In an open field in Cullman, Alabama, Alan Jackson arrived via pickup truck, greeting the thousands of fans at his drive-in style show on Friday, June 12, 2020. It marked the largest gathering in the entire world since the global pandemic shutdown earlier this year. Social distancing and procedures were maintained to ensure a safe event.
The concept and execution were smooth and convenient. Every vehicle was spaced six feet from each other, and you could set your chairs in front of your car. Hungry? Golf carts continuously circled around with concessions. And what’s a concert without a souvenir? Merch stands were stocked with commemorative t-shirts and gear, including editions of his now-canceled 2020 tour with dates listed on the back. And a huge shoutout to the law enforcement officers and crew that made sure everyone properly exited the grounds in an orderly fashion.
Hitting the stage singing “Gone Country,” Alan Jackson and his Strayhorn Band performed an impressive 20-song set. Everything from the early 90s hits like “Summertime Blues” to modern-day favorite “Good Time” was included. My favorite portion of the show is when he played “Here in the Real World,” and “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” interspersed with stories about his Nashville beginnings. A bluegrass-styled rendition of “Seven Bridges Road,” was a cool cover highlight.
Lines from “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” provided poignant recollections of the unknown times we have faced. A screen backdrop showed images of heroic efforts and the American flag. Concertgoers held up their cell phones lit up the Alabama sky. Truly a touching moment.
Setlist selections: “Who’s Cheatin’ Who,” “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere,” “I Don’t Even Know Your Name,” “The Blues Man,” “Where I Come From,” “Drive,” and “Remember When,”
Hearing all the classics like “Livin’ On Love,” “Little Bitty,” and “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” was something I was entirely grateful for. My life revolves around live music, and I haven’t been able to attend a show since February. Life’s been unfathomable with everything occurring, but this show was a soul revival. You can always rely on country music to bring you back to what matters. And you can always count on Alan Jackson for pure country music.