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Country Memories – My First Concert

Chad Benefield

So, last night in Louisville at the Kentucky State Fair, the opening night concert was Alan Jackson at Freedom Hall.  What a flashback that is for me, as my first REAL concert was at the same state fair, in the same building, with the same headliner.  How many years ago was that?  My Lord! That was 19 years ago!

I say it was my first REAL concert because I had been to see Toby Keith inside Billy Bob’s in Texas and a free show with Lorrie Morgan, but this was a full-on arena show with major tour production.  I was going into 8th grade and my grandparents bought me the tickets.  I also decked myself out in the logo of my local radio station hoping to win some cold hard cash from one of their ‘spotters.’  That’s some karma, huh?

I remember the opening act was Aaron Tippin, and his opening song was ‘Honky Tonk Superman,’ complete with a phone booth, so he could change into his sleeveless flannel!  I was so amazed at the production of Alan’s show, complete with ‘rocking’ jukeboxes, and video walls showing Alan water-skiing on the Chattahoochie!

I was hooked on concerts, and proud to tell my friends I went, despite their chuckles, considering they were going to see acts like Bon Jovi, Boyz II Men, and Pearl Jam.

To see Alan Jackson play at this year’s fair says many things to me.  The fair has changed.  Nothing against Alan, but he’s not exactly the top star these days, but in 1994, he was BIG!  The fair used to always bring the BEST.  It also tells me that, even though Alan is not on top, he’s still in the game, and that’s more than you can say about other top stars of ’94!

Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane with me, and I hope to get to the State Fair next week during my time off!

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