IF YOU GO
What: River City Rodeo with Chris Young | When: 7 p.m. Friday | Where: CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Tickets: $19 to $70 at Ticketmaster.com, the CenturyLink Center box office, Ticketmaster retail locations or by phone at 800-745-3000 | Information: www.centurylinkcenteromaha.com or 402-341-1500
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Chris Young released his new album, “A.M.,” last week. This weekend, he's coming to Omaha to cap off a night of rodeo events.
The singer of “The Man I Want to Be” is excited to play many of the up-tempo songs from the new album such as lead single “Aw Naw.” He included those fun tunes on the record, he told us, because he wanted his energetic live performances to match the album.
We caught up with the country singer while he was at home preparing for the tour.
Q. Did you grow up watching rodeo in Tennessee?
A. I had some friends that were actually super, super into it, and one guy that actually rode for a long time. Being in country music, you get to be around it a lot. I've seen it at all levels, from the smallest kind of rodeo event you could throw to being able to play at the Wrangler finals in Vegas.
Q. You've been a support act for awhile, but you're now headlining your own shows. What's that like?
A. Being able to really get into my set and do some stuff that I can't do in 45 minutes (has been good). When you move from that to 90 minutes, you get a lot more freedom. You can include songs you wouldn't normally play when you're just trying to hit the high points. It's fun.
Q. You wrote a lot of songs on your new album, “A.M.”
A. Yeah, but this is the most outside songs (by other songwriters) I've ever had on an album. It's hard for me not to listen to outside songs and go, “Those are really, really great. I wish I would have written that.” As soon as I do that, that's the mark for me.
Q. The song “A.M.” is about staying up until the early hours. Do you have a lot of those kind of experiences?
A. (laughs) I'm not going to say I didn't or say, “Yes, every night I go out like I was in college.”
I've got a great group of friends when I'm off the road and at home. We do a lot fishing and having time with the family. But I've no doubt felt the a.m. before.
Q. When did you discover you wanted to be a singer?
A. Early on, I kinda fell in love with being on the stage. It was comfortable and not the freaky, scary moment everybody thinks it was. I found out I could sing and said, “That's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna be a singer.”
Ak-Sar-Ben River City Rodeo and Stock Show
Thursday to Sunday, the rodeo and stock show descends on CenturyLink Center's arena and convention center. Dozens of events go down every day, and we picked out some of the highlights. Check these out:
10 a.m.: Ak-Sar-Ben's 4-H Stock Show and livestock barn opens in the exhibit hall.
6 p.m.: The kid's stick horse rodeo will be a cute event. Kids compete in a few events, including riding stick horses through obstacles. Friday
1 p.m.: Meat goats from the stock show are judged in the arena. You may have never seen that before.
9 p.m.: Chris Young takes the stage.
7 a.m. to noon: Pancake feed in parking lot D.
9 a.m.: Want some sweet treats? Satisfy your desire at the River City Confectioners Association's sugar arts show in the grand ballroom.
9 p.m.: Randy Rogers Band takes the stage.
7:30 a.m.: Check out the stock show one last time in the exhibit hall.
11 a.m.: The stock show isn't just for living beings. Robots will be on display at the River City Robotics Competition.
Randy Rogers Band is always hitting the road
The Randy Rogers Band works hard. Rogers and his group performs more than 200 dates a year around the country.
Six albums and a decade after forming, the band consistently pumps out country hits, including “One More Sad Song” and “Too Late for Goodbye.”
Their latest, “Trouble,” hit No. 3 on Billboard's country music chart.
See the band (and the rodeo) at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $19 to $70 and are available at Ticketmaster.com, the CenturyLink Center box office, Ticketmaster retail locations or by phone at 800-745-3000.