Eric Church’s “Through My Ray-Bans” Reminds Us All What Live Music Was, And Will Be Again

Eric Church with glasses and a microphone
Lester Cohen/Getty Images

Eric Church just released another song from his upcoming double-album (fingers crossed), and while it was originally written with the fans of Route 91 Harvest in mind, it’s the perfect reminder of what we were, and what we will be again, when the lockdowns, the distancing, the politics, and the divisiveness are in the past. When we finally realize that we’re way more connected than we are divided. Titled “Through My Ray Bans,” he draws us out of our nearsighted first-person view, painting the whole scene from his eyes on stage.

Let’s break it down.

“Yeah I know a place where Kings and paupers
Drink with the dreamers and the cheaters and the lawyers
And the dealers deal aces from a loaded stack of cards”

In his crowd, there’s no upper or lower class.

No person with a step up, no one starting behind the gun. Everyone is the truest sense of equal in the crowd, there for some music, there to cut loose, be with their friends or their lover and listen to the music. Church is the dealer, on stage giving everyone pocket aces with each song he plays, story he tells, memory he stirs from within you and memory he helps create that night. There something in the air: part music, part people, part magic.

“Everybody’s got their arms around
Everybody else’s shoulders
Guarding against the world outside
Like an army of Friday Night Soldiers
The battle wages tomorrow
But tonight you don’t give a damn
Wish you could stay the way I see you, through my Ray Bans.”

Before we we’re told be apart, before we we’re afraid to touch each other or get too close, how many times did you put you arm around the random guy next to you, danced with a group of moms on their “girl’s night out,'” drank from your buddies beer or ran around the lawn asking stranger’s if they’d seen the friend of yours that always gets lost? Everyone was together, physically and emotionally, bonded by the music, the event and the booze.

Yeah, tomorrow might suck, you’re going to have a headache and curse yourself for eating to many Doritos but is that going to stop you tonight? Hell no. You live it up, you make it happen and you make it a night you don’t remember with stories you’ll never forget, because that’s what we do. And Eric loves watching it happen.

“Would you believe my story or buy what I’m selling
If I told you the tale I’m in the middle of tellin’
Yes, it’s as true as the blue in the grass or the green in the sky”

Remember when we could shrug off an exaggeration? When things didn’t have to be so literal and you didn’t read into something to find a fault but to find the intent? When the stories told on stage we’re just as true as the ones told in line for the Port-a-Potty? When we had each other’s trust up until the moment they lost it, instead of us making a person earn it when we meet?

Church wants us back. Person to person, face to face… everyone as happy as the next. Everyone as free as the next. No fear, no hate, just love.

That’s rock and roll, baby.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock