Alan Jackson was the top country ticket seller in 1994, which should come as no surprise to anyone who caught his act at the Coliseum a little more than a year ago.
Jackson delivered a spectacular, state-of-the-art concert experience. Two video cameramen roamed the stage, shooting a continuous live video of the concert, which was projected on two giant video screens. A giant inflatable jukebox rocked back and forth.
Well, now it’s 1995 and Jackson has a brand new stage show that preserves the video component but dispenses with most of the props. The focus, according to the promotional material, “is on the music itself.”
Which is just fine, because even with all of the high-tech glitz, the music made the show. For a guy who has only been around since 1990, Jackson already had an impressive repertoire of hit songs, including this rousing four-pack to end the show: “She’s Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues),” “Midnight in Montgomery,” “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” and “Chattahoochee.”
And now, he has even more great songs to choose from. His latest album, “Who I Am,” released last June, remains in the country Top Ten. It has spawned three singles: “Summertime Blues,” “Livin’ On Love,” and “Gone Country.”
Add those singles to his already bulging list of hits, including “Here In the Real World,” “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” “Tonight I Climb the Walls,” and “Mercury Blues.”
Jackson has an appealing, low-key charisma on stage which also attracts a devoted female audience. Here’s how Amy Linden of People magazine put it: “He charms not as a romantic (like Vince Gill) or as a good ole boy (Travis Tritt), but as a regular Joe who could be the guy next door. Blessed with an off-hand, effortless style and a no-nonsense batch of mostly self-penned songs, his Everyman approach has pushed all of his albums beyond platinum.”
Jackson hails from Newnan, Ga. As a kid, he was more interested in cars than in guitars. Motorized vehicles are still his hobby; he owns nine Harleys, a ‘57 Chevy convertible and the ‘55 Thunderbird he first bought at age 15.
Jackson’s opening act, Lee Roy Parnell, is driving in Nashville’s fast lane, too. Parnell burst on the scene last year with two songs in the Top Ten, “I’m Holding My Own,” “On the Road,” and a third song in the Top 20, “Take These Chains From My Heart.”
He was most recently seen on the Country Music Association Awards telecast, joining Mary Chapin Carpenter for a hilarious rendition of “Shut Up and Kiss Me.” Parnell contributed the guitar solo to that song.
Here’s one final thought about Wednesday’s show: Last year’s tour was sponsored by Miller Lite beer, and the show opened with a Jackson video that featured the Miller Lite logo in practically every shot. This year’s tour is sponsored by Fruit of the Loom.
What is that video going to be like?
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with story: Alan Jackson, with Lee Roy Parnell Location and time: Spokane Coliseum, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25