Last night was the opening night of his long-awaited Gather Again Tour, and it was everything that fans expected and a hell of a lot more.
From the time Eric opened the show at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky with “Through My Ray Bans,” it was clear that he was just as excited to be there as the fans were, and that energy lasted through a 35-song set that didn’t wrap up until after midnight.
When discussing trying to come up with a setlist for this tour, Eric had described the process as “maddening” trying to narrow it down after adding three new albums of music to an already jam-packed catalog.
And while he definitely managed to work in quite a few from the new Heart & Soul triple album, he obviously performed all the earlier hits too.
One standout moment from the show came during one of those earlier hits, “Like Jesus Does” from his 2011 Chief album.
For this one, Church called on his incredible backup singer Joanna Cotten to duet with him on the song.
And after she sang the hell out of that second verse, I think even Chief himself was speechless, dropping to the stage and bowing down in front of her.
The entire concert was electric, and if I’ve ever been in a louder arena I can’t remember when that would have been.
I’m definitely feeling the effects of those concert beers this morning (they were $9, if anybody was wondering), and my voice is a little worse for the wear, but the entire experience was just what me and every other person in that arena needed after a long two years.
It’s so damn good to have live music back.
Here’s the setlist from opening night of the Gather Again Tour:
Through My Ray Bans
Stick That In Your Country Song
Heart On Fire
Country Music Jesus
Break It Kind Of Guy
Hell Of A View
Rock & Roll Found Me
Round Here Buzz
How ‘Bout You
Smoke a Little Smoke
Lynyrd Skynyrd Jones
Heart of the Night
Drink In My Hand
Lotta Boot Left to Fill
Like Jesus Does
Mistress Named Music
Pledge Allegiance To The Hag
Never Break Heart
Knives Of New Orleans
Mixed Drinks About Feelings
Where I Wanna Be
Give Me Back My Hometown
That’s Damn Rock & Roll
Born To Run/Springsteen
Sinners Like Me