Eric Church on His Intermission Anxiety

“Are These People Going to Leave?”

When Eric Church announced that he’d be playing for about three and a half hours on his new tour, and that there’d be an intermission, I wasn’t so sure it would work.

And Church wasn’t either.

He told Nashville Scene that when he finally got to the point in his career when he had enough music to fill more than three hours, he started having second thoughts.

“It’s been the tour I waited on my entire career — to be able to go out and play three-and-a-half hours. In some ways I’m pretty sad about it. You wait this long for it, and you don’t know if it’s gonna work,” Church said.

And on the first night of his tour, he remembers thinking, “OK, how are we gonna pull off an intermission, and what’s going to happen? Are these people going to leave? Are they going to stay?”

It sounds like Church’s hope was that he’d be about 100 minutes in, and then at the half, his fans would think, “Man, I can’t believe they played that, I wonder what’s in the second set?”

Church said that the intermission inspiration came from bands like Phish, the Grateful Dead and Widespread Panic.

“They’ll do the intermission thing. A lot of the jam-band world does it, and I’ve found that so fascinating,” he said.

Another concert commitment Church has made is that he refuses to let the best seats go to ticket resellers. According to the Scene, he has canceled more than 33,000 ticket orders that seemed suspicious.

Church’s fans have had his back for 12 years, and now he’s got theirs.

“I want that same guy or girl who didn’t have kids then, to bring their family and be able to afford it. As opposed to going, ‘I can’t pay for a 400-dollar scalped ticket.’

“I want that same guy there,” Church said, “because he’s been part of the journey.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.