Eric Church Plays Acoustic Arena Show After Crew Gets Stomach Flu
Saturday night saw Eric Church’s “The Outsiders” world tour make a stop in Salt Lake City at the EnergySolutions Arena, but an unexpected stomach virus sweeping through the band and crew had Church calling an audible, and performing the sold out show solo, completely acoustic, with some help here and there from the remnants of his band and crew who were still able to stand upright.
The stomach flu rendered Eric’s crew unable to fully set up the lights and other accoutrements for the show, as well as sidelining some key members of his band. But instead of cancelling the show—which is pretty standard protocol in these cases for a major arena performance—Church, who was one of the few who was spared by the stomach virus, soldiered on.
“If you’ve seen our show so far on this tour, you’re probably wondering what the hell is going on right now. Well, so am I,” Church said to the crowd. “Here’s the deal, yesterday we had the stomach flu strike our band, our crew, everyone. We had no one to hang video, lights, nothing. But I’m still here. I’m still standing. We’ve talked about how every show on the ‘Outsiders Tour’ is different. Well tonight, will be the most different one. Shit there’s nobody left, its just me. I’m going to give you everything I got. We have a couple band guys that feel okay to get up and down here.”
One of the reasons a big arena show like Eric’s would otherwise cancel is because of the price people pay for tickets, and the show they expect to receive. Though many of Church’s fans may appreciate an intimate acoustic performance, that’s not necessarily what they paid for. Church’s shows features an elaborate lighting setup, and even a big inflatable devil makes an appearance. But instead of skimping fans by just delivering an acoustic show, Church took it more as a bonus, and still scheduled a makeup show for the date of May 25th when he’ll return to Salt Lake and put on the show attendees expected.
“Here’s the deal – on Memorial Day we’re going to come back and play the full show. I’m not going anywhere, I’m here to play. Its gonna be crazy,” Church said to the crowd. Guitar players Jeff Hyde, Jeff Cease and Driver Williams joined Eric for a few songs, as did Lzzy Hale of the rock band Halestorm for an acoustic version of the song “That’s Damn Rock and Roll.” Halestorm opened the show with a 45-minute set, and apparently the sound crew was mostly spared from the stomach flu too. Church went around to the six different microphone positions on the stage to perform a total of 19 acoustic songs. Though it wasn’t the show the crowd expected, it probably will be a show even more memorable than the one they paid to see.
February 1, 2015 @ 11:14 am
Sometimes he really strikes me as a douche, then he goes and does something like this. Most modern radio country stars would’ve canceled for much less reasons.
February 1, 2015 @ 12:23 pm
Most modern country stars would not be able to handle the task of keeping an audience entertained without a band and a light show behind them.
February 1, 2015 @ 2:08 pm
They also don’t have the skill set or confidence to have just a guitar and a spotlight on them.
February 2, 2015 @ 9:09 pm
Funny you say that trigger, entertaining the crowd seems like a lost art.
Craig Cambell did a free show right next to my house at a bar in South Florida on the acoustic. While I appreciate the free show, he had no concept of entertaining. It is ironic because I didn’t know who he was but I was impressed because he has a great voice. However, he covered a bunch of pop songs and would ask the crowd to finish the lines, which would have worked except no one knew the lines. He could also never establish a rhythm. The songs weren’t fast enough to get people crazy and drinking, but he didn’t play any songs slow enough or with any meaning to dance to. He seemed to play a bunch of chill songs that really all sounded exactly the same and proved way too monotone. Most people ended up leaving early.
February 2, 2015 @ 3:14 pm
He’s definitely an enigma of sorts. This is a redeeming moment at least to some extent, but there’s a very good chance he’ll turn around and do something to piss me off next week.
The main thing that holds me back from really liking this guy is that he sings most of his songs like he has a dip in his mouth. Talladega was the first song of his that I actually understood the words to the first time I listened to it, so if that turns out to be a trend I could still end up liking him.
February 1, 2015 @ 11:43 am
Met Eric in 2007, and thought he was a damned stand-up guy. My roommate at the time met him a few weeks earlier, and said that away from the glamour and the cameras and all, he was extremely down to earth and humble.
Now, I don’t know how much of that has survived over the past 8 years, but stories like this show me that he’s still all about entertaining – and that’s what matters. He loves his fans, and wants to deliver on his promises.
