Eric Church Makes Room for Outsiders on New Tour

"Cold One" Singer Is Bringing Fans Closer to the Action

When Eric Church’s Outsiders World Tour kicks off Thursday night (Sept. 11) in Bossier City, Louisiana, his fans can expect an up-close experience like they’ve never had before.

The singer-songwriter invited CMT Hot 20 Countdown for an exclusive look at his tour rehearsals where final details were being hammered out.

“You want the thing of, ’Man, I have never seen anything like that, and I can’t believe how much a part of the show I felt,'” Church said. “What I hear from fans all the time — people who have been with us for a long time — when I ask them about their favorite show, they’ll always say, ’That one show when eight people were there in the middle of nowhere and we were sweatin’ all over them.’

“It’s that up-close intimacy, and that gets really hard in these (bigger) rooms. … So there’s probably 400 feet of front row at this show. People can get up with us and around the back. The seats are gonna be right up on the back of the stage, no obstructions. It’s a matter of that intimacy coming across.”

The tour is Church’s first chance to headline a string of arena dates, and the “Cold One” singer is bringing special guest Dwight Yoakam with him for the 35 cities on the first leg of the tour. Brothers Osborne , Brandy Clark and Halestorm will also be featured at select concerts.

Church will trek from Louisiana all the way to Canada by the end of the year. He’ll be in Nashville for November’s CMA Awards where he’ll sit among his fellow male vocalist of the year nominees.

“It’s an honor,” he says. “It’s the greatest form of acceptance from your peers when they say, ’We love what you’re doing.’ Nothing beats that feeling, but it’s not something I can focus on. I think once I start focusing on it, it will affect the decision-making process. And I don’t want it to.”

For more on CMT Hot 20 Countdown’s exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Church’s tour, tune in this Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 13-14) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.