I went to see Alan Jackson in Alabama and it was OK
This post serves as my first awkward step into blogging and also back into writing – it has been a while.
A while back I made plans to visit my father in early October. He now resides in Birmingham, Alabama for reasons I won’t go into. Neither of us are from the South, but this is where he has lived for the past 16 years, and I try to visit frequently.
After scheduling my trip this time, my dad emailed to see if I would be interested in attending an Alan Jackson concert with him. I do not own any Alan Jackson albums, but I immediately agreed, for a number of reasons:
1.) My dad was hosting me, and I wanted to be a good guest.
2.) I was curious to see what such an event would be like.
3.) As I was growing up my dad appeared to show no real passion for music to any degree. In fact, his main requirements for music seemed to be that it be hummable and close to the elevator variety. So the idea of him at a full scale amphitheater showed seemed intriguing.
I guess I had one of those “demanding father / (slightly) rebellious son” kind of relationships when I was growing up and that carries over to this day in a sort of general friction in my dealings with the old man, and this trip was no different. Lots of volatile political discussions, but nothing unexpected given the run of the previous decades.
Heading into the weekend with the idea that something interesting and “blog-worthy” would happen I guess I have to say that it was a bit of a let down. Due to me being some combination of lazy, unfocused and unpracticed, I will have to default to a list of observations about the show:
1.) I spent most of the show watching the guitar guys pick, because I suck at playing Nashville-style guitar licks
2.) Although I grew up playing violin, I did not realize that 5 string violins existed – which I probably should have because the idea of combining a viola and a violin is useful and rather easy to accomplish
3.) The guys running the sound board for the show did a really great job handling 8 musicians on stage – everything was mixed very well – kudos to you, Alan Jackson sound board guys.
4.) King Cans of Bud Light were $9. This did not stop me from having 3 of them. Please do not judge.
5.) The “Good Time” title track from Alan Jackson’s latest release was really not so good.
6.) Outside of some video screens, I appreciated the fact that the show was pretty glitz-free and focused on the musicians on stage.
7.) Pedal Steel guitar players, I salute you.
8.) If you are the opening act, don’t repeatedly mention the peak chart position of the songs you are playing or have yourself referred to with the preceding title of “RCA Recording Artist” – these pathetic attempts to impress actually have the opposite effect. I am talking to YOU, Chris Young.
9.) A reheated cheeseburger at the end of the night really isn’t such a bad thing.
10.) For me, personally, there was a bit too much Jesus/God in the proceedings. Your mileage may vary.
And that’s about it. I wouldn’t go on my own, but I was happy to accompany my dad. Later in the weekend he told me he had previously gone to see The Eagles, so it could have been a lot worse.