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Chris Janson concert review


The word of 2015 in Siouxland may be Yeti!

Chris Janson made that word (and company) relevant in country music lyricdom with his smash hit “Buy Me a Boat”. I announced on stage at Anthem on December 19th, that infectious ditty just went platinum! Also, it was just revealed Chris Janson would be touring with Blake Shelton in 2016.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer dude.

I met Mr. Janson and his lovely wife / manager Kelly June 15th, 2013 at Awesome Biker Nights. He played opposite Rick Springfield. Mr. “Working Class Dog” played in front of thousands at the big ABN stage. Chris Janson just charted on the country charts with “Better I Don’t”. At the time – I mentioned on stage there was a lot of people watching Rick Springfield tonight, but there was only one artist tonight on Fourth Street that has a current Top 50 hit and that man is Chris Janson! I was pretty proud of my line that night and even more proud of this hard working musician who played his heart out that night to a crowd that was 5 percent of crowd to see “Dr. Noah Drake” from General Hospital.

Last night, Chris Janson played to a sold out show at Anthem. It’s funny what hard work, countless nights on the road and perhaps the song of the radio year can do for a guy. He made mention to that journey saying “ I played a lot of nights playing in front of not many people, playing my songs with no radio hits and it was a grind”. He added “I’m humbled tonight to be playing a sold out show at the Hard Rock.”

Janson opened up his heart to chat about the struggle, borrowing gas money from his opening act the Davisson Brothers Band, his love for his wife and his strong desire to head back home to see his four children. He shared his personal song “Holdin’ Her” in the only down tempo moment of the night. It was really a neat moment along with the monster hit. There’s something magical about hear number hits performed in the intimate setting of Anthem.

He proved he has the musical chops to be a star with his latest “Power of Positive Drinkin’”, the darn catchy “White Trash” and songs he wrote like Tim McGraw’s “Truck Yeah” and “I Love this Life” by LoCash. My biggest takeaway from the evening is that he is a humble, hard-working gifted guy that treats people the right way. He embodies class and it’s really rewarding to see him get the love with “Buy Me a Boat”.

Chris Janson is why this format resonates with so many. In my 20 years of working country radio, I can name 3 recording artists out of 100 I’ve met where I went away thinking “Wow, that person was a jerk”. (Those encounters would make a great blog – maybe a tell-all book, huh?) In such a cut-throat business, it’s great to see the good guys and gals have success.

Continuing with the theme of mainstream country shows at Anthem, a lot of today’s musicians are inspired by the country stars that came before them – Janson played a number of Hank Williams Junior ditties. He opened for him in Sioux City. (I didn’t even know that). He also sampled Guns & Roses’ “Paradise City”, The Boss’ “Born in the USA” and even a few bars of Poison’s “Nothin’ But a Good Time”. The energy of those late 80’s / early 90’s rock bands really is showcased in today’s country music landscape. As a 41 year old man, I appreciate this. Old rockers like me have found a home in the country format where the energy of that rock sound comes together with the genuine lyrics of country.

I have a lot of wishes on my Bucket list. After consulting with my financial planner (that would be my wife/manager), I realized a boat, a truck to pull it and even a fancy new Yetti cooler are probably out of my reach in the near future. However, I can easily afford a few silver bullets and $8.99 for a Chris Janson cd. I’ happy to know the money is earmarked for a guy that played his heart out in 2013 in front of a sparse crowd at Awesome Biker Nights. Now if only the guy could get a recurring role on a soap opera.

Download these tracks:

“Holdin’ Her”
“Buy Me a Boat” – it’s hard to be in a bad mood while listening to this anthem
“White Trash”
“Power of Positive Drinking”
The “General Hospital” theme song

(Just seeing if you’re still reading)

cj4Tony Michaels

KSUX Coors Light consumer

Future Yeti owner