Eric Church played two sold-out shows at Bridgestone Arena this weekend, closing out his Holdin’ My Own Tour’ to record-breaking attendance.
Church greeted the crowd with a marathon set list and nearly four hours of music, playing more than three dozen fan favorites and deep cuts alike in a fully immersive experience that includes an intermission and no opening act. Friday night, while performing the title track of his fifth studio album, Mr. Misunderstood, Church brought out now-15-year-old McKinley “Mickey” Smay, who appears on the album’s cover, to jam.
On Saturday, fans were shocked to learn about the death of Greg Allman, who was born in Nashville.
“It is with deep sadness we announce that Gregg Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia,” stated Allman’s website.
As Allman’s passing spread on Saturday, Church paid tribute at his concert that evening by singing “Midnight Rider.”
Church drew a new arena record of 18,996 fans Friday night, breaking February’s 18,514 set by Bon Jovi. That record broke Church’s previous Bridgestone mark of 18,411 set Jan. 10, 2015. Church set the mark using a 360-degree stage and audience configuration and despite canceling 2,214 tickets for the shows previously listed on the secondary market.
Church also opened a pop-up store in East Nashville (address: 218 South 11th Street) for the third consecutive year with a portion of the proceeds benefiting his and his wife Katherine’s non-profit Chief Cares foundation that serves more than 2.5 million people around the globe with charitable giving. For more information on Chief Cares Fund, visit www.ericchurch.com/chiefcares.