Fans gathered to celebrate one of country music’s giants this weekend. Country Music Hall of Fame member Alan Jackson commanded the Bridgestone stage with charisma and pride during his hit-filled set on Friday night (Oct. 8).
After an entertaining opening set from James Carothers, who often plays at Jackson’s downtown establishment AJ’s Good Time Bar, Jackson came out swinging. He kicked things off with “Gone Country” and “Summertime Blues,” and played many of his the 35 No. 1 hits. He grinned ear to ear as he surveyed the crowd, constantly putting his hand to his heart to show his appreciation for the fans.
During a special portion of the show, Jackson took a seat on a stool and introduced some hits with their corresponding stories—just like he was at the Bluebird Cafe. Ultimately, Jackson expressed a ton of gratitude for his long and fruitful career.
“I’m not trying to brag, I just want to say thanks to people like y’all who have supported my music. It’s been a crazy ride,” he said before playing his first-ever hit “Here In The Real World.”
Jackson took us on a journey through his early days on Music Row before telling the crowd the story of his father’s radio that inspired the first line of “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.”
The lauded performer was presented with a plaque for garnering 5 billion streams on Pandora during the show. UMG Nashville’s Mike Dungan, Cindy Mabe and Annie Ortmeier joined Jackson on stage, along with Pandora’s Alina Thompson and Jen Danielson, to present the Hall of Famer with a commemorative plaque.
“I wish mama could have heard that. She wouldn’t have known what I was talking about,” Jackson humbly said before thrilling fans with “Pop a Top.”
Also among Jackson’s setlist were his fun “Good Time” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” as well as some of his deeper material like “Remember When” and “Drive (For Daddy Gene).”
During “Little Bitty” Jackson noticed his young fans in the crowd, including a kid at his first concert. Bridgestone roared for “Chattahoochee,” holding up t-shirts that said “hotter than a hoochie coochie.” They swayed and cried to “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” holding up their cell-phone lighters.
During another portion of the show, Jackson invited his daughter Ali out to sing “You’ll Always Be My Baby,” a song from his new album Where Have You Gone. Family photos flashed behind the two as they sang the touching song.
Jackson closed the heartwarming show with a double encore of “Mercury Blues” and “Where Have You Gone,” his yearning anthem to traditional country music.
The crowd ate up every word.
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