Who Had More Fun: Chris Janson or Cedar Rapids Crowd?
Chris Janson backstage before his Saturday night show at the Paramount Theatre: Kind, calm, appreciative. Chris Janson on stage: Wildman with boundless energy for a full 90-minutes. Oh, and absolutely exceptional.
Before Chris hit the historic stage ("I love this theatre" he said at one point), he took time to post a preview of one of the things he did during the show. Classic country. Specifically, a little cover of Merle Haggard.
It seems every time we talked about Janson's Cedar Rapids show leading up to it, we mentioned the energy that Chris brings to the stage. For those that had never seen him live before, they got an optimum dose Saturday night and the crowd roared its approval throughout. Chris Janson LOVES what he does and he appreciates Iowa. The Missouri native mentioned numerous times during the show how Iowa is his favorite place to play because our state delivered crowds for his shows from the very beginning.
Early last year, Chris (now 32) became the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry since Hank Williams (he was in his mid-20's when he was inducted in 1948). Saturday night, he saluted the legend with "Your Cheatin' Heart." He also did a great rendition of George Strait's "All My Ex's Live in Texas." When he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, Chris asked for and received, a Grand Ole Opry mic stand. He used it during Saturday night's show.
Most of Chris' show Saturday featured him showcasing his incredible talent. He isn't just a singer. He's a very talented songwriter and a magnificent musician. He plays seven instruments and showed off many of those talents. My two favorites were the drums and his phenomenal harmonica playing.
Chris didn't just share music with the crowd. He shared himself. He said he loved the Lord. He mentioned that he and his wife Kelly have four kids, two of which came from Kelly's previous marriage. Chris said during the show, "I call 'em bonus kids, I hate the term stepkids." He brought two young girls on stage with him to help him sing, "Fix a Drink." As they ended, he said "I love kids and I think it's important to just tell 'em sometimes, 'Good Job.' It helps build character."
Chris Janson loves Iowa and Iowa loves Chris Janson. After his performance Saturday night, the next time he announces a Cedar Rapids show make sure you buy your tickets the day they go on sale. They'll sell out fast.