Alan Jackson Back In Sweden » 

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Alan Jackson Back In Sweden

Posted by: Petr Mecir

Journal 08/31/2011

In spite of the fact Alan Jackson doesn't like long distance flights and another reason which used to be given as an explanation why he will never tour outside of America was his reported fobia of unknown foreign food, he came back to tour Europe after long 19 years and played a couple of shows in Norway and Sweden in 2009. Impressed by the huge success and great appreciation and enthusiasm of his dedicated Scandinavian fans, he decided to repeat the tour and come back this summer again. I decided to repeat my incredible experience and enjoyment from the show in Sweden, too, and thus took a 30-hour journey to Eskilstuna, Sweden to see him once again.

My buddy Monty Lane Allen, who plays acoustic guitar and mandolin in Alan's band, was sending me messages about the current location of their gang. When I finally got to the concert grounds, I sent Monty a text to meet me. I was glad to see him again, because at the time of my last Alan Jacksontrip to Nashville he was visiting his mom in South Carolina and we couldn't meet. I also asked him if there was a chance to say hi to Alan and he said it was probably not going to happen and said that sometimes he didn't get to say hi to him either, because as he explained, the band don't usually see him until he walks on the stage and right after the show he's gone. Monty said he had been singing the soundchecks for several years now and Alan usually gets in just minutes before the showtime. The fact is that in a recent interview Alan said that somebody had asked him if he had any plans for retirement and he replied there was nothing for him to retire from. These days he spends just a minimum amount of time in the music business, only does like 50 shows a year and every other year spends two weeks in the studio to make a record. Most of his time he spends with his family, going fishing or fixing old cars. Just like George Strait, Alan got his music legend status, which enables him to do only what he wants and he doesn't have to chase any record sales or tickets sales anymore. A lucky man!

Over 6,000 country music fans from all Sweden and neighbouring countries came to Eskilstuna for the show and only few people weren't wearing cowboy boots, cowboy hats and Alan Jackson T-shirts. The first opening act was a former local star Annika Ljungberg, former lead singer of Rednex, and her Cotton Eyed Joe Show, which I missed with a pleasure. The official opening act was a popular husband-wife duo Joey & Roy, who were very good. I didn't know Roy wrote smash hits "Chain Of Love" (Clay Walker) and "A Little More Country Than That" (Easton Corbin). He then played his versions of both Alan Jacksonsongs. After their concert there were just minutes left for the main show and I was ready with me photo pass right below the stage. Monty Lane Allen told bass player Roger I was there and he shook my hand from the stage and gave me one of Alan's guitar picks. Then there was a great countdown of all of 35 Alan's #1 hits, after which he eventually walked on the stage and kicked off with the smash hit "Gone Country". The music sounded perfect, there was a superb atmosphere and even the intense rain stopped as the show started. Alan may not play too many shows these days, but aparently the more he enjoys doing them. He was absolutely marvelous and he kept throwing picks in the audience. The setlist was pretty much similar to the show two years ago, so I'm not going to list all songs here, but I was very pleased with Alan's bluegrass version of "Seven Bridges Road", which I heard him play live for the first time. It wasn't possible to do the show without playing the current single "Long Way To Go", which lyrics about rainy weather was more than topical on that day. The Swedish audience was having a great time and a lot of folks were singing every word with Alan. A very impressive moment came when he sat down, talked about a slow launch of his career twenty years ago and played short versions of "Here In The Real World", "Wanted" and "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow". Then he started tMonty Lane Allen & Petr Mečířalking about the collaboration with Zac Brown and their duet "As She's Walking Away", which earned them a Grammy earlier this year. Then he played the song and Brown's part (which means the most of the song) was sung by Monty Lane Allen, who put on a funny stocking cap, so he would look like Zac Brown a little. Monty is a really great singer on his own and I was happy for him, that Alan finally lets him show his talent during the show. The show was closed by nothing else but "Chattahoochee" and "Where I Come From", of course, while scenes from the Swedish countryside and Eskilstuna were being shown on the big screens, concluded with a giant Swedish flag. Alan and the band once again played "Mercury Blues" as an encore with legendary wild solos on drums by Bruce Rutherford and bass by Roger Wills and Alan threw last dozens of guitar picks in the audience. After the show finished, Monty collected picks fallen on the stage, gave them away to the fans below the stage and gave me Alan's set list just like last time.


Alan Jackson delivered an amazing show for his European fans once again and I hope this is going to become a tradition and he will be touring (not only) Scandinavian countries in a few years again.

01 Gone Country
02 I Don't Even Know Your Name
03 Livin' On Love
04 Summertime Blues
05 Woman's Love
06 Tall, Tall Trees
07 Small Town Southern Man
08 The Blues Man
09 Who's Cheatin' Who
10 Long Way To Go
11 Little Bitty
12 Country Boy
13 Drive
14 Seven Bridges Road
15 Don't Rock The Jukebox
16 Medley: Here In The Real World/Wanted/Chasin' That Neon Rainbow
17 As She's Walking Away (with Monty Lane Allen)
18 Remember When
19 Good Time
20 It's Five O'Clock Somewhere
21 Chattahoochee
22 Where I Come From

23 Mercury Blues



Alan Jackson & Monty Lane Allen - "As She's Walking Away"



(C) Petr Mecir 2011. All rights reserved.