By Meladi Brewer
GREENVILLE — The Darke County Fair was lit up with more than carnival rides and games Monday night.
Fairgoers enjoyed the fresh country sound of Jake Owen in the Grandstands. His energetic, summer-themed performance had the crowd on its feet from the beginning.
“He is one of the most dynamic performers I have seen in a long time,” Rowdy J. with K99.1 FM said. “I don’t think I’ve had as much fun since I saw Garth Brooks in the 90s.”
Owen ran on stage with a smile on his face and it never left for a second. Watching his performance there is no question about how much he loves his job as he gives it all he has.
Within the first song he threw his guitar pick at a nearby fan and would continue to talk to individuals throughout the night. Owen likes to keep a sense of humor as he continues through his set.
“Man, after last year it feels good to be back on the road again,” Owen said.
He used the song title in a creative way to say he missed being on tour causing the crowd to cheer and laugh at his lead into his creative twist of the song. Continuing on, Owen began to ask the crowd questions.
“Question for y’all How many of you were born and raised right here in Greenville?” Owen asked.
A few crowd members jumped and cheered with hometown pride leading Owen to continue into his next song “Homemade.”
“I dedicate this to my five friends here in Ohio,” Owen continued.
The crowd not only sang and danced along, but was laughing as Owen didn’t just play to the crowd, he played for the crowd.
“We have a set list we think will work for the year. I’m not one of these robots, so I like to change it up,” Owen said.
He continues to play “Margaritaville,” made famous by Jimmy Buffet, and later jumped off the stage, scaring security, to walk through the crowd to say hello to concertgoers, while being provided with a security flashlight spotlight. The crowd found it both entertaining and charismatic.
Owen likes to feel the crowd and is himself the whole performance. Towards the end of the show, a cicada landed on Owen’s jeans. He proceeded to pick it up and make it part of the performance.
“It landed on my jeans, then he’s just chilling on my pinky, and then I thought, ‘Hey, maybe he wants to chill on my microphone,” Owen said.
The crowd loved it. They were cracking jokes alongside him about this new insect friend. Owen made another comment before continuing on with his song “Made for You.”
“This is the first time I will be playing this song while staring into the eyes of a cricket. Help me name him,” Owen said.
Owen continued a few more songs and thanked the crowd for being awesome and coming out saying it was better than Instagram tours during the pandemic. He left after saying goodbye and touching the heartstrings of everyone in the stands that night.
“You guys have been amazing. Tomorrow I’ll be back in Nashville to see my two-year-old daughter, and I’ll get to tell her I got to perform for an awesome crowd and a cricket chilled on my microphone,” Owen said.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer email [email protected].