 2012 Riverbend headliner to be announced

Eric Church first 2012 Riverbend headliner to be announced

November 10th, 2011 by Barry Courter in Life Entertainment

Eric Church, nominated for New Artist of the Year at the CMAs, is the first announced headliner for Riverbend.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Rising country music star Eric Church will headline opening night, June 8, at the 2012 Riverbend Festival, according to Executive Director Chip Baker.

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen will play the following night on the Unum Stage, Baker said. The two are the first two Riverbend acts to be announced for the event, June 8-16.

Admission pins will cost a little more next year, going up $2 a piece, Baker said. "It's the first time in three years they have gone up," he noted.

Advance pin sales for businesses and groups who order 100 or more begin Monday, according to Karen Shostak, director of sales. Through March 30, these pins will cost $26. Individual pins will cost $32 and will be $45 during the nine-day festival held along the 21st Century Waterfront.

Church was a candidate for New Artist of the Year at last night's Country Music Awards show in Las Vegas. He was up against The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Thompson Square and Chris Young.

Church is hardly new, however, having released his first CD, "Sinners Like Me," in 2006. His second, "Carolina" came out in 2009.

He received his CMA nomination for "Chief," which contained the single "Homeboy."

Commander Cody was formed in 1967 and fronted by George Frayne. The group is perhaps best known for "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (The Cigarette)" and "Hot Rod Lincoln," which features the opening line "My pappy said, 'Son you're gonna drive me to drinkin' if you don't stop drivin' that hot rod Lincoln'." Both became instant classics and showed off the bands country, blues and rockabilly sounds.

They also earned near legendary status for their marathon live shows.

"This show will have most of the original members and should be a good one," said talent and production coordinator Joe "Dixie" Fuller.