Eric Church Breaks Two Chicago Records

18,626 Fans and 55 Gallons of Jack Daniel’s

Well, I ran the numbers. And I think it’s safe to say a lot of people love Eric Church — and a lot of people love whiskey. So when you put those two together on a Friday night (March 20) in Chicago, records are going to break.

The first official record Church broke was for attendance. There were 18,626 fans at Friday’s show at the Allstate Arena. That beats the record set by Vicente Fernández in 2007, when 18,452 fans showed up.

The second official record Church’s fans broke was for the amount of whiskey consumed. The venue went through 55 gallons of Jack Daniel’s. If you assume the venue bartenders were using a two-ounce shot glass — and I was watching them closely, so I think they were — that comes out to about 4,000 cocktails.

That’s quite a round of drinks for Church’s steadily-growing fan base

“Our journey in the city started in 2005 for about 20 people on Weed Street at a place called Joe’s Bar. Those 20 were loud and proud, and they turned this thing into damn near 20,000,” he said after the show.

Church opened the show with the title track from his latest album, The Outsiders. About 27 songs and two and a-half hours later, he closed it with the quietly autobiographical tune about outliving Hank and Jesus, “A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young.”

In a move that’s become Church’s signature, the set list balanced his big hits with his deep cuts. And the thread holding them all together was that the record-breaking crowd knew them all by heart.