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Eric Church Learns Ups + Downs of Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour

Since launching his first headlining tour Jan. 19, Eric Church has learned that it isn’t all adult beverages and signing autographs. The North Carolina native may have paid his dues with Blood, Sweat & Beers, as reflected in the tour’s title, but he probably didn’t expect the bumps that come along with being top dog. For instance, on the second night of the trek, he was trapped under the stage when attempting to make his entrance.

“Everybody sat in the dark for seven minutes wondering, ‘What in the hell was going on?’” Eric tells the Nashville Tennessean. “It’s such a big thing that every night you have to cross your fingers and go, ‘I hope it works.’”

That hasn’t been the only hitch, though. Three days before the tour kick-off, an essential piece of the ‘Drink in My Hand’ singer’s stage hadn’t arrived. As the worry from that fiasco subsided — the stage backdrops showed up at the last minute — the singer learned that ticket scalpers were gouging his fans.

“Scalpers piss me off,” Eric told Billboard. “I’ve never encountered this in my life, we’ve never been at this level, and, quite frankly, we were unprepared.”

One of the ways that the Grammy nominee has been able to keep his ticket prices is down is by not going overboard on the stage setup. For example, he opted not to use video. “We’re still trying to keep it old-school,” he explains. “It’s still about trying to do something different. We’re trying to be creative with it. I feel like everybody can turn and look at a video screen. I don’t want that. I want them engaged in the stage.”

Despite whatever problems may arise during the show, Eric has one thing to look forward to every day; his wife Katherine and son Boone McCoy are on the road with him.

“It’s fun to have him out and maybe take a walk and have those moments that don’t empty you as an artist,” the first-time father explains. “There’s a lot of artists that give everything to the road. I know a lot of those guys and girls and there’s a real emptiness in their lives. I think that … if I’m able to keep that balance, it will make me a better artist and it will help me make better records and have better shows.”

He’s barely four months old, and Boone already has his own digs on the road. His proud papa bought a 16-foot Airstream that has been converted into a nursery. The trailer is towed behind the bus and contains replicas of every toy Boone left at home.

Having your family on the road with you is definitely a way to stay humble, as Eric is learning. “We played Memphis and we had 10,000 people,” he recalls. “It was one of those great moments, and you walk off stage and I got back to the bus [and] he had a dirty diaper, and I changed the dirty diaper, still hat and sunglasses on. I just started chuckling. I just walked off stage five minutes ago with 10,000 people, and here I am. And he doesn’t care.”

The next stop on the Blood, Sweat & Beers tour — which includes Brantley Gilbert and Sonia Leigh — is Feb. 16 in Greenville, S.C. Keep track of the tour here.

Watch Eric Church Sing ‘Drink in My Hand’ Live in Our Studio
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