6:30 p.m., Riverfest Amphitheatre. $29.50-$35.00
Nashville has a tradition of separating the singer from the songwriting. Whether you want to point to George Jones moaning about having to record “He Stopped Loving Her Today” until it became his signature hit or the army of songwriters behind Kenny Chesney’s musical juggernaut, the fact is country music, new and old, has been built on made-to-order material. But Eric Church, a singer/songwriter and country music hit-maker who will make a stop on Friday at the Riverfest Amphitheatre with Luke Bryan, sees a new generation of Nashville talent coming along. Songs like “Two Pink Lines,” a funny yet bracing song about a pregnancy test, and “Lightning,” about a man facing the electric chair, have helped Church build up a small but fierce fan base. He claims that when he signed with Capitol that he was able to set his own terms, one of those being to not worry about what songs are going to be hits. “Before you didn’t see kids in college wearing country T-shirts,” says Church, “but today you see them wearing shirts with country artists. That is a change.” Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. show. Luke Bryan, Randy Houser and Whiskey Myers (who play the afterparty at Revolution, as well) provide support.