Saturday, April 4, 2009 | 10:13 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Alan Jackson’s hit 1994 single proclaimed that the world had “gone country” and the legendary country star used that hit Friday night to simultaneously kick off both his concert in Primm and the Academy of Country Music Awards weekend in Las Vegas.
Indeed, it seems that the greater Las Vegas Valley has gone country this weekend.
Jackson’s concert at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert arena was the first of several concerts going on across town in connection with Sunday’s ACMAs.
Jackson has collected eight ACMAs over the years, including two for Album of the Year and another pair for Male Vocalist of the Year.
The 50-year-old Georgia-born star used this live show Friday night to reassert his country superstardom, delivering an impressive retrospective of songs drawn from more than 20 years of him being in the spotlight.
In addition to “Gone Country,” Jackson sang a variety of his hits that transcended his two decades in the spotlight. Included in the evening’s set list was 2001’s “Where I Come From" and the 9/11 tribute, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” Older tracks, such as "Chattahoochee,” and “Livin’ on Love,” also proved to be fan favorites that have seemingly withstood the test of time.
Friday’s hour and 20-minute show started slow but finished strong. While Jackson’s onstage demeanor can be described as “relaxed” at the best of times, the country crooner seemed to feed off the near-capacity crowd’s energy, and perked up as the show went on.
By the time he left the stage after a short encore, he had signed dozens of autographs and posed for a picture with a young girl who made her way onstage, as well.
The country music action continues tonight in Primm with a live performance by Trace Adkins.
Back in Las Vegas, LeAnn Rimes is scheduled to give a free concert at the Fremont Street Experience Third Street stage at 10:45 p.m. tonight. Before that, ACMA’s top new vocal duo or group winner and top new artist nominees, the Zac Brown Band, will also hit the Third Street stage, at 7:40 p.m. tonight.