Eric Church Sets, Then Breaks Bridgestone Arena Attendance Record
On Friday night (May 26), Eric Church fans helped set an attendance record at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Then, 24 hours later, the "Church Choir" helped Mr. Misunderstood break his own newly established milestone.
Nearly 19,000 fans -- 18,996, per a press release, to be exact -- passed through the doors at Bridgestone Arena on Friday night, the penultimate night of Church's 2017 Holdin' My Own Tour; on Saturday night (May 27), 19,020 fans attended the trek's very last show. Bridgestone Arena's previous attendance record was 18,514, set by Bon Jovi (though Church previously held the venue's attendance record thanks to a Jan. 10, 2015, concert).
“The first time we played in Nashville, we played for -- I’m not kidding -- 30, 40 people, and when they left that show, they told 10 or 20 people about what they’d seen. And the next time we played this town, 200 people showed up,” Church told his Friday night crowd. “Here’s the thing I can say for myself and this band: We’ve never gone out onstage and played for 20 or 30 people. Every night we played, we played it because there were 50,000 people in front of us. It was never about how many, it was about the music; it was about the heart of the music.”
The newly established Bridgestone Arena attendance record is one of a long line of successes for Church on his Holdin' My Own Tour. Per the press release, the trek is the most-attended tour in the world in 2017, with more than 900,000 fans buying tickets.
Fans certainly got their money’s worth on Church's 2017 Holdin' My Own Tour, too: The country star played marathon setlists throughout the tour, electing to play two sets of his own rather than bring along an opening act. In Nashville, Church's shows included covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Tennessee Jed” and, just after the death of Gregg Allman, a performance of the Allman Brothers Band's classic "Midnight Rider."
Now that Church’s Holdin’ My Own Tour has concluded, the singer has only a few more shows left on his calendar for 2017. For these shows, Church will be mixing things up by condensing his currently three-hour-long show and bringing in some special guests.
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