The dreary endless days of winter are always made more enjoyable for one night when the annual Ten Man Jam comes to Detroit. Ten artists, two hour and a half acoustic sets, and a sold out crowd made for a solid mid-February night this year as 99.5 WYCD proved again why it is Detroit’s best country station.
Shows like this are unique and original because you get all sorts of fans that show up. As a win only show, you know the “front row or go home” fans will be lined up hours before the general admission venue even opens to ensure they get that coveted view and opportunity to make eye contact or wave at their favorite artist. The rest of the fans trickle in as they are checked by security and wander up to the bar or to their seats in the balcony if they weren’t able to score floor tickets. No matter where you end up in this venue (aside from standing directly behind the bar), you will have a fantastic view of the stage and the artists who are about to rock the capacity crowd.
The first round featured five extremely talented artists beginning with Frankie Ballard who was the emcee of the group and introduced each subsequent artist as they came out to take their seat on the stage. The highlight of Frankie Ballard’s performance was his new song “ You’ll Accomp’ny Me” and his sense of humor when he exclaimed “there’s a lot of sh!t being thrown on stage…I’m just waiting for an octopus.” The crowd laughed earnestly at this comment as it referenced the legendary event that sometimes occurs during the Detroit Red Wing’s playoffs runs. The round also included Craig Campbell who sang his rising single “Outskirts of Heaven,” Drake White who entertained the crowd with “Makin’ Me Look Good Again,” Lauren Alaina who inspired everyone with her single “Road Less Traveled,” and new artist Ryan Follese who enjoyed the crowd singing along to his new single “Label On It.”
After a short intermission, the stage was reset for the second round of artists. If there was one artist I had to see over and over again at acoustic shows it would be Randy Houser. Not only does his voice stand out in the silence, but his face lights up when the deafening crowd returns the favor. Joining Randy Houser for the second round were Lee Brice, Chris Janson, new female trio Runaway June, and the last winner of American Idol, Trent Harmon. Lee Brice performed his ever popular “Drinking Class” to which the crowd raised their glasses with ease, while Chris Janson enticed with his radio hit “Buy Me A Boat.” The night wasn’t complete without Runaway June singing their first single “Lipstick” which no doubt was popular with the great number of women in attendance. Finally, Trent Harmon showed off an abundance of talent with his debut single “There’s A Girl” which the crowd enjoyed as they danced the night away.
Overall, it was a very successful event for The Fillmore Detroit and for 99.5 WYCD and its listeners. Normally, I never have a chance to attend mid-week shows but with a little luck and some help from awesome friends, I was able to witness a fantastic night of music. I loved that there were so many new artists featured at the concert this year and I look forward to the possibility and excitement of who may be around to warm up those freezing Detroit nights next year.