Jake Owen Turns ‘Real Life’ Problems Into Magic at WE Fest 2015
Jake Owen exploded onto the WE Fest 2015 stage on Saturday night (Aug. 8) and was all smiles during the first half of his show. Technical problems and a heavy heart threatened the set, but the stage veteran ended up creating a moment the thousands watching will remember for a lifetime.
While Owen's drummer was soloing in the middle of "Tall Glass of Something," the sound cut out for most of the fans in attendance. Those close to the stage could still hear him crooning "What We Ain't Got," a song he said was even harder to perform in the days after announcing he and wife Lacey are divorcing. It was an emotional performance that few heard. You can listen to a clip here:
After a delay, Owen made up for it. He returned with just an acoustic guitar and sang "The Dance," a song he says had been on his mind a lot lately. During the performance he opened up about splitting from his wife, saying he still loves Lacey and, of course, their daughter, Pearl.
“I think maybe a lot of people would maybe shy away from it, but my wife and I are getting a divorce and this is probably the hardest sh-- I’ve ever done in my life,” Owen shared, “To walk on stage every night and try to pretend everything is awesome when really it ain’t always awesome.”
“But thanks to people like you for singing along — you have no idea how much you guys lift me up every single night,” he continued. “And I love my wife more than anything in the world, and I love my little baby girl, Pearl, more than anything in the world. If it wasn’t for both of them, I wouldn’t even be here right now to be a happy man.”
"That's a dance I'm glad I got to dance," the singer says of the relationship.
An acoustic version of "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" followed, complete with the cover of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme fans had been seeing online in the months leading up to this WE Fest performance. Then, something happened many may not have seen in years — Owen came back out for a genuine, unscripted encore. "Friends in Low Places" closed the show and the singer seemed as grateful for it as the fans.
Before the sound blew, Owen played half a dozen of his hits. "Beachin'" and "Anywhere With You" opened the show, before "Yee Haw" and "Alone With You," a song that morphed into a cover of Drake's "I'm Coming Home." An early highlight was the scripted acoustic set, during which he toyed with songs by Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and Vanilla Ice. Yep, that was "Ice Ice Baby."
Blake Shelton closed the third and final day of WE Fest 2015, a festival that also included sets from Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts and Hank Williams Jr. The first 2016 headliner was announced before Lambert's set Friday: Eric Church is set to play next year. Tickets to WE Fest 2016 are already on sale right here.
Watch the Crowd Go Insane When First 2016 WE Fest Act Is Announced