NASHVILLE — "I came to Nashville in 1985 to play real country music, and that's what I've been trying to do ever since," Alan Jackson told the crowd at a sold-out Bridgestone Arena Saturday night. For the Nashville stop on his 25th Anniversary Keepin' It Country Tour, Jackson promised to play "songs about life and love and drinkin' and dyin' and cryin' and dancin' and havin' a good time." The career-spanning 27-song set included his first hit, 1990's Here in the Real World, as well as a song from his next album.
Who needs a merch table? During songs like I Don't Even Know Your Name and a cover of Hank Williams Jr.'s Blues Man, Jackson gave his band, The Strayhorns, a lot of room to stretch. During their solos, he often strolled about the foot of the stage, tossing out T-shirts and shaking hands.