Hey y’all! It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to catch a show and bring you in-depth coverage, so for my first article in months, I chose a show that features one of my favorite bands, in Black Stone Cherry, (well it would’ve been anyhow) and the fine folks in 3 Doors Down at The Barnyard in Sharpsburg, Kentucky.
Unfortunately, COVID reared it’s ugly head and the fellas in Black Stone Cherry were forced to cancel several shows. Believe me when I say this, missing a show in their home state is just as heartbreaking to them, as it is to all of us. Their health is what matters most though. So send the folks some love, prayers, and good vibes.
Now you may remember our coverage of the very first show to be held at The Barnyard. (You can find that coverage here.) At that time, the main pavilion wasn’t complete like it is now. That day, we saw Kentuckians George Molton AND Tyler Booth on a removable stage back in 2021. They were support for Drew Parker and Sawyer Brown. Since that day, much has changed at The Barnyard.
The main pavilion is now finished and the traffic flow is much improved, as it’s a bit more spread out now. If you were able to snag tickets for a seat under the roof though, you were absolutely golden. Lawn access is also available for most shows, but as the Kentucky heat keeps creeping up higher and higher, you’re better off getting out of the sun. It may cost ya few more bucks, but I assure ya, it’s worth it.
The lines for porta-potties, food, beverages and merchandise were always pretty short, and the prices were very reasonable for a show of that size. So if you had your reservations about visiting a mid-size venue in Sharpsburg, you can lay them to rest. The photo below was taken just after the gates opened, in it, you can see the main pavilion. To the right and behind me is the lawn and vendors.
In the absence of Black Stone Cherry, Salyersville, Kentucky’s Cameron Jayne brought his unique blend of funk up from Nashville to open the show.
Cameron Jayne has grown into the pop side of music very well. He’s a rocker at heart, and you definitely go to see glimpses of that on Friday night. BUT, it was his funky side that showcased his dynamic range and ability to command a stage that was most impressive. It took a few songs for the crowd to settle in, but once they got it, the party was on!
Cameron and his full band brought a unique mix of originals and covers. Classics like The BeeGees’ “Stayin’ Alive!”, Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music White Boy,” and Michael Jackson’s “The Way Ya Make Me Feel,” brought the crowd to their feet, but for me, it was the original songs that told the story.
Cameron and I have had a long friendship, so I’m likely a bit biased, but seeing his growth as an artist and entertainer gave me a perma-grin. Originals like “Bad Girl”, “Parachute”, and “Set The Bar” were very well received, but it was the performance of “Anyone But Me” that captivated. It’s a song that is very different from the pop and funk. The lyrics are very dark, telling the struggles of being an artist and searching for the will to keep soldiering on to one day achieve your dream. The song began with just Cameron and his guitar, but when the whole band came in, shew! The band joined in for an extended jam that saw a lengthy solo from guitarist Jesse Walpole, all in attendance were mesmerized. That performance was on another level, and for my money, is the song that has the potential to make Cameron Jayne a household name.
You can see a lot of that performance below. I was walking around photographing when the song began, but thankfully I realized the crowd had gone almost completely silent and captured what you see below.2w
Up next were the band everyone was there to enjoy, 3 Doors Down. These fellas have been a mainstay on rock radio for more than two decades. From their humble beginning, they’ve built an empire with a massive catalog of hits. They’ve been playing a lot of their older catalog as they’ve been celebrating the release of their first two albums, ‘The Better Life’, and ‘Away From The Sun.’ We were treated with a wonderful selection from both of those albums. Songs like “Duck and Run”, “It’s Not My Time”, “Loser”, and “Going Down in Flames,” we’re all very powerful, but by the time 3DD began playing “Away From the Sun”, they had Sharpsburg eating out of the palm of their hands.
It was so beautiful to watch, but even more intoxicating was standing in the middle of the crowd and hearing the lyrics being sung back to the band. That’s the secret sauce that will always keep me coming back to concerts. It’s complete freedom from all your troubles, you’re standing among your peers and just living for that moment. Those moments are when I feel most alive, and I know I’m not alone in that regard.
The hits kept on coming as vocalist Brad Arnold chatted between them. Giving insight into the early days of the band and how his poetry evolved into many of the songs we all know and love.
3DD gave us classics like “Life of My Own,” “Be Like That,” and “Better Life,” before performing my personal favorite performance of their set. I’m a HUGE fan of Bob Seger, so when the guitar intro of “Landing in London,” hit, which they recorded with Seger, I just sunk into my seat, closed my eyes and just took it all in. I had forgotten how much I lived that song and it was performed flawlessly.
The main set ended with two songs. First was “Changes,” the second was “Kryptonite.” That’s when all the cold wobble pops the crowd had enjoyed were flowing through their veins and everyone collectively lost their minds. Not in a bad way, but in a beautiful way. The crowd was louder than the band at times, and that was beautiful.
After a brief break, 3DD came back for an encore. I want to focus in on “Here Without You” for just a moment. That song has felt timeless since the very first time I heard. On Friday night, my first time experiencing the band live, I was reminded of the simplicity and beauty that “Here Without You” houses. I stood among the crowd, under the stars, singing along to every word and I again felt more alive than I had since my illness settled in this past November. For that, I’m incredibly grateful to the band and the fans. The night ended with the band picking up.the pace and sent everyone home on the high note that was “When I’m Gone.”
The fellas in 3DD have been a large part of the soundtrack of my life, so I’m incredibly thankful that I was able to bring you folks along with me for the ride. Hopefully you enjoyed the ride as much as I did.
Until next time, know that I love ya!