Chris Janson throws big party at Kern County Fair

The singer/songwriter takes the stage at the Budweiser Pavilion in Bakersfield

Anyone who’s seen Chris Janson perform knows he’s a wild man on stage! Friday night (Sept 28th) was no exception at the Kern County Fair in Bakersfield, CA. He commanded the stage from the moment he stepped onto it as his show felt like a church service and party melded together for one helluva good time!

He paraded from side to side and front to back singing and interacting with the audience. Opening with the fan favorite “Redneck Life,” the show got off to a fiery start that rarely slowed down. Janson had the crowd on their feet the entire night as he tore through sing-a-long after sing-a-long, including “Power Of Positive Drinking,” “Who’s Your Farmer,” “Fix A Drink” and the song that put him on the map, “Buy Me A Boat.”

“What a blessing it is to be alive today, would you agree with that?” Janson asked the large roaring crowd. “I have never been so happy in my heart at a concert as I am right now. Thank you very much. As you know, it’s not like everyday I get to be in Bakersfield. It’s not everyday I get to spend time with my Kern County friends. And I will tell you, I got real friends here who I would go to bat for. Thank you for showing up tonight in such a big way. What an honor it is. Thank you!”

Throughout his 80 minute set, he often shared his love of his faith (hence the church service comment above), America, living the redneck lifestyle, his fans, country music and the troops, the latter he honors with the Bob Marley-flavored “Put Some Soul In Your Country” he wrote. He even gave many shout outs to local country station, KUZZ, which he thanked for “giving me a shot and playing my songs before anybody else was in the country.”

Janson also premiered a brand new rocking autobiographical song after reading a Rolling Stone article that called him “the most open minded redneck on the block.” The title was a bit hard to distinguish but in it he states, “I was raised not to care what people said about me.” In the song, he sings about the article, his family, career and being the “youngest living member to join the Grand Ole Opry” which happened earlier this year.

An official Grand Ole Opry mic stand was brought out mid set where he performed a few songs, including “White Trash” and a snippet of “A Country Boy Can Survive.” He mentioned the mic stand was gifted to him by the Opry when he joined it in March of this year.

Towards the end of the set, Janson covered a song he co-wrote for Locash, “I Love This Life,” which has been one of the biggest radio hits in the past few years. He also did snippets of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” before he went into “Drunk Girl” when the stage lights were cut and the crowd lit up the entire venue with lights on their phones.

The singer/songwriter blends traditional country music with rock in such a unique way that it’s hard to describe. His Midwestern roots shine brightly as he prances from side to side with his guitar and harmonica. Janson can’t be tamed. He is quite the showman and will likely win Entertainer of the Year someday. The Perryville, MO native is already nominated for three Country Music Association (CMA) Awards this year, including “New Artist of the Year” and “Music Video of the Year” and “Song of the Year” for his soon-to-be-No. 1 “Drunk Girl.”

Janson absolutely loves what he does and is proud of who he is. There wasn’t one time throughout the night where he didn’t smile. He is very grateful for the success he has and shares it proudly with the crowd through his music and the motivational words he brings on stage. If you haven’t seen a Chris Janson concert, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: