Columbus, OH, Germain Amphitheater, August 26, 2005


Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

Although "Way down yonder by the Chattahoochee/We get hotter than a hootchie-cootchie" may not be the most intellectual lyrics ever scribed in a piece of paper, but for Alan Jackson, those simple words helped propel Jackson into super-stardom in the Country world and launched a career that has spanned well over a decade and 14 records.

 

Jackson brought his superstardom to Germain Amphitheater complete with embroidered shirt and signature cowboy hat hiding his eyes. And with the show just on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, Jackson donated the proceeds from the show to the relief efforts.

Touring to promote his new record, What I Do, Jackson took the stage with his long swagger almost moving in tune with the roar from the crowd. 2005 has been a banner year for country acts coming through Columbus, including two sold-out shows for Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson and Toby Keith just to name a few. But Jackson's boy-next-door charm and down-home style of playing the guitar made for a very memorable evening.

 

Staring the show off early with hits like "Gone Country" helped the fans get into the performance quickly, and when Jackson took just a few seconds to throw his guitar pick to a woman in a wheelchair helped to solidify why his fans love him so much.

 

Jackson may not with any Nobel prizes for literature, his songwriting may not change the world and his fashion may never start a movement, but Jackson is a real country boy who happened to make it big. But those pure country roots never seem to be too far from Jackson. After all, the show started late because Jackson was still meeting with his fans.

 

But to get it down to the point, Jackson is a performer. He knows what he fans what, expect and all Jackson seems to care about is delivering for them. Although Jackson may be many a-punch line for jokes in the music world, it would seem that Jackson has definitely enough fans to make up for it. But his fans expect more than just a concert; they are looking for an experience. And Jackson's mingling with the audience, the signing of autographs after the show, and the very intimate show he can manage for thousands of fans should be commended.

 

Not every performer should be out to change the world, educate the masses or preach to their perspective choirs. Sometime concerts should be about fun. That's it, not deep hidden meanings or debates over beers afterwards. And that is what Jackson provided to Germain Amphitheater, a fun night. With Katrina dominating the airwaves and talk of race and class dominating the airwaves for even a few days, Jackson was able to give a few thousand people a release. And release they did, with cowboy hats flailing, boots a-kicking and skirts a-rising. Sometimes it is good to go country.

Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson