Country music star Jake Owen opened his show at Chukchansi Park on Saturday with his 2016 hit “American Country Love Song.”
He walked on stage barefoot, in faded skinny jeans and a black T-shirt underneath a sparkling rhinestone blazer. It didn’t take long for him to ditch the blazer and get comfortable on stage.
Owen played a long set with over 20 songs, including an encore. He picked fans out of the crowd to join him on stage where they enjoyed his performance from the side under a small, pop-up gazebo.
Owen was charismatic. He maintained a wide grin the whole night that framed his white, perfectly straight teeth. Owen carried himself with an air of humility. He thanked his audience many times for giving him the opportunity to sing for millions of people across America.
There were fans on the field, fans in the stands and fans in the box seats. Owen acknowledged all three sections from the stage and went the extra mile to include everyone in what he made feel like an intimate evening with him.
His show was lively and energetic. The accompanying band members were phenomenal musicians. They played banjo, slide guitar, keytar, along with bass, drums and keyboard. Owen played the acoustic and electric guitar.
About halfway through the concert, Owen made his way to a smaller stage at the back of the crowd. Standing on the field, he performed an acoustic round of covers, like when he first started playing gigs while attending Florida State University. He played country music classics from famous icons, like Toby Keith and Alan Jackson.
For those who weren’t well-versed in country music, he offered a handful of covers throughout the evening, including a song by California ska band Sublime and “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King.
As Owen himself pointed out, the audience was a mixed crowd. There were men out having beers with their buddies, women gathered for girls’ night, kids on their dad’s shoulders and couples of all ages enjoying a night of music and each other.
A young boy named Christian held a sign near the front of the stage that said he chose this concert to be his first. Owen pulled the boy on stage and they sang together.
Christian stayed on stage and “helped” the drummer by tapping on a cowbell and hitting a cymbal with a drum stick for Owen’s last song, “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” This song has over 98 million streams on Spotify and was his first number one single on the country chart in 2011. It was fitting as his set closer.
Owen put on a youthful show, full of heart and passion. His fans adored him and by the way he connected with his audience, it’s easy to see why.