There and Back Again Tour
Emo’s in Austin, TX
March 12, 2022
A TED Talk, comedy show, and a concert all in one night? Sounds unreal but that’s exactly what it’s like seeing Eric Nam live.
The sold-out show at Emo’s Austin’s 1,200 capacity venue felt more like a get-together with friends.
Like many artists, Nam’s last tour was cut short by the pandemic, but Eric kept himself busy and provided a plethora of content for his fans (Nam Nation) from podcasts, YouTube videos, and even texting his fans.
However, nothing matches the energy of being face-to-face with an artist.
While the four-hour wait in line seemed like it’d never end, my friends and I met another fan who had VIP and was alone for the show. One of my favorite things about concerts is the people you meet so when she asked if she could join us it was no brainer! She joined us in the remainder of the wait, even standing by us at the show and joining in on our VIP photo with Eric at the end!
The opener for the tour was singer-songwriter, Audrey Mika. With songs like “Y U Gotta B Like That”, “Strangers”, and “Boys Ain’t Shit,” Mika created a build-up of excitement before Eric took the stage.
A recognizable whistle hook introduced Eric Nam to the crowd, his show kicking off with “Any Other Way,” a single from his album There And Back Again. From the beginning, Eric showed that his concert would be an interactive one, pointing the mic towards the audience, waving his hands back and forth, and encouraging the crowd to jump along with him.
Eric pushed the energy further with “Don’t Call Me,” a song from his 2018 album Honestly that had the audience singing and jumping along. Flanked on his sides by dancers Tristan Edpao and Pauler Lam, choreography was added to the upbeat track, bringing even more to the stage.
Nam prefaced his show as a “TEDTalk with musical intermissions” – a fact well known among Nam Nation. Eric interacted with the crowd, surveying who had been to his shows before or whose first concert it was. For first-time concertgoers, Eric joked that every concert after his would just be “downhill” drawing laughter from everyone.
With the quick questions of “Y’all ready to sing? Y’all ready to dance?” followed by enthusiastic cheers, Eric went into his pop-ballad “What If” to slow down the pace for a moment before rearing it right back up with There and Back Again’s lead single “Lost On Me.”
Throughout the night, Eric sang fan favorites from “Honestly,” to “Paradise,” each one hyping the crowd up with jumping and singing. Nothing quite got the crowd as amplified as when he asked “Are you guys cold out there?” A resounding no sounded throughout the crowd (it was hot in that GA pit!) and Eric said “Good, because I’m going to throw some water on you guys,” before leading into the song “Echo” where water was thrown onto fans as everyone jumped and sang their hearts out while lights flashed behind Eric.
Eric kept true to his fan interactions and made sure to read the signs in the audience, joking about the ones he couldn’t read aloud. And an Eric concert wouldn’t be one without him going through the crowd and asking for birthdays. Chaos followed as Eric struggled to hear names through masks and the noise in the venue. One fan he named “Tina” after a couple of minutes of struggling to figure out her name. After singing happy birthday to the lucky fans, Nam even helped record a message to help a fan get a date. Donning cowboy hats with their names on them (Eric, Tristan, Pauler, and the band) courtesy of fans, the show continued with crowd favorites, “I’m Sexy You’re Sexy,” and “Say Something.”
With Eric’s show in Austin being his last on tour, Audrey Mika surprised him with a cake that said “step on me” a joke alluding to many of the signs at his shows. After almost dropping the cake, getting icing on himself, and scolding fans for asking him to lick it off (“I ain’t purelled my hands, I’m not doing that right now – that’s crazy!”) the show came to a close with “Congratulations.”
Although, fans weren’t easily fooled and after chanting his name for a couple of minutes he came back out to end the show with “Wildfire” and “I Don’t Know You Anymore.”
After the show, Eric’s VIP meet-and-greet took place, and once you rounded the corner he was right there waiting for the photo. Eric was so kind as he greeted us, asking how we liked the show and how we were doing. We were instructed to smile (under our masks) and two quick photos were taken. You could tell Eric didn’t want the experience to feel rushed, saying goodbye to each of us and letting us say whatever we wanted to him before leaving as he waved and flashed a couple of finger hearts.
Eric’s shows have a way of making you feel like you’ve been friends forever with the laid-back atmosphere and banter throughout the show.
Eric’s taking his tour to Europe next, you can find shows here.