Eric Church capped off an amazing tour run with two historic, back-to-back sold out shows at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena this past weekend. On Saturday (May 27), he paid tribute to the late Gregg Allman with a fantastic cover of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider.”
Allman passed away this past weekend at the age of 69. News of the legendary bandleader’s death spread across social media quickly, and apparently reached Church just hours before the start of his show.
So, he did what all rock stars do, and brought the band together to re-learn “Midnight Rider” in record time. Church previously played the track alongside Allman at a Grammy event in 2015.
The tune came from The Allman Brothers Band’s 1970 album Idlewild South. And though it didn’t have much success at first, rockers and country stars from all across the map covered the tune. It eventually became one of the band’s most well-known songs.
Watch Church and company sing in the tune alongside nearly 20,000 fans.
By all accounts, Church’s recent tour run was a career-defining success. He chose to adopt the “jam band” method of playing for upwards of three hours while adding an intermission to the performance.
Though sets of that length may be common for old school rockers (including The Allman Brothers), shows like that are typically unheard of from modern bands. Church wanted to change that. So he set out to play not just hits, but deep cuts and covers.
The tour came after Church surprise released his album Mr. Misunderstood to fans. He barely told anybody about the release and didn’t hold any big parties. Clearly the strategy paid off, because he sold more than half a million copies of the album to date.
The Allman Brothers Band played a big role in country’s shift towards rock n’ roll. Their unique sound helped define southern rock, a genre that strongly ties into much of today’s country, including Church’s.