Fans Outraged After “Disappointing” Performance, Abrupt Ending From Eric Church At CMA Fest

Eric Church country music
Nick Zimmer/CMA Fest

What just happened?

That was the question a lot of fans at CMA Fest were asking last night after what many are calling a disappointing performance from superstar Eric Church on the main stage at Nissan Stadium to end the third night of the festival on Saturday.

Chief rounded out a lineup that included Tracy Lawrence, Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Old Dominion and Jon Pardi. And when Church told the crowd that he “had nowhere else to be” and would play all night, fans were expecting a long and rowdy performance.

Instead what they got was a 6 song setlist that didn’t include many of Church’s biggest hits, but instead was filled with deep cuts like “Bad Mother Trucker,” “Hangin’ Around,” and a cover of Little Feat’s “Sailin’ Shoes” that led into Church’s 2014 single “Cold One.”

Church opened his set with “Country Music Jesus,” and also performed a reimagined, funky version of “Drink In My Hand” that also left some fans scratching their heads.

The set ended with one of Church’s biggest hits, “Smoke a Little Smoke.” And while many fans were expecting songs like “Springsteen,” “Record Year,” or “Talladega,” instead Church finished the song, grabbed his cup from his mic stand, thanked the Nissan Stadium crowd and walked off as the stadium lights came on – an abrupt and what many are calling disappointing ending.

After the abrupt ending, many in the stadium reported that there were even audible boos from the crowd.

Quite a few fans took to social media after the show and directed their anger at Church himself.

Others speculated that it was a decision by CMA Fest to cut off his performance due to noise curfews in Nashville.

Others even worried that something was wrong with Chief and expressed their concern.

Whatever the explanation (and let’s be honest: Church does things his own way so the explanation might just be that it’s what Eric Church does), it was clearly a disappointing ending to the third day of the festival for many fans in the stadium.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock