Eric Church Preaches to His Choir During Double Down Tour Stop in Chicago
Only at an Eric Church concert can a boot in the air and a record cradled to your heart unite a sold out arena of thousands. But on a Saturday night (March 23) in Chicago, Church took that unity a step further.
"This is what this song is all about," the star told the crowd, jumping off the stage for "Springsteen." "It’s about forgetting all of the problems we’ve got in the world and everything that’s going on. It's about being in a moment and that moment being captured by music and it will live there forever. That’s what music is about. It’s about looking to the person to the left of you and the person to the right of you and knowing that we will remember tonight, forever."
Before this magical moment, Church launched this night of his Double Down Tour with "Drowning Man." An overly lit stage served as the perfect backdrop for "Country Music Jesus," "How ‘Bout You" and "Smoke a Little Smoke."
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"I'm not going to let up on the gas too much tonight, so y’all have to keep rocking,” he instructed before "Guys Like Me," "Round Here Buzz," "Creepin" and "Hippie Radio."
“There are songs that just mean the most to me,” Church remarked, "They are the musical time stamps of my life." “Chattanooga Lucy,” “Two Pink Lines" and "Lotta Boot Left to Fill” came next, followed by a punch to the gut with "Homeboy," "Drink in my Hand" and "Mistress Named Music."
From there, the ever-changing carousel of nightly covers began, as Church's weaved a seamless tribute to Huey Lewis and the News, Kenny Loggins, Dolly Parton, the Bee Gees.
After an intermission marked by a 20-minute countdown, Church was back with "Young and Wild,” "Talladega," “Record Year’ "Desperate Man," "Kill a Word," "Pledge Allegiance to the Hag" and "The Hard Way."
“Joe's Bar changed everything for us,” Church said, speaking of the famous venue just 15 miles from Chicago's Allstate Arena, where the North Carolina native played on this given night. "We would play one night for 20 people and then the next night we would go to Joe’s Bar and sell it out. Music always wins."
From there, he tore into “Jack Daniels” before heading down the backstage stairs to pour some shots to accompany him for “Drowning Man” and the Joanna Cotton masterpiece “Over When It’s Over."
More covers followed from music powerhouses Cheap Trick and the Beatles. “Too many people play music here (pointing to his head) and not here (pointing to his heart),” Church said. “Even if we completely screw this up, its going to be from right here (pounding his heart)."
By the end of the night, Church had racked up an impressive tally of over forty songs and countless laps around the stage. It was time for Church’s fans to exit their pews and walk out in the real world. But they were changed.
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