AP NEWS

Summer Jam welcomes Alan Jackson and Dwight Yoakam

June 24, 2017 GMT

As the sun set over the Nebraskaland Days carnival Friday night, a traditionally soaked or hot Summer Jam concert remained cool, dry and upbeat.

Crowds lingered around the beer garden and food court after Dwight Yoakam left the stage. Others stayed in the grandstands and concert grounds. Then, the background music shifted to live guitar and fiddle, and cheers errupted.

Alan Jackson took the stage with hits such as “Little Bitty,” and “Gone Country.”

He filled many of the breaks between songs with stories of family and his own experiences.

Many songs, like “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” had personal stories of their own.

Gina Bergen, 25, and Gabby Hall, 26, were influenced by family to come, but recognized many of Jackson’s songs as they researched him in the weeks ahead.

“Oh I didn’t know he sang this song,” Hall remembers thinking. “I’ll have a good time.”

Heidi Adams came from Palisade for her first Summer Jam concert. In past years, she avoided the congestion, she said. Adams is “a huge” Dwight Yoakam fan, and looked forward to Chris Stapleton’s concert on Saturday.

She couldn’t have asked for a better first Nebraskaland Days concert, she said.