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Jake Owen brings pure gold and a whole lot more to Sanford Center

Country superstar Jake Owen is on fire on his first ever “Days of Gold” headlining tour. Saturday night he had no problem selling out the Sanford Center with his brooding good looks and infectious personality on stage and off. Owen is well known for his crazy antics, so it was no surprise when he and fellow tour mate Thomas Rhett filmed a short video for his Instagram of them messing around on the Bemidji Axemen tricycles backstage, (at least no one got hurt, especially Jake).

Jake Owen
Shannon Northbird

There was a bit of a mystery for the night, especially in the very beginning of his set. All eyes were fixed on the large “Days of Gold” backdrop as lights began to flash, and the intro of “Days of Gold” started. Suddenly the drop came down, and the arena roared as soon the moment they waited for was just moments away. Any second now, Owen would walk out from the darkness, as everyone looked in anticipation, Owen began to sing, “These are the days of gold” and then a spotlight lit up in the back of the arena pointed to a small platform near the soundboard that was illuminated around the very edges.

Jake Owen appeared on the platform and people went crazy. Dressed in his signature body fitting jeans and wearing a green athletic fit Bemidji State University t-shirt and barefoot. Owen would sing about half of “Days” from the back of the room, before walking up to his Island style tiki palm tree covered stage. All through the night Owen would grab swooning girl’s cell phones, taking selfies and making goofy faces before handing them back to them. A magical moment of the evening was when Owen shared with the crowd that he loved Minnesota, because it’s because of you guys that I’m here, and my dad has been cancer free for a whole year!” (Owen’s dad was treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for cancer).

Owen also made memories for a little girl from Babbit Minn. when he pulled her from the audience and sang to her “Don’t think that I Can Love You” he walked with her around the stage, gave her a drum stick, and even autographed the Jake Owen shirt she was wearing. He then posed for some pictures with her, before handing her back to the crowd.

One very interesting moment was during his band introductions he was introducing his drummer, Myron Howell, a girl jumped on stage and performed the worm. Owen was shocked and thought that it was so unusual, he asked the crowd if they saw it, and then said that everyone missed it because the spotlight was not on her, so he asked her to do it again, while security waited to pull her off the stage. She again performed the worm a few times, and then a large security man removed her.

Owen performed all his biggest hits including his first No. 1 “Barefoot Blue Jean Night”, “Alone With You” and “The One that Got Away.” Owen also mixed things up throwing in some older songs too. His energy and a smile that would not quit was very engaging to the crowd.

Something that was very unique is Owen allowed eight every special fans to be on stage with him for the entire concert with four on each side of the stage standing at mini tiki bars. Owen was the bartender all night long he would toss cans of Budweiser to each of them; and even shared some with the crowd too.

Owen had something else up his sleeve as he saved the best for last. He brought The Cadillac Three and Thomas Rhett to join him on stage. At one point the cameraman had switched places with Owen's drummer Howell, and Howell grabbed his camera and filmed him playing the drums. On the big screen in the back of the stage were images of the sights of Bemidji, including the Bemidji Bridge, and KB 101 studios, while Owen’s band performed a rendition of John Mellencamp’s “Small Town.”

At one point Thomas Rhett took silly string and was letting the guitar player have it. Other hijinks included Owen and Rhett back on those tricycles racing each other across the stage.

Jake Owen is an incredible performer and the way he uniquely interacts with his fans is something that no other artist in country music does. It’s easy to see this tour continuing to sell out with an artist of this magnitude, commitment and passion for music. It’s a long way to October, but for now, these really are the days of gold for Owen and company.