Eric Church shocks event organizers, attendees and honorees


Eric Church shocks event organizers, attendees and honorees


N.C. (Oct. 16, 2015) – Long before receiving a CMA Entertainer of the
Year nomination and shattering venue attendance records on his The Outsiders World TourEric Church beguiled
audiences in gritty dive bars with solo renditions of his then
lesser-known hits amidst his show while giving his band a break from
grueling three hour a night-plus set. Last night, Church found himself
back in a small theater in North Carolina in a familiar yet slightly
different situation after breaking in through a second story balcony,
but still standing on stage with his trademark aviators and an electric
guitar in hand wondering what in the hell he should play.

It all started innocently enough…
wrapping earlier than expected at a private event in his home state,
Church found himself only an hour and a half away from the North
Carolina Music Hall of Fame ceremony where his mother, Rita Church,
accompanied by his sister Kendra, were attending the induction to accept
the invitation on his behalf. Realizing he had no time to spare, Eric
borrowed the keys to his father Ken’s vehicle and–with his wife
Katherine and assistant Marshall Alexander in tow–they rushed in an
attempt to make it to the Gem Theater in time for the dedication. While
Alexander drove, Eric was busy texting his sister–unbeknownst to her or
the hundreds in attendance–to see if he could arrive in time as he now
had set his mind on attending and surprising the crowd.

only a few miles away, Eric learned his mother had stepped on stage to
read her remarks of gratitude for the honor, but instead of chalking it
up to a missed opportunity, Alexander and the Church’s proceeded on,
whipping the SUV into an alley where they hoped a back entrance existed
to the theater. There, the trio spotted cords snaking into a second
level balcony entrance, and without hesitation or clarification,
Alexander scaled the wall to gauge the scene, bursting through backstage
balcony barn doors. Startling a group of musicians prepared to take the
stage next to close out the ceremony, Alexander confirmed that indeed
Rita Church was currently on stage speaking to the black tie clad crowd.
Always resourceful, Alexander grabbed a nearby ladder and threw it over
the edge, urging the Church’s to hurriedly ascend in order to make it
in time for Rita’s closing remarks. 

continued, “…and on behalf of our family, my son, the fans…” then
her speech was interrupted by an eruption of screams and applause as
Eric stepped on stage to echo her sentiments and thank the crowd. 
before he could leave, the crowd demanded their Hall of Fame inductee
play something. Unprepared having barely made it for the ceremony, the
North Carolinian borrowed a beat up electric guitar, and said, “well,
let’s see what I can play in whatever key this is in…” And with that,
Church played a new solo rendition of “Carolina” before exiting down the
ladder, getting back into the car, and heading back home. 

Photo Credit: Daniel Coston

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