Eric Church Takes Stagecoach To Church… And Some Fans Walk Out

Getty Images for Stagecoach

Eric Church closed night one of California’s Stagecoach Festival in a unique way

Country fans from all over the country gathered in Indio, California, this past weekend for the Stagecoach Festival. The annual event drew an estimated 80,000 attendees and featured some of country music’s biggest stars, including Jelly Roll, Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson, Morgan Wallen, and more.

Country music superstar Eric Church had the privilege of closing the first night of the three-day festival on Friday, April 26th. His 90-minute performance was unexpected as he played a mostly acoustic set that involved a contrasting mix of soulful covers like “Hallelujah” and “Take Me to the River” juxtaposed with covers of 2Pac’s “California Love” and Snoop Dogg’s “Gin And Juice.”

The stage behind him was made to look like a church, complete with stained glass windows. The Chief was even accompanied by a 16-person choir, and it was not until the last few songs of the night that Church’s full band rose from below the stage to join him and close out the show.

Eric Church says it was the “most difficult” set he has ever performed

In a press release, Eric Church said:

“I’ve always been the one that’s like, ‘Let’s do something really, really strange and weird and take a chance.’ Sometimes it doesn’t work, but it’s okay if you’re living on that edge, because that edge, that cutting edge, is where all the new guys are going to gravitate to anyway. So if you can always challenge yourself that way, it always cuts sharper than any other edge.”


Eric Church’s performance leaves the crowd divided

Many Stagecoach attendees were caught off guard when Church began his set with primarily gospel songs instead of his hit songs that fans know and love. The experimental choice left concertgoers divided, with some calling the performance “iconic” and others becoming so dissatisfied that they walked out of the show.

Videos of the festival crowd clearing during Eric Church’s set were shared online.

Other posts were made defending the musician.

Eventually, Church did play some of his most well-known songs including “Springsteen”. See a clip from the performance below!