Eric Church kicked off a two-night stand at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre on August 9th by giving his band some extra time in the wings, hitting the stage alone for an acoustic version of Mr. Misunderstood‘s “Mistress Named Music.” As the song entered its final stretch, he then segued into a snippet of Bob Seger’s “Like a Rock,” followed by a handful of other hits from the glory days of classic rock, Seventies pop and Texas country.
Accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a crowd that was eager to sing along, Church made his way through Kenny Loggins’ “Danny’s Song,” Little Feat’s “Willin,'” Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and George Strait’s “Troubadour” before heading back into “Mistress Named Music.” It was a touching way to open the show, shining a light not only on his own music, but on the bands who’ve shaped his approach to country. To emphasize that point, Church then moved into a solo version of Mr. Misunderstood‘s title track, a song that name-checks songwriters like Elvis Costello and Jeff Tweedy in the first verse. Watch the first performance – which clocks in at eight minutes – above.
Church and his band played a follow-up show at Red Rocks last night (August 10th) and next they’ll head back east, where the Carolina Kickoff festival on August 20th will help wrap up a busy year on the road. Church also just revealed plans for the 2017 Holdin’ My Own tour, which gets underway January 13th in Lincoln, Nebraska and will include no opening acts across its 60 dates.