January 21, 2019 by
Photography by John Peets

Tens of thousands of Omaha country music fans braved cold weather on Saturday night (Jan. 19) to see the finale of Eric Church’s “Double Down Tour” at the CHI Health Center Omaha. 

The second evening of a two-night special tour beginning in Omaha, the singer explained the reasoning behind choosing Omaha over any other city: “We could’ve kicked off this tour anywhere, but we chose Omaha for a reason.”  Flannel-shirted audience members cheered wildly. “We keep coming back and y’all keep showing up.”

With an inclined platform below three tiers of moving, chevron-shaped screens, the entire stage seemed to open up towards the audience and invite them to join inand fans didn’t disappoint. From Church’s well-known hits to quick covers such as Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” the cavernous event center quickly transformed into a cozy, nostalgic atmosphere. Church emphasized that this night’s show would be totally unique from the previous evening’s, and the easygoing feel-good vibes meant he strayed from the setlist to suit the mood as needed.

Church split the hours-long show in half with a 20-minute intermission before returning to the stage in his classic all-American aesthetic (acoustic guitar and dark sunglasses). The singer-songwriter took frequent breaks between songs to profess his love for the city, and even momentarily left the stage to pour drinks and toast to Omaha.

Fans seated close to the stage had plenty of opportunities to interact with Church during the show as he signed and handed out merchandise while singing. At one point, Church even grabbed an American flag from an audience member and wore it as a scarf for the rest of the show.

The second night of the “Double Down Tour” was a night of laidback jams between old friends, with one lasting impression everyone was happy to hearEric Church won’t be done with Omaha anytime soon.