Celebrating his 25th year as a performer, country musician Alan Jackson played to a capacity crowd at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis., on May 8. Relative newcomers Jon Pardi and CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Brandy Clark opened the show. The tour is close to wrapping up and concludes next weekend with shows in Salt Lake City and Denver.
Jackson took the stage just shy of 9 p.m. and played a 90-minute set of classic hits and choice covers. The honky-tonk Georgian native was welcomed with open arms following an introductory video montage that highlighted his career accomplishments, including over 60-million records sold. Joined by a band of eight talented musicians, Jackson opened with the chorus from "Gone Country."
Various members of the band showcased their talents during the early part of the show. Guitarist Danny Groah soloed between covers of "The Blues Man" and "Who's Cheatin' Who;" while Ryan Joseph followed the latter with a climactic fiddle instrumental. The video screen frequently showed music video clips during the songs, not difficult considering he's produced more than 50 during the span of his career.
Five stools were brought onto the stage about midway through the set, with Jackson at center, that increased the intimacy of the night, despite the presence of 8000 fans in the building. Jackson introduced his crew, The Strayhorns, and they offered up a low-key introduction to "The Real World." Jackson added, "This is my first hit song...not my first song, that one didn't do so well."
They continued in that configuration with a handful of songs, including Zac Brown Band's "Walking Away"--complete with guitarist Monte Allen assuming the role of Zac wearing a beanie for that song. Jackson then stated, "I hope y'all don't mind, but I'd like to pull out a new song," leading into "You Never Know." He also noted that a new album should arrive sometime this year.
Jackson finished the show near 10:30 p.m. He returned to the stage for a single encore and performed K. C. Douglas' "Mercury Blues" to cap the night. He spent most of the song signing autographs for some of the fans in the general admission pit near the stage.