ALAN Jackson has already conquered the US Country Music Capital, and on Wednesday night he conquered Australia’s version.
The 4500-strong crowd had Gone Country at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre and hung on Jackson’s every word.
They showed their appreciation whenever he mentioned Tamworth. He pandered to the audience, shaking hands, throwing T-shirts and guitar picks into the crowd and even changing the words of a few of his songs to include “Tamworth”, “Australia” and “Australian”.
Rob Potts Entertainment Edge chief executive officer and managing director Rob Potts said Jackson loved coming here.
“As he said on stage, he felt really good coming in, the country looked beautiful and it reminded him of flying over Tennessee,” he said.
“He was happy he’d come to the Country Music Capital of Australia.”
Jackson did not have a lot of time to soak up the Tamworth atmosphere, though, arriving by private jet about 6.30pm and leaving shortly after the concert about 11.15pm.
The audience sang along to every Jackson song, demonstrating how loved the artist is in Australia’s Country Music Capital.
And we could have more concerts to look forward to. Mr Potts said if all determining factors were in Tamworth’s favour, more artists would come here.
“The determining factors are what it costs, is the venue capacity big enough to be able to afford the artist and then it’s a timing thing,” he said.
“If we had the dates and the artist is willing to do the extra shows, then it is possible that we would look at Tamworth with some of our big tours.”
He said he thought the Tamworth concert was fantastic.
“The venue worked great and the staff were friendly,” he said.
“It was good to see them do something with the pre-show vibe outside, although a bit more effort could go into dressing that up and make it a bit less cage-like. It was good to see them adding to the vibe for the whole night, though.”
Mr Potts said it was a good room for a small arena.
“There would be shows that you couldn’t put in there, with the stage-to-ceiling height limitation, though,” he said.
He said special guest Sara Evans loved it, too.
“She thought it was a lovely place to come and do a concert,” he said.