Eli Young Band Started at a Garth Brooks Show

Mike Eli's Mother's Intuition Was Right

I was lucky enough to see Eli Young Band play a little private show outside of Chicago earlier this month. And it was the kind of show where you could hear every word of every story the band was telling.

Like the one frontman Mike Eli told about what happened to him the first time he saw Garth Brooks in concert.

“My parents brought me to several Garth Brooks concerts when I was a kid,” Eli told the crowd. “The first one, though, that was the night I came home and told my parents that that was what I wanted to do with my life. You can imagine I had two very different reactions. Mom told me, ’Son, you go out there and you follow your dreams. If anybody can do it, you can.'”

Sounds about right. He added, “That’s what moms are supposed to say, right?”

Eli’s dad, though, was not exactly on the same page.

“Dad had something completely different to say. He said, ’Son. The last ten years of your life I’ve been working three jobs for you to have an opportunity to go to college and just do something with your life. I promise to the good Lord right here, right now, that if you do not go to college, I will kick your ass.'”

Eli took his dad’s advice and headed to University of North Texas. But then he met James Young, Jon Jones, and Chris Thompson. And his mom’s follow-your-dreams words stuck with him.

“Within the first week, I met these guys, and started a band,” Eli said. “So this song’s for all you dreamers out there.”

Then they played their 2012 hit, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” which I’m sure made both of Eli’s parents proud.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.