Church performed a rendition of "Amazing Grace" that transitioned into his song "Sinners Like Me," with the medley closing the star's headlining set at the show.
The 41-year-old sang the classic hymn in a sparse, emotional style before transitioning into his original track, accompanying himself on the guitar.
Eric Church singing Amazing Grace and Sinners Like Me in honor of his brother 🎶 pic.twitter.com/HtZFQkFODU— Country Music Jesus (@EricChurch_Fans) July 8, 2018
A fan who attended the concert wrote that Church explained to the crowd that he had been going through a difficult time.
"It’s been a tough week," he said. "But I need this. I need my people."
The fan also wrote that Church played a song he had written with his brother.
At @countryconcert @ericchurch plays “how ‘bout you,” which co-wrote with his brother who died last week. Tells crowd: it’s been a tough week. But I need this. I need my people.” Tough night for him, but he’s playing heart out.— Brian Dugger (@DuggerBlade) July 8, 2018
Brandon and Eric collaborated as songwriters early in Eric's career, with the duo penning “How ‘Bout You” from Eric's 2006 album Sinners Like Me in 2006 and “Without You Here” 2009's Carolina. The brothers also played at a bar together when Eric was in college, releasing an album with two of Eric's roommates and dubbing themselves the Mountain Boys before the star struck out on his own.
“Once I got to year two, I went and saw some guys play at a local bar … and this place was packed," Eric told CMT.com of his memories with the Mountain Boys. "I’d been playing guitar in my room, and I knew … maybe half the songs [the band] did live. I just had the idea, ’I can do this.’ I went back and got my brother and two college roommates who happened to be musicians. And the next week we had a gig.”
Church confirmed his brother's passing on July 2 with a statement on his fan club site.
“It is with great sadness to confirm that Eric’s brother, Brandon, passed away on Friday evening," the website read. "In lieu of flowers we are encouraging everyone to donate to a Scholarship Memorial Fund created on Brandon’s behalf. You can leave a message that will go via email directly to Ken and Rita.”0comments
The memorial fund has currently raised over $28,000.
Photo Credit: Getty / Tim Mosenfelder