"I watched them hold American flags up during 'How 'Bout You.' I watch them put an American scarf around my neck during 'Springsteen.' They held records up when I played 'Record Year.' They held boots up when I played 'These Boots, '" Church recalled about his connection with the Las Vegas crowd. "48 hours later, those places where I stood was carnage". "And the loss of one of those victims, in particular, has continued to devastate the singer". "I didn't want to play guitar. And he said, 'What brought you to Vegas?' And she goes, 'We went there to see Eric Church 'cause he was Sonny's-her husband who died-it was his guy and we went there to see his guy, '" Church recounted with tears in his eyes. She goes, 'We went there to see Eric Church because he was Sonny's ... it was his guy. Obviously this senseless tragedy weighed heavily on the North Carolina native as he took to the Grand Ole Opry stage on Wednesday night. He then described how he wrote the new song after after watching an interview on CNN with Melton's wife Heather where she talked about how big of a fan he was of his music. The couple had also bought tickets to Church's show at the Opry that night.
"The reason I'm here tonight is because Heather Melton, her husband Sonny who died and every person that was there because let me tell you something: I saw that crowd". I've seen this crowd all year. I came back up the left side, saw smiling faces, hands in the air and pictures being taken ... And what I saw, that moment in time, was frozen.
"Tonight we are standing on the circle that can not be broken", Opry host Jeannie Seely said, referring to the historic piece of wood transplanted from the Opry's longtime home at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
Seeing that footage inspired Eric Church not only to take the stage one more time, but to pen a song in honor of Sonny and all the victims of the shooting.