Day Two of the Pepsi BamaJam 2012 Music FestivalBy William Simpson • Jun 16th, 2012 • Category: Festivals, Live Show Reviews
Review by Lori Simpson
Day two of the Pepsi BamaJam 2012 started off with beautiful skies, cooler temperatures and remained nice the rest of day two. All of the vendors that had sustained damage the night before were up and doing business again, as well as, thousands of fans pouring into the festival grounds in anticipation of seeing Alan Jackson and the Zac Brown Band later that night.
The party started with acts such as Wheeler Boys, Dugas, Levi Lowrey, Nic Cowan, Sonia Leigh, and The Wood Brothers on the Ram stage. On the Bud Light stage, the fans were entertained by the likes of the Tyler Denning Band, Albert Castiglia, Lyndsey Highlander, Aaron Parker, Striking Matches and the English rock band, Badfinger.
As the crowd started filling the bowl around the main dual stages, former American Idol finalist, Casey James took the stage. James brought the audience to their feet with his hit “Let’s Don’t Call It A Night.” Following James it was time for the Christian glam metal band Stryper with Michael Sweet. Stryper played their hits from the 80’s including “Honestly” and “To Hell With The Devil.” As a nice surprise for the fans, Stryper invited former lead singer of the band Kansas, John Elefante to the stage to sing a couple of Kansas songs. Living legend Ronnie Milsap, hit the stage next. He is an amazing performer and just gets better with time. He graced the crowd with such hits as “Smokey Mountain Rain” and “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World.” The ENTIRE crowd stood and sang along with Milsap as he sang “America the Beautiful”. It was a touching moment where everybody was of one accord, much like the days following 9/11. There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Milsap felt the solidarity of the crowd and he should be proud of that moment in time that he helped create….they don’t come along as much as they used to and certainly not as often as they should.
South Carolina rock band, NEEDTOBREATHE, was perfect for this Alabama crowd with their brand of energetic rock and roll, as well as, their parent’s love of the University of Alabama football with their homage to former Alabama head coach Bear Bryant. Brothers, lead singer Bear and guitarist Bryant “Bo” Rinehart, drive the young band that have become very popular on the festival circuit. “The Outsiders” and “Washed By the Water” were a couple of crowd favorites.
The two co-headliners hit the stage with Alan Jackson performing a selection of his many number one songs first. Jackson is one of the few artists that have so many hits that there is no way he could play them all in one concert. Jackson also invited his co-headlining partner, Zac Brown to the stage to help him sing a couple of songs the two collaborated on “As She’s Walking Away” and “Dixie Highway” from his latest album entitled “Thirty Miles West.” The final main stage show for day two saw Zac Brown come back to the stage with his entire band. The Zac Brown Band puts on one of the best live shows you could witness. His guitar abilities are absolutely amazing. As one festival goer put it, “He was gettin’ them fangers on them strangs”. I think that about sums it up. Brown also told the crowd about his Camp Southern Ground, www.campsouthernground.org, in Fayetteville, GA that he created to help special needs children. He asked that if you have children with special needs or know of someone with special needs that you check out the website. Brown played a great rendition of Charlie Daniels “Devil Went Down To Georgia,” as well as, his own hits “Chicken Fried”, “Toes”, and “Colder Weather.”
The night started out with the crowd seeming to have a hangover from the rain delay the night before but by the time sun went down the crowd livened up and got into the show. Day two concluded with all thoroughly entertained. One more day of the Pepsi BamaJam 2012 remains with Kid Rock closing out the festivities.