Alan Jackson celebrates life, love and music at his ‘Last Call’ tour stop in Anaheim – Orange County Register

It’s hell getting old, in case you didn’t know.

If your body doesn’t cooperate, it can be anguishing. If you’re lucky, you get to reminisce, with your loved ones along for the ride, while continuing to do the thing you’re best at for a while longer.

Alan Jackson is a lucky man, and he knows it.

Slowed by a nerve disease that makes it difficult for him to walk, Jackson still delivered a triumphant performance at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday night, the third-to-last show on his Last Call: One More for the Road Tour. The packed house, knowing this could be the last time he plays California, poured out their hearts for the 63-year-old country veteran.

The emotional centerpiece, among many highlights, came with “Remember When,” his No. 1 hit from 2003. Jackson showed he still has strength and depth to his voice on some of his most personal lyrics: “Remember when we vowed the vows and walked the walk/Gave our hearts, made the start and it was hard. We lived and learned, life threw curves/There was joy, there was hurt.”

The crowd responded with a prolonged standing ovation. If you looked closely at one of the twin vertical big screens framing the stage, you could see his eyes glistening.

“Thank you so much,” Jackson said. “That was so sweet. I appreciate that.”

Jackson’s wife of nearly 43 years, Denise, was there, too. Earlier in the show, Jackson told the story of how, when he first got a record deal in Nashville after years of struggle, the label released his first single, “Blue Blooded Woman,” in 1989. But it was a dud, peaking only at No. 45 on the country music chart. Not long after, Denise told him she was pregnant with the first of their three daughters. Jackson, whose first job in town was in the mailroom at The Nashville Network, told the crowd: “It scared me, because my first song didn’t do good, and I thought ‘I guess I’m gonna have to go get me a job again and pay for this baby and everything.’ Luckily the record label decided to release this next song, and I haven’t worked since.” He then performed that song, “Here in the Real World,” which peaked at No. 3 back in 1990. Alan Jackson celebrates life, love and music at his ‘Last Call’ tour stop in Anaheim – Orange County Register

Adam Bradshaw

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