Integrity. So many of my posts keep circling back to integrity.
February 1, 2015 @ 11:54 am
I saw him open up for George Strait this fall in Omaha. He did an acoustic show and it was really really good. I wasn’t a fan before that, but he win me over that night. He’s actually an artist. Unlike most people on the radio these days.
February 1, 2015 @ 11:58 am
I normally skip over any Eric Church articles, but this one is interesting. If I was a Church fan, I’d have been thrilled with the acoustic and rescheduled show. Props to Church!
I meet Church in 07, too! I can’t remember anything from our interaction except Gretchen Wilson (the headliner) appeared out of nowhere and was aggressively making love to a cigarette in front of me. I was distracted.
February 1, 2015 @ 12:05 pm
Wish I could’ve been to that one
I went to his show in New Orleans on Jan 8 and thought he was pretty good.
February 1, 2015 @ 12:14 pm
Whether people like him or not, nobody can deny this was a class act
February 1, 2015 @ 1:29 pm
!n 2012, Church was the headliner at the Taste of Country, an annual show put on by WYRK, the country station in Buffalo. It was raining and windy all night but the weather got even worse during Joe Nichols’ set. Church was supposed to go on after him but it was deemed unsafe due to the conditions. But people starting throwing things on stage and turning over folding chairs on the field instead of being understanding. Rumors were started about Church being too drunk to go on. He did schedule a make up show 2 months later. And he is coming to Buffalo on this tour when most of the country shows in the area come to Darien Lake which is a nightmare to get in and out of so I no longer go there.
February 1, 2015 @ 5:28 pm
I was there as well Dave. Those concerts are always filled with obnoxious drunks. Its the thing that infuriates me the most is people who don’t come for the music, they only come to get hammered. I agree with you Darien Lake is a hassle to get out of, thankfully I can skip a lot of shows coming there this year 🙂
February 1, 2015 @ 2:55 pm
I went to Countryfest in Manitoba about 9 years ago and Paul Brandt did the same thing. A mostly acoustic set on his own. I don’t remember why exactly, something about missing equipment. But it is the performance I remember most from Countryfest that year.
February 1, 2015 @ 3:00 pm
Saw him last month in Tupelo, MS. That man puts on a hell of a show. Will be seeing him again!
February 1, 2015 @ 3:05 pm
People will remember that long after they’ve forgotten all that fancy shit.
February 1, 2015 @ 4:15 pm
I’ve been as hard on Eric Church as anybody, but it’s hard to deny he’s got class. Most of these so-called “country” stars are really big not because of their talent, but because they’re pretty boys who are willing to do anything their superiors tell them to as long as they get money and fame. Church isn’t quite like that. I had a real negative opinion about him mainly because of his “outlaw” crap and his rock leanings. But he probably didn’t have much control over the outlaw merch and even if he did, I suppose he does have some of that outlaw stuff going on. It’s not as bad as if Luke Bryan did it lol! And really, what’s it matter if he likes rock even more than country? Rock originated from country a long time ago, and unlike country rap/R&B/EDM, country rock is still country when it’s done right. Some of his stuff on the Outsiders album sounds weird, but at least it’s different than these other guys. He did team up with Luke and Jason for that one song, but that was before they went completely pop I guess. He’s a confusing one that’s for sure. I’m not necessarily a fan of his, but I certainly like him a lot more than Luke Bryan, FGL, Jason Aldean, and whatever generic bro you can think of. We’ll see if any of them ever do an acoustic show!
February 1, 2015 @ 5:41 pm
February 1, 2015 @ 8:35 pm
I know he can be a douche and an egomaniac, but this was a really cool move. I think I’d really have enjoyed such a show.
February 1, 2015 @ 9:08 pm
I saw him a couple years ago and his show was flashy but he balanced that with an acoustic set where he gave his band a break. That part was just as enjoyable as the rest of the show. He definitely is an egomaniac and there are times where he is just downright annoying about it. But I firmly believe at his core he truly appreciates his fans and respects what he does.
