Alan Jackson And The Harters Live @ The K-Rock Centre
The Harters opened up the night and their set with a nice combined harmony with a acceptable applause from the audience. After the harmony “Leslie” vocals were drowned out by the acoustic guitars which were being played by “Mike and Scott.” Their opening song was a great testament for what the audience was going to receive throughout the remainder of their set. At the end of Harters opening song their was a mild applause from the audience. What astounded me throughout their set was how well their vocal harmonies were performed, during a couple song I started to tune my ears towards the vocals rather than the acoustic guitars. By the end of their second song they received another mild applause after asking “How You Doin?”, which in turn they asked the question again which then made the audience come alive a little bit more. “Loveless” was introduced as their third song along with a brief history and meaning behind the lyrics. Mike and Scott described “Loveless” as a song which they wrote for and about their sister. By midway the tempo picked up which flowed with fantastic soothing and strong harmonies. Nearing the last verse in the song Mike and Scott stepped back a couple of paces and left Leslie in the spotlight in the center of the stage. Leslie finished off the song by dancing in place behind her microphone. After a brief description about their day in Kingston they moved into a rendition of “Lean On Me”. This song started to bring the audience into their set and music, while I looked around I could see and hear people singing along with The Harters. As the song finished Leslie thanked the audience for singing along with band. Before The Harters started their final song they tried to get people chanting for Alan Jackson they did raise a better cheer then at the start of their set. They seemed to have saved their strongest song as their finale, the tempo and the strength raised in the guitars which was also led by very strong vocals. At the end of their set they thanked everyone for listening and they would be at the Merch table to meet members of the audience.
Alan Jackson came out onto the stage to a huge applause while the band played “Gone Country”. It didn’t take long before the crowd rushed to the front of the stage. By time “Gone country” finished played Alan probably threw out at least twenty picks out into the crowd. One thing I noticed was the fact that he was carrying around his guitar but not really playing but using the guitar as a prop. As the fourth song approached in his set the tempo slowed down in turn sending the entire floor which was still standing since the first song back down into their seats. Throughout the entire song the audience was hanging on to every word while singing along. When “Small Town Southern Man” started to play the song received a wide ovation right away. During the break in verses Alan started to lightly strum his guitar but you couldn’t really hear anything coming from the speakers at all. The lyrics were changed up a little bit as Alan made the change with “Small Ontario Town” which received a large applause from the crowd. While the mood was still at a mellow state “Hey Baby I Love You” became the song to follow. As the song progressed couples around the building started to slowly came closer together. Flashes throughout the song was a constant. During the break in the lyrics Alan slowly paced the stage and moved to the front of the stage thanking and shaking hands of the audience, while strumming his guitar lightly every now and again. As “Don’t Rock The Jukebox” came on people stood right back up and singing along once again. The Visual effects on the backing screens changed to a NASCAR theme. It didn’t take long before the first female in tight jeans and cowboy hat to jump on the stage and to be quickly removed from the stage, to the much delight of the audience. “Little Bitty” followed with a complete sing a long from the audience once again. A couple of fan signs also made their first appearance to a large applause from the audience, this song was a more touching song as Alan explained that he wanted to write a song for his dad which has passed away but didn’t want to write a sad song. At the end of the video which was being played a the side stage screens a memorial page commemorating his dad appeared. As the set went on the tempo sped back up which seemed to have a open invitation for more female audience members to jump up on stage and dance in front of the band. At one point in time Alan started to chuckle through his lyrics, and seemed to wipe a couple of tears from his eyes from laughter. At the end of the song Alan thanked the audience in his southern fashion by staying “Y’all got some good dancers, You’re Jazzin Things Up.”. An intimate portion of the set became a big hit as all the members of the band were brought stools to sit on. They talked a little bit about starting out and the origins of his earlier hits and the meaning behind a couple of songs. The video highlight for me of the night and I imagine gathering from the rest of the audience was the video for “Where I come From”. They cleverly filmed different parts of the city and placed them in a video collage. The crowd applauded when the armed forces were placed into the video, but the loudest applause came and even made Alan Jackson turn around to look at the video was when a clip of the LCBO was shown. “Mercury Blues” turned into a ten minute jam by accident, Somebody up front held up a cowboy hat and a marker. Alan eagerly signed the hat then all of a sudden he had the entire front of the stage holding up hats, shirts, tickets, and even a boot to be signed. To finish off the night the band finished out the newly jammed song.