Eric Church and his band of troubadours ride into town, six strings blazing, for a Friday night showdown with thousands of ride-or-die fans.

Eric Church’s 2017 Holdin’ My Own Tour is an ambitious undertaking on many levels. With no supporting acts, Church will play 60+ dates throughout North America, ending with a two-night show in Nashville, Tennessee later this May. With five ACM Awards and three CMA Awards (including CMA’s 2016 Album of the Year award for Mr. Misunderstood) the bar is set unfathomably high for such a gruelling schedule. But Church’s 3+ hour audio/ visual masterpiece proves to exceed that bar in every sense of the word.

The excitement is palpable as the Staples Center quickly fills with Stetson donning, heavily tattooed Southern California cowboys, each with their ladies walking proudly at their side adorned in their best “Good Girls Don’t Miss Church” attire. The sounds of Charlie Daniels and Hank Williams Jr. play over the loudspeakers. The Jack Daniels is flowing smoothly throughout the crowd. It’s clear, we’re in for one helluva rowdy night. 

Suddenly the lights dim to one spotlight illuminating a lonely microphone. But no Eric Church. Over the speakers you can hear the riffs of the late Leonard Cohen’s, “Hallelujah” trickle in, bringing an eerie hush over the crowd. The stage is set. Church service is about to begin.

Ivory notes lightly play and it’s clear that the band are starting out this affair with, “Mistress Named Music”. Church finally appears on stage decked out in his signature black shades, t-shirt, and jeans. He croons through the slow, sensual diddy until it builds into a powerful, guitar-driven anthem where he’s backed up beautifully by the Inglewood High School Choir. 

Another crowd favorite, “Outsiders”, is offered up early on with blistering guitar riffs from Driver Williams. Church powers through hit after hit after hit, challenging the audience to try and keep up with him. Which they do, singing right along with the North Carolina native note-for-note. 

Proving to be a sweet change of pace about midway through the first set is “Sinners Like Me” where Jeff Hyde’s mandolin playing serves as a pretty backdrop for the otherwise guitar heavy numbers.  

After an electrifying first set that could easily outmatch a lot of acts’ complete show, intermission hits. Time for the crowd to refuel. And when the well-oiled, seven-piece band retakes the stage, they pick up right where they left off, ripping through hits, “Ain’t Killed Me Yet”, and a favorite with the ladies, “Guys Like Me”. 

Next up is “Record Year”. Thousands of eager fans overtake Church’s vocals early on during this song and by the time the song ends, the applause is deafening. 

Church then tips his proverbial hat to the Southern California crowd by playing (for the first time ever to a live audience) his groovy rendition of, Randy Newman’s, “I Love LA”. This works to take an already jacked up arena to a whole new level. 

Church doesn’t let off the throttle one bit, blasting right into, “Jack Daniels”. During the number he disappears underneath the stage (followed closely by a camera man) where he proceeds in pouring shots of Jack Daniels for himself and his crew, downing them, all the while the rest of his band belts through the whiskey-laden jam.

Keeping things dirty, Church moves into a nasty version of, “Creepin” with some swampy guitar riffs being offered up again by Jeff Hyde. 

The night wraps up with a thought-provoking version of, “Springsteen” with the crowd chanting “oh oh oh oh oh” right along with the tireless Church. After all’s said and done, Eric Church effortlessly cranks through thirty-three songs, melting the faces off upwards of twenty thousand locked and loaded country fans along the way. 

There’s still plenty of dates to catch Eric Church’s 2017 Holdin’ My Own Tour between now and it’s final performance in Nashville, TN on May 26. For specific dates and other “Church Choir” news check out the link below:

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Event Date: 31-MAR-2017