Eric Church doesn't let anyone mess with his fans. The outlaw country star, whose latest album, 'Chief,' beat Adele, Kelly Rowland, and a host of other popular artists to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, always credits his dedicated followers for his success. That's why a security guard's brusque behavior toward one of them at a concert in Aberdeen, Wash. on August 21 propelled Church to action.

"It was at one of those places where the fans can stand at their seats but not come down until the end [of the show]," Church tells Taste of Country. "Sometimes fans can be overzealous and we do try to squelch that, but this was the first time I ever had anything like this happen."

The incident began when a female fan left her seat to go to the stage and ask Church to sign her boot.

"She wasn't hurting anything," says Church. "She threw me her boot and the security guard tried to manhandle her. I got real irritated with the security guard. I stopped singing, but the band kept playing. I couldn't get his attention."

Church threw the boot toward the guard, but the guard "looked at me and couldn't understand what was going on," says Church, who then asked the woman to give him the boot again. "She brought the boot to me and I'll be damned if he didn't try to kick her out again. By that time, I had lost it, so I stopped the show and had my guys kick the security guard out. The fans loved it."

Other fans were then invited down to the stage to more completely enjoy the show.

"[Some fans] that experience concerts want an energy exchange. That's how they do it," says Church of fans who like to get close to the stage. "I never had an encounter like that with a security guard. I wasn't sad when he was gone."

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