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Eric Church Goes Gospel At Stagecoach: Crowd Heads For The Exits

29 April 2024 | 10:01 am | Mary Varvaris

Eric Church left fans polarised by a gospel-inspired, rap featuring headlining set at Stagecoach.

Eric Church

Eric Church (Source: Supplied/UMG Nashville)

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Eric Church shocked punters with his set at Stagecoach festival over the weekend, perhaps for the wrong reasons.

For his Friday headlining set (26 April), fans left and took to social media to express their disappointment after Church performed a set of hymns backed by a gospel choir.

Opening with Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, Eric Church continued by performing hymns such as Swing Low Sweet Chariot, This Little Light Of Mine, I Saw The Light (Hank Williams cover), Stand By Me (Ben E. King cover), Amazing Grace and more, with some of his set even venturing into rap, with the singer playing versions of Gin & Juice (Snoop Dogg cover) and California Love (2Pac cover).

Addressing the polarising set, Church commented in a statement (via USA Today), “This was the most difficult set I have ever attempted.

“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.”

The publication added that Church admitted he was “happy with his choice to do what he wanted anyway.”

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Below are some of the reactions to Church’s set, from “mass leaving” crowds to some fans calling his unique set a “boss move.”

Eric Church features on the newly released Glen Campbell Duets – Ghost On The Canvas Sessions, the tribute album that reimagines Campbell’s original 2011 album Ghost On The Canvas.

Church said about featuring on Hold On Hope, duetting with Campbell – his original vocals recreated in duets with numerous artists – “It was really special to me to be able to be part of this project. Glen was so important to not just Country music but all of music. What a stallion!”

Last year, Church was among a group of buyers finalising a deal to buy a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets from former professional basketball player and Hornets Sports & Entertainment Chairman Michael Jordan.