One hot Southern mess! That is the word to describe Saturday at Rapids Jam. It was around 100 degrees and even after the sun went down, it never cooled to a comfortable temperature. The only people busier than the water vendors were the EMS. We sat under the shade tent for the hottest part of the day and watched a stream of people being transported on ATVs back to the first aid tent. At one point it was so hot that I considered taking up smoking again so I could go into one of the tobacco promotions tents which appeared to be air conditioned. We decided that it was too hot to stay in our sunny seats for any act that wasn't really good, so I'm only going to review the good performances we watched from beginning to end.
|Jason Michael Carroll|
Until Scotty McCreery came along, Jason Michael Carroll was our country music hometown hero in the Raleigh area. Since I'm not a teenager, in my book he still is. JMC has an album coming out (to be available at Cracker Barrel) that appears to be chock full of terrific songs, including his current single, Numbers. Numbers has grown on me quite a bit since I last wrote about it. He focused his show at Rapids Jam on songs from his new album, including Let Me (Beautiful), and Meet Me in the Barn (Sexy), and Last Word (OK). This is the third time I've seen JMC live and he's always good. He moves that wonderful bass voice of his all over the stage. At Rapids Jam he tripped on a piece of equipment while running backwards and fell flat on his back but he kept right on singing. At Rapids Jam it was too hot to jump up and down with at the appropriate place during "I Can Sleep When I'm Dead", but of course I wept during Alyssa Lies. That song breaks my heart, and with the memory of an act the day before telling the audience to "beat their children" I'm sure glad he played it.
Clay Walker was also good but he had some problems with feedback and at one point seemed a little aggravated with a stage hand. I also think the heat may have been getting to him but it's obvious while watching Clay Walker perform that he's a guy with a great sense of humour. He opened with "I'm in the Mood for You." He sang one of my favorites, "Before She Was Mama", which always makes me laugh. "She Won't Be Lonely Long" in my opinion is one of the sexiest songs out there so that was excellent to hear. "Jesse James" was a little awkward (it always is) but I like the lyrics to that one. He played one song that sounded like a Mexican vacation party song (not sure if it's an old or new one) while he shot confetti out above the audience. Of all the acts at the festival, his felt like a fun summer concert. If it just hadn't been so darn hot.