RodeoHouston kicks off its 2015 season with a first-time entertainer whose appearance says as much about the changing times as it does his hosts' unending need to stay in tune with what's hot. Once all but blacklisted by radio programmers for a hell-raising attitude that sometimes spilled over into his lifestyle, Eric Church now sits at the very top of Nashville's A list thanks to The Outsiders.
One of only two country albums released in 2014 to go platinum -- and the furthest thing from some focus-grouped album-by-committee stitched together in some big-label boardroom -- Outsiders is instantly recognizable as the work of an artist with an axe to grind who is firing on all cylinders, from No. 1 single "Talladega" and eight-minute stream-of-consciousness rant "Devil, Devil (Princess of Darkness)" on down. (Concert begins after rodeo is over.)