Eric Church has a reputation for a killer live show, and he’s been tapped to open several dates in 2014 on George Strait’s farewell tour, including the closing night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on June 7. Church recently signed with Louis Messina’s Messina Group, which also books Strait. Church is also heading abroad starting Feb. 24 for a European tour that will visit Dublin, Munich, London, Amsterdam and Oslo.
?“We went over and played London this past year and it was great. It was sold out,” he says. “They were crazy and I left there and said, ‘OK, let’s do this! Let’s try it.’ It’s going to be interesting especially when you get into the non-English-speaking countries and just see what happens. It’s always been important to me to look at music globally. It’s not just America.”?
Church’s manager John Peets says the tour was strategically timed. “We are not in the same position in Europe as we are in North America, so it was important to go over closer to the release of the record so we could capitalize on that momentum and exposure,” he says. “Eric is just a natural performer. He has a real passion and belief in what he does and it shows. He has assembled an amazing, loyal and longtime band and crew, which makes a huge difference in how things operate on the road.”
?Church is particularly excited about the Strait dates. “I’m doing it acoustic in Kansas City [Mo.] and Omaha [Neb.],” he says. “I’ve never done that, and don’t know if I’ll ever do it again. I wanted it to be something special, not only to me but to the fans and everything else, to pay respect to what George has meant to country music. Every artist wants to be around a long time and leave a footprint, but he left the biggest one, at least on my generation. Just to go out and be involved in his last ride is something I’ll look back on career-wise. I can’t imagine it not being one of the handful of things that I’m proud to say I did.”