ENTERPRISE, Ala., June 10 /PRNewswire/ — The 2009 Verizon Wireless BamaJam Music and Arts Festival ended Saturday, June 6th to a whopping crowd of more than 121,000, event organizer Ronnie Gilley confirmed. “This year’s BamaJam was a huge success.” Gilley said. “We felt like this was going to be a historical event,” Gilley added.
BamaJam is a three day, multi-stage, camping music festival that features some of music’s biggest stars. Taylor Swift’s Thursday night performance closed out the festival’s opening day. She was followed by Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, The Black Crowes, Kid Rock, Charlie Daniels Band, Blake Shelton, Robert Randolph, and other top-name talent.
The LoCash Cowboys opened Friday’s show on the main country stage, and Aaron Tippin sang his hits while assembling a bicycle on stage, which he presented to a Marine to forward to Toys for Tots. Charlie Daniels energized the stage with The Devil Went Down To Georgia, and at 72 years young, he continues to be one of country music’s most enduring performers.
Randy Owen, former lead singer of the mega-hit group Alabama was a definite crowd favorite. He belted out many of Alabama’s numerous hits during his hour and a-half set. A huge video screen then appeared on the stage to count down the seconds until Alan Jackson appeared to perform “Gone Country,” “Small Town Southern Man,” “Blues Man,” “Who’s Cheatin’ Who” and “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” Former Trick Pony lead singer Heidi Newfield, was greeted enthusiastically when she began performing “What Am I Waiting For,” the title track of first solo album which spawned the hit, “Johnny and June.”
Pat Green arrived in typical style, bare-footed he sang “Carry On,” “Baby Doll,” “Feels Just Like It Should” and his latest single, “What I’m For.” Green invited Newfield and Randy Houser (who played on one of the smaller stages later that day) to join him on a rowdy rendition of the Waylon Jennings hit, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.”
BamaJam’s amazing lineup did not detract the huge crowd from attending this year’s festival despite occasional rainstorms and temperatures that rise to 90 degrees.
Both Jason Aldean and Gary Allan greeted the enthusiastic crowd each with performances from their repertoires.
Brooks & Dunn followed with their countless hits, and offered their own D-Day Anniversary tribute by being joined onstage by several branches of the Armed Forces to which they shot out streamers to the crowd, inviting BamaJammers to join them in their salute.
The most touching performance of the evening is perhaps by Country Music legend George Jones, who was not scheduled to perform and surprised the audience by his stirring rendition of Amazing Grace, dedicated to those that had perished during the tornado that devastated the area in 2007. The song is from the CD, We Are Enterprise, which benefits the local community.
Kid Rock, the festival’s closing act hit the stage with “Rock-n-Roll Jesus.” “I’ve been in Alabama for a few days now,” he said as he held up an Alabama helmet with antlers — one that had been taken from his good friend Hank Williams Jr.’s home. “He doesn’t know it yet!” Rock bragged. After that, hip-hop rap-rock superstar Kid Rock ended the festival with a little “Cowboy” and “All Summer Long”.
BamaJam is known for drawing country music acts such as Blake Shelton, John Anderson and Brooks & Dunn, but by Kid Rock closing the festival it highlighted the fact that BamaJam branched out to draw many fans of different music genres.
The Alternative Stage at BamaJam this year provided entertainment from The Black Crowes, The Whigs, Shooter Jennings, Robert Randolph, Colt Ford, Umphrey’s McGee, and G.Love & Special Sauce, amongst others.
Gilley said he was “ecstatic” about the weekend. “The festival validated ticket sales from 47 states and seven countries,” he added. It certainly is an economic boom to his native Southeast Alabama. Next year may prove to be even more successful with the confirmation that Kenny Chesney will be headlining BamaJam 2010.