You’d be hard-pressed to find a musician who doesn’t appreciate his or her fans — without them, after all, no one would be able to record or tour. But during a recent concert, rising country star Eric Church demonstrated just how much his fans mean to him.

The show ended with one woman walking away with Church’s autograph on her boot — and one security guard being asked to leave before the final bow.

“It was at one of those places where the fans can stand at their seats but not come down until the end,” Church recalled in an interview. “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.”

By “anything like this,” Church meant a female concertgoer leaving her seat to ask Church if he’d sign her boot. “She wasn’t hurting anything,” he insisted. “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 responded by throwing the boot back to the woman and asking her to return to the stage. “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.”

Eventually, Church invited more attendees down to the stage. “[Some fans] that experience concerts want an energy exchange. That’s how they do it,” Church explained. “I never had an encounter like that with a security guard. I wasn’t sad when he was gone.”

[Taste of Country]