Great review Michelle.
sorry about my late review & the length of it lol but I hope I captured most of the night for you all.
OMG – wow Alan Jackson may be a country music superstar but he has just “rocked” the socks off Australia!! We had waited patiently, reading the reviews from other countries/towns/ festivals etc and counting down the years/months/days til it was our turn. (We know a thing or two about patience as we’ve been waiting a little while for AJ to visit lol)
Then here he was in our country, wowing audiences & gaining new fans along the way, but still we had to wait cause Brisbane was the last stop on this Aussie tour.
WOW, today is the day - not too long to wait now Brisbane, I hope you are ready cause Country has come to town!!!
(I didn’t attend the Thursday night gig but from most reports it was fantastic)
So Friday night is here – the local opening acts were pretty good but hey let’s face it we were here to see the man himself! People are already gathering around the stage, I have 2nd row seats but fans are coming from the back of the arena so I scramble to the stage as well. I feel for the people in the front row but Alan Jackson is in town so I gotta get the best vantage point I can as I may never get this chance again. The lights go down & the screens light up, and the show begins woohoo!
As we read the story on the screens the Strayhorns enter & get set to play before the crowd goes wild when we recognise the “Gone Country” tune & the screams become even more deafening when we catch a glimpse of that Small Town Southern Man about to walk on stage. I can hardly hear when he starts talking into the mic in that irresistible southern accent and in reality he could have said anything cause I stood there mesmerised. I/We had dreamed of this moment for so long, for the day that Alan Jackson stood in front of us and sang those songs that we had played over and over again!! There he was in his trademark hat, cowboy shirt & ripped jeans and for nearly two hours he did what he came to do – to sing & play us his brand of country music!!
He worked his way thru many of his hits & in his own words they may be “simple songs” but they strike a chord with everyday people and that is why they are popular. He explains the meaning behind some songs & gives some insights into his career etc. All of the people at the front of the stage are singing along and taking it all in – many scramble for the guitar picks that Alan throws out into the crowd! Woohoo, I caught one and I fist pump the air like I had just won the lotto lol.
The show moves into an intimate mode with Alan and The Strayhorns taking a seat for the next few minutes. This gives Alan the opportunity to introduce the band who are all equally welcomed by the audience. They start off this set with the Zac Brown Band collaboration “As She’s Walking Away” and they have a bit of fun with it. I am surprised by how many people sing along with this song, awesome!! They then sing snippets from some of Alan’s older songs but some of his biggest hits – it was a stroll down memory lane and we all loved it.
Then it’s back on their feet and Alan says it is time for some “Goodtime” songs – yay the crowd started screaming cause we knew what was coming. This was my cue to grab my sign and I was ecstatic when Alan looked directly at me, pointed at my sign and directed the camera guy my way. I was so excited that I did not even notice I was on the big screen until people around me started waving & tapping me on the shoulder to say hey that’s you on screen lol. I was away with the fairies cause Alan Jackson looked at me hahaha!!
We were nearing the end of the concert as Alan rolled out some of the crowd favourites including It’s Five O’clock Somewhere, Chattahoochee & Where I come which brought cheers from the audience as we watched the big screens showing local landmarks. The biggest cheer was saved for when they showed a statue of Wally Lewis who for our overseas friends is a retired Rugby League player who was loved & idolised by most Queenslanders!!
Before we knew it Alan was thanking us all & saying farewell but we stayed put and chanted cause we knew there would be an encore. The guys all came back on stage & sang Mercury and another song but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was cause Alan was busy throwing picks out into the crowd and signing anything that was pushed in his direction. I was lucky enough to get a signature & another guitar pick so I was in heaven!!
I loved the entire show from start to finish and couldn’t believe that it was over so soon! I particularly loved hearing the live versions of Where Were You & Remember When, the emotion was so evident & took the songs to another level.
I was hoping he would sing “designated drinker” but realise he just has too many songs to choose from that if he sang every song that people wanted to hear then he would never leave Australia hahaha!
Thank you Alan for taking the time to come to our beautiful country, we know we are a long way from anywhere so appreciate you & The Strayhorns for visiting us. PLEASE COME AGAIN!!!!