Why Eric Church Just Completely Changed His ‘Gather Again’ Stage Mid-Tour

by Maria Hartfield
INDIO, CA - APRIL 29: Musician Eric Church performs onstage during 2016 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 29, 2016 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

American singer-songwriter Eric Church didn’t hold back when he saw his newly built stage for the first time. Gearing up for his The Gather Again Tour, the iconic musician was less than impressed with the unveiling of his new stage.

Church announced the highly-anticipated tour with a sold-out show on September 17, 2021 in Lexington, Kentucky at Rupp Arena. The concert included a 3-hour performance and a whopping 36-song setlist.

The 55-date arena tour marks Church’s first time on the road since 2019. The tour will continue into the next year coming to an end on May 20, 2022 with a final stop at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Eric Church Talks

Church’s massive tour features a unique stage setup including multiple levels, moving instrument sets, video walls, a 127,000-lb, lighting rig and more.

This will be the first time Eric has performed a tour “in the round” where the musician plays in the middle of the arena with fans on all sides. Naturally, an event as tremendous as this would require an all-new stage different from the ones used in prior tours.

Unfortunately, upon unveiling the new setup Church was quick to make his disdain for the massive platform known.

“I never had a chance to really see the stage we were building because it was built offsite – it was built in Pennsylvania,” Church said in a recent appearance on Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast.

“We went to rehears in Lititz, Pennsylvania, which is where they were building it in a rehearsal hall up there, and I walked in and as soon as I walked in I knew this was not going to work. I went. ‘This whole stage is terrible. It looks like a Mardi Gras barge.’ It was awful.”

So, the team got to work starting over.

“We ended up playing with that stage for like the first three weekends because we had to,” Church explained. “We were building a new one.”

A New Stage Is Built

The country music star showed the original stage that he hated so much in a video he released at the launch of his tour.

Originally, the stage was designed with two levels. His drummer was on one side with his piano player on the other.

However, if you compare the original stage to the new one, you can see the new build only features one level. The updated platform puts all the band members together in the middle of the stage.

The Entertainer of the Year winner knows what he wants, and he isn’t willing to budge when it comes to providing an excellent experience for his dedicated fans.