Anyone who attends a lot of concerts can tell you that a venue can add (or take away) from a concert experience. JD Legends in Franklin, Ohio is one of my favorite venues for a lot of reasons. JD Legends is such an unique facility. It contains a state-of-the art bowling alley, full service restaurant and bar, arcade, tiki bar, sand volleyball courts and a concert venue all under the same roof.
I have had the privilege of watching this facility evolve into a special place that can provide a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience for their customers. The management and the staff there are so very nice and helpful. They go out of their way to make sure everyone is well taken care of and has a great time while there. Amazingly, they provide the same personal attention on nights that they host national acts as they do on a regular day.
JD Legends features a very nice stage. The crew works very hard on show days to ensure the light and sound quality of these concerts equals what one might expect at a major arena. The fans can stand on the large patio or down in the sand, where the sand volleyball games are playing. There are also tables in the VIP Pavilion and Club areas that are also available for purchase. Concerts at JD Legends provide a much more intimate setting than you would expect if you saw artists in a much larger venue.
JD Legends has developed a reputation over the years for bringing some of very popular acts to their stage. Past acts have include Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Lawrence, Diamond Rio and John Anderson. Later this summer, Jamey Johnson, George Jones and Randy Travis are scheduled to play at JD Legends.
Kellie Pickler was one of the best concerts I have seen at JD Legends to date. I saw Pickler recently at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville and also at the Grand Ole Opry. Pickler is always a great performer in any venue, but she is often limited to just a few songs, which does not allow her to truly shine. At JD Legends, she was the headliner and she was given about an hour and a half in which to perform. When a star, such as Pickler, is given more time, she has the opportunity to do more and also be a lot more personal with her fans.
She played several tracks off of her new CD. These tracks are more traditional country and I think these are some of the best songs Pickler has recorded to date. Some of the album tracks have become popular during her performances on the Grand Ole Opry. Some of these songs include “Where’s Tammy Wynette,” “Stop Cheating On Me” and “100 Proof” The first single from the CD is “Tough.”
Pickler also performed her hits including “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful,” “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You,” “I Wonder,” “Things That Never Cross A Man’s Mind” and “Red High Heels.” While I loved hearing the hits performed live, I enjoyed the rare moments that you don’t get to hear on the radio, such as Pickler’s personal stories, album tracks and cover songs.
She explained that she lived with her grandparents for much of her life and they loved traditional country music. She said that’s where she gained her love of music. She played a couple cover songs from artists she admired such as George Jones. She played “White Lightening” and she said that her grandfather made moonshine in the day.
Having seen Pickler before, I knew how much she appreciates her fans. The crowd at JD Legends loved it when Picker came from the stage and performed in the middle of the crowd. Fans left the concert with positive things to say about the concert.