Country Rock Icons, Alabama, Make Their Eighth Ohio State Fair Appearance
This past week, the iconic Alabama made their eighth appearance at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, OH. What is there to say about a legendary act that paved the way for so many others in country music that hasn’t already been said before? Everyone knows their songs and many have been singing along since their debut 1977 (or earlier as Wildcountry).
The Ohio State Fair crowd was no different, as fans of all ages filled the Celeste Center. Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry kicked off the show with classic hits such as “Can’t Keep A Good Man Down,” “If You’re Gonna Play In Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle In The Band),” “Tennessee River” and “Dixieland Delight.” You read that right: This was just the beginning!
With a fantastic backing band, Alabama plowed through a setlist that read more like an “Ultimate Hits” package that covered the past 25 years. For the majority of the show, everyone in the room sang along on their feet, dancing to their favorite Alabama classics. From “Song Of The South,” “Born Country” and “High Cotton” to covering Merle Haggard’s “That’s The Way Love Is,” there wasn’t a single song that the Columbus fans weren’t singing along on.
Notably, the third member of Alabama, Jeff Cook, was not present at this show as he recently decided to transition away from the road in order to tend to health issues. Though it was not made note of directly by Owen or Gentry, a third mic stand was set up on stage right, where their cousin Jeff would typically perform from, seemingly as an homage.
In another nice touch to the show, a local couple was brought on stage who had met for the first time when Alabama made their Ohio State Fair debut in 1984. All of these years later, the couple are now married and have four children. Alabama performed “Feels So Right” as the two slow danced on stage.
Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry closed the night out with one of the biggest southern rock hits of all time, “Mountain Music.” The entire Celeste Center was on its feet as Alabama and their backing band tore the house down.
Their hair may be grey and they may not move around the stage like they did back in the early 80’s, but their music is absolutely timeless. I’m not sure what the future holds for Alabama as they make the rounds on this current tour, so I cannot urge you enough to see them perform one more time. If you have seen them before, I don’t have to convince you. However, if these guys are on your concert bucket list, do NOT hesitate.