Eric Church and the band swung through Salt Lake City for the first time in years on Saturday and the consensus is; that it was well worth the wait. The last time Church was scheduled to play this city in 2015, he found himself taking a shot in the dark with a full acoustic set after his entire band came down with a stomach bug (food poisoning) right before the show. In true Church fashion, he of course scheduled an additional show where everyone’s tickets would still be valid, along with the acoustic solo set on the original date. After speaking with some of the locals, and in Eric Church’s own words, that show will go down in history as one of the greatest shows he has ever performed.
In 2016, Eric Church performed at Red Rocks Amphitheater for two, sold-out, all-acoustic shows. Being my personal two favorite shows I have seen, it was interesting to discover that this impromptu acoustic show in Utah would end up being the inspiration for arguably two of his most legendary shows of all time in Colorado. This inspiration has carried into his last few tours by performing the infamous and always unique medley stitched into “Mistress Named Music”. While he didn’t perform the medley at its birthplace, the folks of Salt Lake were thrilled to have him back for a mix of both full band and acoustic across the two-and-a-half-hour show.
Photo By: Anthony D'Angio
Before performing “Rock and Roll Found Me” off of the album “Soul” released one year ago, Church shared its origin story involving a date night with his wife, a bucket of popcorn, and Elton John. The story goes that while he and the crew were in the Carolina hills writing and recording all three of the last albums, he decided to take a night off from his creative marathon and see a movie with his wife, her choice. She chose “Rocketman”, the 2019 film about Elton John. While he intended to have a night away from thinking about music, inspiration strikes when least expected. One line from the movie about ‘rock and roll’ stuck with Church, who went back to the home base that night, and “Rock and Roll Found Me” was birthed.
Finishing out a jam-packed show, Eric decided to give the Salt Lake crowd a little something extra special, performing the never recorded fan-favorite “Old Whiskey, Old Friends, Old Songs” fully acoustic, as a nod to the history, this city helped create for his unplugged performances. While he doesn’t perform this song very often, it is always a sweet treat for the Church Choir to hear live and was an incredible ending to the first show in many years for Utah fans.