Surprise Shows: They’re a Thing Now

Jake Owen Is Latest to Announce Last-Minute Concert

On Monday (June 16) around 7 p.m. CT, Jake Owen tweeted, “If you’re in Chicago, first 100 peeps to Joe’s Bar on Weed St, gets to hang with band and I for private acoustic jam sesh. 9pm must be 21+.”

It’s the coolest thing ever that Owen took time on his day off to swing by the perfect little country bar in Chicago to play an impromptu show. So why do I sound bitter? Because I couldn’t go.

My lack of spontaneity has always been a burden. But when country stars show up announcing a last-minute show a half-hour away, it’s downright unacceptable. If these shows are going to keep happening, I need to commit to being more impulsive. I need to embrace my YOLO side and embrace it quick.

Just a few weeks ago, Brad Paisley did this exact same thing. He announced via Twitter on May 31 that he’d be playing a last-minute, late-night gig at Joe’s Bar. He did play there after his amphitheater show, and he played and played and played. It went on until well past 2 a.m.

And then this past Saturday (June 14), Miranda Lambert was in Florida and took to social media to say , “We were on our way to Jacksonville and decided to stop in Ft. Walton Beach tonight! Come party with us! 9:30 at the Block!”

I think Tim McGraw started this trend years ago when he’d do his tiny Bread and Water shows after his big arena shows. (I was apparently more spontaneous back in 2007, because I did make it to one of McGraw’s after-show shows .) And Kenny Chesney has brought his band to several out-of-the-way clubs for surprise appearances, too.

So here’s my pledge: The next time a country artist is within a 50-mile radius of me and announces this kind of show, I’m going to drop everything and go. There will be no more “no.” As one of my best friends always tells me, there’s a lot of fun on the other side of yes.