Jake Owen and Friends Take Over Music Row for Second Annual Beach Party
Jake Owen’s second annual beach party turned a normal Monday night in Nashville on its head. The singer took the stage after dark on Aug. 18, confessing that he was about to get pretty wild — okay, that’s not exactly the word he used. Sure, it was technically a school night but the 10,000 (ish) fans in front of him didn’t show any signs of slowing down in the name of a good night’s sleep.
The concert in the BMI parking lot was part rock show, part thank you note and part look back at the 10 years since Owen arrived in Nashville as a college dropout hoping to find a home in Music City. He talked several times about those early days and the struggles he faced before beginning to truly realize his dream. The ‘Beachin’’ singer was emphatic, with words of encouragement to anyone in the audience going through something similar.
As for the music, it was hit after hit after hit, with several unexpected covers (‘Ice Ice Baby,’ for example) sprinkled in between. Friends like Lee Brice, Dan + Shay and TJ from Brothers Osborne were a few. Sonia Leigh and Mike Posner were two others.
After an eye-opening set from opener Old Dominion, the Cadillac Three took the stage for a powerful rock/country set. Owen sat stageside for much of it — Jaren Johnston and friends are the country industry’s favorite band, even if they haven’t notched a “hit” single yet.
Owen began his set with ‘Days of Gold’ and barely slowed down before getting to ‘Don’t Think I Can’t Love You.’ Prior to that bluesy track he talked about his journey, his father’s battle with cancer (“He kicked cancer’s a–!” the singer shouted) and how appreciative he was of everyone in the audience. He revealed that twin brother was in the crowd, and that his father frequently came to Vanderbilt to get treatment.
The interruption felt anything but, as Owen commands a stage and one’s attention as well as any singer in Nashville. It’s tough to take your eyes off of him, even as other performers are featured. During both Dan + Shay and TJ Osborne’s sets he held back, taking selfies with a dozen or so audience members. During ‘Beachin’,’ he didn’t miss a note when oversized beach balls littered the stage. It’s likely the props were provided by his team, as they appeared out of nowhere and quickly disappeared afterward. But like everything Owen did on this night, they just fit.
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