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Eric Church Preaches to the Choir at Chief's on Broadway in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Country superstar Eric Church made some headlines last week when his unique set at the Stagecoach Music Festival - complete with a 16-person choir - didn't go over quite as he has planned. But, three days later upon his return to his To Beat The Devil 19-Show Residency on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 it became clear that his concert in California was just a warm-up when the backup-singers made an appearance near the end of Church's two-hour show at his new bar Chief's on Broadway in Music City.

During the evening's program we learned about the origin of this now iconic logo.

Per their website "this is not another Broadway bar" and fan reviews online are already calling the entertainer Eric Church's new establishment one of the finest destinations in all of downtown Nashville.

Their "about" section continues, "This is where the best come to play and the best community comes together. Just like every Chief show is different, every night at Chief's is different. They have a ticketed music venue, a live broadcasting studio, custom interiors and an intentional and thoughtful focus on the very best live performances. Plus, they have partnered with Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ which means folks can enjoy food crafted by a James Beard Award-winning chef."

Eric Church and Ben Weprin, founder and CEO of Adventurous Journey's ("AJ") Capital Partners, designed this downtown spot, located at 200 Broadway, to accommodate a two-story live music venue - baptizing it "The Neon Steeple". In addition to artist showcases Chief's is hosting intimate pop-up shows from Mr. Church. The first EC gig was April 5th with more performances scheduled through early June of 2024.

Chief's on Broadway is already being hailed as one of the best bars on all of the main drag in Nashville.

As you may have guessed the To Beat The Devil 19-Show Residency is already sold out but perhaps more dates will be added in the future. Having historically taken extra precautions to protect fans from scalpers these tickets are non-transferable and must be picked up in person prior to entering the venue. This effort ensures that only members of Eric's fan club - the Church Choir - will pack the house all 19 nights. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from the residency will go to Church's non-profit, Chief Cares.

"These shows at Chief's will be one of a kind, only for Chief's and with some songs that will only ever be performed during these shows," says Church - often referred to as one of Nashville's most forthright truth-tellers and that fans will hear a unique take on his career spanning gospel during this special tour. "It's the most unique show I'll probably ever do, and I'm excited to enjoy this chapter of what Chief's will be.”

As we approached Chief's the first thing that caught our eye was the multi-level stain glass windows depicting entertainment icons. The first two floors are bars with distinctive decor and live music. Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ and rooms for private events are on the upper levels.

The April 30 event was a sold out show full of songs, stories and soul in Nashville.

We felt like we were role-playing inside the classic Willy Wonka when we arrived at "The Neon Steeple" and received a pair of hard-stock, glossy golden tickets as we walked through to gain entry. This sacred spot was inviting with brick and wood tones. The back of the room is lined with some of the colorful windows that we saw outside. The stage also has screens to project images or additional stain glass artwork. As we were waiting for Eric, they were promoting a hefty slate of upcoming Neon Steeple shows on those screens.

People stood up as Mr. Church took the stage and then sat down for an acoustic set of songs and stories. Eric's sermon ran in chronological order that started back in the 1980's when he left North Carolina in a Chevy Blazer to move to Nashville. Eric touched upon pivotal moments in his pilgrimage which started at the Fiddle & Steel Guitar Bar. There is a neon sign on the Steeple's wall, and he glanced at it as he talked about finding the songwriters at that bar who would shape his career.

Eric addressed the struggles of getting published and obtaining a record deal while playing fan favorites from his debut album, 2006's Sinners Like Me. Eric praised people like Bob Seger, Toby Keith and others who had a positive impact on his artistry.

Almost just like a church complete with stained glass windows of real entertainment icons.

More human-interest and humorous tales unfolded as Church moved on to 2009's Carolina and the album that changed his life. Chief was his first number one record and now the namesake of his bar. Eric would enjoy more success with The Outsiders and Mr. Misunderstood and he played tracks from both. Church also touched upon the sorrows of life including the 2017 Vegas shootings and his own personal pains in 2018.

Eric finished his testimony circling back to why he built Chief's, capturing a moment (without phones or photos) and beating the devil. The recently scandalized gospel choir from Stagecoach eventually appeared when a heavenly chorus surrounded the room and they sang the last few songs with Eric to bring Church to an uplifting conclusion.

There's no doubt that Eric Church preached to the Church Choir in Nashville, Tennessee during his To Beat The Devil 19-Show Residency that had more in line with Springsteen on Broadway than it did with his closing Saturday night performance at last year's CMA as the room is very intimate with Eric repeatedly referring to it as his living room where Church will continue sharing his good news through June of 2024.

These golden tickets got us in the door to see Eric Church on Broadway.

Related Links: For more information on ERIC CHURCH and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Eric Church | Chief's on Broadway | Chief Cares


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