February 1, 2015 @ 9:16 pm
I think it was a publicity stunt If I am honest
I am having a problem with it because HIS people released a statement, they posted about it on his fb page and official website. If it was something he did and the fans posted about it, and the fans comments and tweets made the blogs talk about it…that would be different, but having him do this right after he wasn’t nominated for entertainer of the year…having him announce look what he did and his team release a press article explaining everything…I didnt see one tweet or comment on the show before then.
I don’t buy it.
February 1, 2015 @ 9:38 pm
No doubt that whatever marketing or publicity firm that represents Eric Church took this story as a big opportunity and somewhat shamelessly self-promoted it instead of letting social network and journalists do their jobs, but I’m not sure if in the end it takes away from the deed itself. The fact that the majority of the info on this was coming from Church’s camp made me very wary of this info when I first read it, and no doubt public perception weighed into Church’s decision to play the show like he did. But in the end, the story is legit, it’s probably going to cost Eric Church. Inc. a lot of money to come back out to Salt Lake, and this still was a better outcome for all involved compared to a canceled show.
February 1, 2015 @ 10:50 pm
I don’t like The Outsiders very much, and have been disappointed in him since he took his Rock side and all but eradicated his Country side on that album, but it’s time for real country fans to at least admit that if there is one awesome huge “country” star right now, it’s Eric Church. The guy is a class act, is more often than not articulate and informed when he gives interviews (really, the rotten comments are few and far between), and is a hell of singer, songwriter, guitarist, performer, etc, etc.
It’s time for most people to get off the hate wagon and just take the small amount of bad that comes with the great. Eric Church’s best music will transcend time–it’ll be on the oldies stations in 20 years while artists like Luke Bryan, FGL, etc. will all be forgotten.
February 16, 2015 @ 10:04 am
I have always liked Eric Church. Even though some people asked me why because they didn’t think he was all that talented. I think he is great, he seems like he acts differently than most major acts in country today. Oh and on a side note, I dislike Fgl immensely, I ddon’t think they can sing, and their music sucks.
February 2, 2015 @ 9:10 am
The previous night, in Boise, their bass player had to run
offstage to get sick and didn’t come back.
Are you such an Eric Church hater that you honestly
jump to the conclusion that everything he does must
be some concocted, elaborate scheme for publicity?
February 2, 2015 @ 9:12 am
In addition, Kenny, his people post about his shows
every day nearly. Why would they exclude posting
about this show? You’re cynicism is over the top.
February 2, 2015 @ 12:14 pm
Still don’t know why he has a recording contract.
February 3, 2015 @ 11:32 am
Oh, come on. Hate him all you want but you can’t deny that he’s immensely talented.
February 3, 2015 @ 7:09 pm
February 6, 2015 @ 2:08 pm
What I’ve always seen in Eric Church is the potential to be awesome, if not always fulfilling that potential. This goes a long way towards doing that. This guy’s a musician at heart and that counts more than anything with me.
February 12, 2015 @ 1:07 pm
Makes me wonder who else that we here on the radio has:
1. The volume of songs that can be stripped down to an acoustic level and still translate.
2. The chops as a guitar player to keep a guitar in tune, on time, while remembering all the chord and key changes.
3. The skill as an entertainer to keep 10,000 or so people (or however many were there) in a performance without lights, smoke, or big productions.
No, seriously, tell me. Cause I can’t think of anyone. Ok one, Dierks Bentley would probably do it. I thought Eric Church was awesome in 07 when he was up and coming. When he blew up and got his Outlaw persona I fell off the bandwagon. He did, more than some I think, pay his dues though, and knows how to play and sing his songs.
Goes to show how different the big Nashville scene is. I’ve heard of Uncle Lucius playing through a power outage by switching to acoustic instruments. The Departed playing acoustic because there wasn’t enough room for all their gear. American Aquarium playing with just a BJ and one guitar player because all their shit got stolen. It’s good to see one of the hot shots with a “the show must go on” mentality.
February 21, 2015 @ 8:18 am
I’m a Church fan. He has captivated me for quite some time. You need a bit of confidence maybe a lil more than that to be as successful as he has. I Think he may come across the wrong way to some. The couple times he puts his foot in his mouth he gets beat up on. But he writes, plays, and sings with heart. He has respect for the greats of the past.. Me and the wife listened to all the YouTube clips one night hanging out. It was awesome even with crappy phone recordings. I’ve read some of the stories from the people there and he blew them away. Can’t wait till the next church show