This year, we had the opportunity to attend Bama Jam in exchange for some family volunteerism. We had heard stories from apparently less-adventurous folks about the long lines, the crowds, the parking mess, etc., etc., so, initially, just my son and I were going to volunteer and my Southern Man, not liking huge crowds, was fine with that. But when asked if the whole family would like to volunteer, not just two of us, he agreed, although with a little bit of trepidation. So, it became a family adventure!
For those of you who don’t know what Bama Jam is, it is projected to be one of the biggest, outdoor music venues in the country. From the Facebook page: “I want everyone to know i have been producing events for over 20 years and what BamaJam Farms is building could be no will be one if not the biggest out door event venue in the country with all the live events the water park the water bog and ATV trails and a 9 hole executive par 3 golf course not to mention over 20 live events per year it is well on its way…. well done BamaJam Farms well done www.bamajamfarms.com”
(You will note that the above quote is devoid of commas due to it being posted from a cell phone. I’m sure I will more than make up for that absence in my writing. 🙂 )
Anyways, the first evening we went was on Thursday. We delayed going because there had been some stormy weather with high winds and lightning, so there was a delay in the concerts. Here are some pictures of the damage that were taken:
You’ll notice that the picture of the parking lot showed some big, mud
ponds puddles in the fields where all the parking was. Thankfully, due to living on a New England dirt road for 5 years, we didn’t have any problem driving in it. Yeehaw!! (Incidentally, it was easy to tell who attended Bama Jam simply by glancing at their vehicle to see if the sides, tires, and wheel wells were covered in red mud. Mine still is. I guess I should wash it, huh?)
We had no problem getting to Bama Jam and in to park when we arrived Thursday evening. However, due to the storm, which caused a good bit of damage and a power outage as I understand it, the masses had been sent back to their vehicles until the storm passed. When we got there, the storm was over and the masses were all in line, waiting until the clean-up was over and power restored. The wait was made more, ummm, “interesting” by a woman in line ahead of us.
At one point, the sun broke through the clouds and I got this shot:
A couple hours later, during which time it had been periodically raining, we finally were allowed into Bama Jam and set up our chairs. Darrly Worley came onstage and spoke to the crowd. Due to the weather delay, most of the acts were cancelled and he asked the crowd if it would be alright if only Eric Church and Tim McGraw performed. The crowd roared! I was a little disappointed that we missed seeing Third Day perform, but what can you do, right?
Here are some photos I took of our first night:
Unfortunately, I was using a camera I was unfamiliar with (especially the steady-shot function) and the majority of my photos were absolutely awful. So, I’m going to mostly be using photos taken by professionals, specifically Mosely Studios, located in Elba, Alabama.
Oh, my! SO much better, don’t you think?
The second day, the weather was much better. We wanted to see the South Carolina band NEEDTOBREATHE, Alan Jackson, and the Zac Brown Band, so after my Southern Man got home from work, off we went! Our son was already there and after quickly getting onto the premises, parking and practically no lines, we met up with him. Stryper was playing. Ooooh, 80’s flashback! The lead singer of Kansas, a favorite band of mine from back then, John Elefante, was singing onstage with them. He sounded awesome! While watching him perform, my son informed me that John Elefante is a believer in Christ. I also read that, apparently, that was a factor in order for him to join the band, Kansas, which had started having some Christian leanings. Interesting. I never knew that, did you?
Here are some of my salvageable pictures of that night:
And the professionals:
Stryper was followed by Ronnie Milsap who, once he got warmed up, sounded great for a man who’s almost 70! I was swept back to my childhood by some of his songs. Even our kids had heard one or two of them.
NEEDTOBREATHE came on next. The lead singer, Bear, told us that his parents (who he, himself, declared must have been true rednecks to do this) had named he and his brother, (Bo) Bryant, after…guess who?
That’s right, Alabama Crimson Tide’s Coach Bear Bryant. Big cheers erupted from the crowd with that story! NEEDTOBREATH was a rockin’ band and I hope they’ll be back!
Next came Alan Jackson,
who did a duet with Zac Brown:
Gee, I wonder who took that awful picture…ahem. (Hint: NOT Mosely Studios!)
Finally, after not long enough of Alan Jackson (who had a fantastic video made to one of his songs that was filmed in our town, especially for Bama Jam), the Zac Brown Band came on. What a great band and an amazing performance!
Not only do they put on an amazing performance, but at one point, Zac informed the crowd that his platform is special needs children. Because of this, he has founded a camp on 500 acres in Fayetteville, GA, called Camp Southern Ground. I encourage you to visit the webpage and check out their blog, FB page, and explore the site. Who knows, you may want to help out with this great cause and wonderful camp opportunity for these children!
So, that was our first two days of the three-day Bama Jam. We only saw a very small number of the many bands that attended. I’ll tell you about our final night, next time. We volunteered that night, so we didn’t get to see much of the show, but I’ll post pictures taken by the professionals and tell you a humorous anecdote or two.
Meanwhile, here are some sites you may want to check out:
Here is one last photo that I took of the Alabama sunset on Friday night:
I’m thinking I do much better with those types of shots than with ones of celebrities….