Eric Church Addresses Backlash To His Unconventional Stagecoach Set

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Eric Church Addresses Backlash To His Unconventional Stagecoach Set

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Last night, Eric Church headlined Stagecoach with a polarizing performance. Seated in front of red stained glass windows, the country musician played an acoustic, covers-heavy set that included songs by 2Pac (“California Love”) and Snoop Dogg (“Gin And Juice”) with a gospel choir. The night was light on his own material and some audience members booed while others left to see Nickelback perform on another stage. This morning, Church addressed the performance with a statement.

“This was the most difficult set I have ever attempted,” he explained. He continued:

I’ve always found that taking it back to where it started, back to chasing who Bob Seger loves, who Springsteen loves, who Willie Nelson loves, you chase it back to the origin. The origin of all that is still the purest form of it. And we don’t do that as much anymore. It felt good at this moment to go back, take a choir and do that.

For me, it’s always been something with records, with performances, I’ve always been the one that’s like, ‘let’s do something really, really strange and weird and take a chance.’ Sometimes it doesn’t work, but it’s okay if you’re living on that edge, because that edge, that cutting edge, is where all the new guys are going to gravitate to anyway. So if you can always challenge yourself that way, it always cuts sharper than any other edge.

At the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Church started about 20 minutes late and barely addressed his fans during the set. After a prolonged church organ intro, he sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Edwin Hawkins’ “Oh Happy Day,” and “This Little Light of Mine” with the choir, which featured singer Joanna Cotton (returning after having left Church’s band in 2022). Church did play some of his own tracks, such as “Springsteen” and “Country Music Jesus.”

According to Desert Sun, fans — in the crowd of 70,000 people — started leaving as early as 15 minutes in. See footage from the event below.

@iamlaurie41330mins in at Stagecoach and fans leaving like crazy…

♬ Danger – SoundAudio

@jgonella can someone just tell me why he thought this was the place for this #stagecoach #ericchurch #stagecoach2024 #fyp #gospelmusic ♬ original sound – Josie Gonella

@kylerkim REVIVAL IS HERE! GOD IS MOVING IN EVERY INDUSTRY ✞ #christiantiktok #stagecoach #stagecoach2024 #ericchurch #godisgood #worshipmusic ♬ original sound – Kyler Kim

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