Every year tens of thousands of people descend on Virginia Beach on Labor Day Weekend for the American Music Festival.
This year, for the first time in about 10 years Mother Nature had other plans, and sent Tropical Storm Hermine to this normally happy beach town to mess things up. By the time we arrived on Friday afternoon it was already known that the free Travis Tritt show was canceled on Saturday and the main stage acts (mostly 80s pop nostalgia) for the weekend were jettisoned from the big beach stage to the convention center.
But there was hope, the free Friday night Chris Janson show was still on. By showtime, it was announced that Janson would start his show early. We got there just in time and as he hit the stage. Janson apologetically announced he’d only be able to do a handful of songs before the organizers would shut it down due to the impending weather, but he would just stick to the hits.
No one, who attended minded. We were happy that Chris Janson came out and played for us.
Opening with his No. 1 song “Buy Me A Boat,” Janson had the brave, yet sparse crowd hopping and singing along. He and his band then played killer versions of recent hits he co-wrote for others, “Truck Yeah” and “I Love This Life.” He followed those up with a blistering version of the Johnny Cash classic “Ring of Fire” and then closed out the brief but fun performance with his single “The Power of Positive Drinking.”
What really impressed me was his insistence (despite the storm blowing through) in meeting the fans that came out to see him after the show. Chris Janson shared stories with everyone who hung around in the wind and rain and took photos with everyone, all the while apologizing for a short set that he had no control over. And I can honestly say, no one left that stage disappointed. In fact, he won over this country music fan and the others who were in attendance.