Eric Church closed out the Universal Music Nashville showcase beautifully during Country Radio Seminar 2021.
On Thursday (February 18), Universal Music Nashville held a showcase with some of their artists during Country Radio Seminar. The showcase took place at the famed Ryman Auditorium where the stage was set up backward, as the stars performed with the audience section in the background.
Priscilla Block kicked things off. The viral TikTok star shared that it was a dream of hers to perform at the historic venue. She performed her song “My Bar” and her first song that is currently at country radio, “Just About Over You.”
Secondly, Parker McCollum hit the stage to perform his first No. 1, “Pretty Heart.” He then performed his hit “To Be Loved By You.”
Lauren Alaina was up next and performed one of her “favorite songs I’ve ever written” that is on her upcoming album. “What Do You Think Of” was written and performed with pop superstar Lukas Graham. Her excitement and lively personality was evident in her performance.
Alaina brought out her friend Jon Pardi to the stage to duet, “Getting Over Him.”
Pardi then grabbed his guitar and performed his hit, “Tequila A Lot of Time.” To the delight and surprise of the virtual audience, he covered Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” He truly put his own spin on the song with a classic country twang.
Headlining Set From Eric Church
Eric Church took the stage with his guitar at hand. “It was the most special project I’ve ever involved in,” Church said of his upcoming three albums. He revealed that the first song he recorded from his project was “Heart On Fire,” which he then performed. “It kind of set the tone for a project that I didn’t know how it was going to go based on the way we were doing it.
The second song he performed was “Crazyland.” He wrote this song on the same day that he recorded it. “I’ve never dreamed a song before,” he admitted. “And I dreamed this song.” The song came during the end of the album creation process and he explained that he visualized this character in his mind. Church then performed his current single, “Hell of a View.”
Eric Church closed out his set with “Through My Ray-Bans.” He spoke openly about the inspiration behind the song which was the fans at Route 91 Harvest Festival. He performed at the festival in 2017, the year when a shooter opened fire on fans that killed 58 people and wounded 489.
“The festival in Vegas that… one of the darker periods that I’ve ever been through,” he said. “I don’t talk about it a lot — I don’t go there a lot mentally. This next song came from that and came from that place.”
That place of darkness surrounding the Route 91 tragedy brought out beautiful lyrics from Church illustrating his hurt and battle to cope. His classic look: dark Aviator Ray-Bans are the center of the track, as he sings about his view of the fans looking back at him.
“I said many times that the one thing I wish I could freeze is I wish people could see themselves the way I see them through these Ray-Bans,” he added. “I wish they could see what I see. They’re looking at me. I wish they could see what they look like. It was really that night that was the motivation for this song. “
It was that tragic night that inspired the song. The lyrics serve as a tribute to the lives lost and those deeply affected by the Route 91 shooting.
In fact, the song is something Church tends to steer away from because of the heaviness that surrounds it. He hasn’t sung the now-hit since it was recorded in one take.
“I haven’t done this song since we recorded it,” Eric Church admitted. “We did it in one take and recorded this. It’s one of my favorite songs.”
Eric Church’s raw vulnerability was a powerful way to end the Showcase event. A deep moment to reflect on loss with lyrics that can unite us. A glimpse into the heartache and pain that shaped the song closed today’s event emotionally and in a way that couldn’t help but remind us what country music is all about: the community that binds us; the one thing we all have in common.
Incredible stuff from the Outsider himself.