The Gather Again Tour wrapped up at the historic Madison Square Garden this past Friday night, a tour that spanned a total of 9 months, 55 shows, & 51 different cities, & Billboard Music Award for the best country tour the Sunday before this show, beating out Luke Bryan & Chris Stapleton for the award.
The Garden Lights Up Green For "Smoke A Little Smoke"
Returning to MSG as the headliner must always feel very sweet for Eric. As most of his fans know back in 2006 Eric was fired at the garden by country trio Rascal Flatts for playing too long as their tour opener and was replaced by Taylor Swift. I’d say that Eric & Taylor both came out pretty good from this happening.
Eric & Ashley Perform "Heart On Fire"
This show was set up to go out with a big bang, but then horrible news came out as Joanna Cotten informed fans via social media that she would be missing the show due to sickness. Leaving fans wondering how the show would play out. I mean this is Madison Square Garden, possibly the most famous venue in the world, and now Eric is missing one of his core pieces to his band and his backup singer who gives just as much as herself to the fans as Eric does for every performance.
Ashley & Eric Having a Fist Shake After "Some Of It"
Eric pulled an ace out of his pocket…bringing with him longtime friend Ashley McBryde. As Ashley says “When the Chief calls from Madison Square Garden, you answer it.” Answer it she did. She joined Eric for multiple songs on the setlist and even performed “Like Jesus Does” performing the version that displays Joanna’s powerful singing voice. Ashley did a great job filling in for the night but we all missed Joanna and hope she gets well soon. The night opened with Eric singing “New York State of Mind” (Billy Joel Cover) with his pianist Billy Justineau. Then showed the garden his rocking side immediately after with “The Outsiders” which was the latest album he released from the last time he played the garden. He continued the night playing fan favorites “Knives of New Orleans”, “Desperate Man”, “Mr. Misunderstood”, & countless more but also slowing it down a bit with “Wrecking Ball” & “Some of It”. The show ended with “Record Year”, “Talladega”, “Holdin My Own”, and an acoustic set finishing off with “Old Friends, Old Whiskey, Old Songs”.
Photo By: Anthony D'Angio
This tour has been one that seemed uncertain at times, and possibly at times seemed like it wasn’t going to happen or could be canceled, but it powered through all the tour dates (except San Antonio). This tour continued through the whole band having Covid, different cities with different restrictions, and not completely knowing if fans were truly wanting to gather and be a part of large crowds. But what this tour has shown time and time again we as people were meant to gather. Eric said close to ending the show
“It’s been a couple of interesting years for us. I can remember in 2020 sitting in my garage after about 20 garage beers, thinking when are we ever gonna get to do this again. What did I miss most about this? Since the beginning of time, we have been meant to gather, to be together, to worship together, to fellowship together, to drink together, to sing together, mourn together. What I miss most was just being together, to gather. There is a reason we put New York City & Madison Square Garden last.”
Eric Addresses The Crowd During "Springsteen"
While the Gather Again Tour might be over you can still catch Eric Church & The ECB out on the road this summer for a show you don’t want to miss on the following dates:
May 28th American Family Field: Milwaukee, WI
June 11th U.S. Bank Stadium: Minneapolis, MN
June 17th Barefoot Country Music Fest: Wildwood, NJ
June 23rd Country Jam: Mack, CO
July 1st Canadian Tire Centre: Ottawa, ON
July 2nd Scotiabank Arena: Toronto, ON
July 9th Pendleton Whiskey Music Festival: Pendleton, OR
July 23rd Faster Horses: Brooklyn, MI
July 30th Big Valley Jamboree: Camrose, AB
August 27th & 28th Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena At Harvey’s: Stateline, NV