Eric Church took the stage of the world renowned Grand Ole Opry Wednesday night and talked about his feelings in light of Sunday night’s tragedy at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Church headlined the 3 day music festival on Friday night, just 48 hours before a lone gunman took the lives of 58 innocent concert goers.
His performance at the festival was the last show of his “Holdin’ My Own Tour,” which had taken place for most of this year. Church recalled the performance where at one point he jumped down into the audience to greet fans. “I shook everybody’s hand and I thanked them for coming,” he told the crowd at the Opry. “I came back up the left side, saw smiling faces, hands in the air and pictures being taken… 48 hours later, those places where I stood was carnage.”
Church fought back tears as he expressed his feelings, fighting back tears and admitting that he didn’t want to perform Wednesday night or even pick up the guitar. However, he said it was a video that was sent to him of a CNN interview of Heather Melton who has lost her husband Sonny Sunday evening that inspired him to write and perform “Why Not Me.”
Before beginning the song, Eric pointed out two empty seats where the Meltons were supposed to be sitting, they had purchased tickets to Wednesday night’s show as Sonny was an avid fan of Church’s.
“The reason I’m here tonight is because of Heather Melton, and her husband Sonny who died, and every person that was there. And I’ll tell you, I saw that crowd. I saw them with their hands in the hair, with boots in the air, and that moment in time was frozen,” Church said, “and there is no amount of bullets that can take that away.”
Watch the video of Erich Church performing “Why Not Me” from the Grand Ole Opry below.