Let me preface this by saying, yes, we’ve been huge Jake Owen fans for a LONG time. Call us biased.
We’ve seen him perform at Joe’s Bar in Chicago multiple times over the years, and at the home of our beloved Cubs, Wrigley Field.
A story hit the interwebs yesterday about Jake that got me thinking about what a stand up guy he is. I’ll get to that in a bit. First, I want to tell you about our first encounter with Jake.
Last summer, Jake was driving through Chicago and tweeted out he wanted to do a free show at Joe’s Bar. First 100 people got in. Due to some bad weather, the show was moved inside from the rooftop, and more people were let in. Jake performed hits, covers, talked with fans, even did a couple Fireball shots with people at the front of the stage. After the show he mingled with fans, and said “rather than take a bunch of selfies, let’s just hang out and have a beer.” It was amazing to hear that come from a superstar. Unfortunately, Wes and I didn’t bump into Jake while he was downstairs.
As the bar emptied out, there were about 6 of us left downstairs hanging out. We saw Jake upstairs and hollered for him to come down; without hesitation, Jake came downstairs and chatted with us about Whiskey Riff. The site was literally weeks old, but we told him our plans, and he was super supportive. He even took care of our tequila craving. It’s rare you meet a guy (a superstar) and immediately feel as if he’s one of the boys, like a guy you grew up with, like someone you’ve known for years. But, that’s Jake. We’ll never forget that night, oh, and here’s our selfie (had to do it…).
Back to the story mentioned earlier. Last weekend, Jake we performing at Ohio State, and OSU student Eric Bennett tweeted that he and friends were celebrating his 21st birthday, and that Jake should stop by. A long shot right? Nope.
Jake got directions from Eric, came to the house, played some songs, and hung out with everyone for about 30 minutes before his show. During that night’s show, Jake even told the crowd about Eric’s 21st and how he had stopped by the house – he even played a request from Eric, his song “Heaven.”
You can MAYBE count on one hand how many artists would do anything like this. Maybe one finger, actually. This isn’t just something random from Jake – if you follow him on Twitter you know he’ll grab a beer with fans at a bar when visiting a city, invite them to his bus for a pre-show brew and a couple photos. It happens all the time. Not for publicity, but rather because he truly is one of us. Our friend. Someone that looks at fans with the utmost respect.
I haven’t even talked about Jake’s water sport skills, his incredible live shows, or the great music he makes. This was about recognizing Jake as one of the coolest fucking dudes on the planet. He’s Real (Life).
See ya soon, Jake.
Whiskey Riff is the most entertaining country site…ever.