UWA sets stage for Chris Gladden at Second Saturday on the Square concert

Chris Gladden will perform at this weekend's Second Saturdays on the Square concert event at 8 p.m. in downtown Livingston. (Photo used by permission from EatMyBeats.com.)

Chris Gladden will perform at this weekend’s Second Saturdays on the Square concert event at 8 p.m. in downtown Livingston. (Photo used by permission from EatMyBeats.com.)

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—The University of West Alabama will present the second event of its new “Second Saturdays on the Square” series, welcoming country rocker Chris Gladden for an acoustic set on Nov. 14 at 8 p.m.

Second Saturday on the Square is the new monthly event sponsored by the University and held on the courthouse square in downtown Livingston. The event is open to UWA students as well as the Livingston community, and there is no admission.

Gladden is an Alabama-based performer and the lead man for the Chris Gladden Band.  In 2011 when an outbreak of tornadoes swept across Tuscaloosa, he was working at an automotive service center on 15th Street. After the tornado wiped through a span of residences and buildings, nothing remained of his place of employment except the Ford car lift that stood in the bay of the shop. With no work for more than a year after the disaster, Gladden picked up his guitar.

“I started playing music every chance I got, and it became my passion,” Gladden said in a phone interview. “After the place was rebuilt, we were back to work, and within a few months I knew that my heart was with the music, so I started playing full time.”

Since then he has been performing throughout Alabama and has taken his music on the road to Oklahoma, the gulf coast, and even to the hit NBC series, “The Voice.” Although Gladden didn’t make it to the televised episodes of the show, he says there’s a possibility he will audition again.

He brings a blend of music that reflects the likes of country rocking crooners like Travis Tritt and Jamie Johnson, but he’s got a back pocket full of originals, too. The singer-songwriter says he did eventually write a song that gives a glimpse of how the tornado that swept his hometown affected him, but he doesn’t play it often. He also brings to the table songs about his way of life and the places he loves, including the much-requested “Highway 43.”

Performing with Gladden Saturday night will be his guitar player, Brandon Malone.

The kickoff event for “Second Saturdays on the Square featured singer-songwriter Michael Warren, known for his hits recorded by Flo-Rida and Jennifer Lopez.

“This is a great opportunity for us to bring some really good entertainment to our students in an area that is convenient for them but also open and accessible to the community,” explained Student Activities Director Jason Gardner. “We strive to offer students programming that they can stay on campus or in town to enjoy, and we think the events we have scheduled so far are ones that they will enjoy on a
Saturday night.”

On Dec. 12, Second Saturday will feature screening of the popular Christmas film, “The Polar Express.” The film will be shown on the square, and viewers are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for a relaxing movie night.

University Cinema’s snack bar and restrooms will be open to Second Saturday-goers.

For more information on UWA’s Second Saturday series, contact Jason Gardner in the Student Activities office at 205-652-3624.