Not as good looking as Luke Bryan or as physically fit as Tim McGraw, country singer-guitarist Jason Aldean nevertheless remains one of the genre’s biggest stars.
That much was certainly apparent last night at Blossom where fans packed the place for his concert, the first of the season for the outdoor venue.
The bill also featured Chris Young, Kane Brown and Dee Jay Silver, who manned the turntables between sets.
While we probably spent as much time sitting in heavy traffic and waiting to get through the long security lines as we did at the actual concert, the show kicked off Blossom’s season with a decided bang. You can see a slideshow
of photos from the performance here.
Aldean, who played just over 20 songs during the course of 90 minutes, began his set with “They Don’t Know,” the title track from his latest album. The song featured a meaty guitar riff and Aldean sang the tune's opening lines while standing atop the second level of the tiered stage. He then effectively talked his way through the opening of “The Only Way I Know,” a tune that came off more like the hard rocking Drive-By Truckers than, say, Kenny Chesney, and he strapped on an acoustic guitar for “Take A Little Ride,” a song that benefited from dueling electric guitars (that essentially made it impossible to hear Aldean's acoustic instrument).
Aldean proceeded to take things down a notch as he segued into the ballad “A Little More Summertime.” His gruff vocals didn’t exactly bring out the tenderness at the song’s core, and he then slurred his way through “Any Ol’ Barstool,” a ballad that became a sing-a-long. But Aldean got back on track as he encouraged fans to “get as crazy as you want” prior to playing the Tom Petty-like “Crazy Town,” a song that found his lap steel guitarist really leaning into his instrument. The track concluded with a ferocious jam.
Though Aldean apologized at one point for including too much “slow stuff,” the concert’s pacing wasn’t a problem. He expertly veered from a power ballad like “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” which featured a video of Kelly Clarkson singing her parts, to a redneck rockers such as “Just Gettin’ Started.” Not particularly mobile or charismatic, Aldean benefited from his sharp five-piece backing band and the fact that he continues to employ some of Nashville's best songwriters.
Though the weather wasn’t ideal for an outdoor show (temperatures stayed in the low 50s), that didn’t prevent fans from partying before, during and after the show. We saw at least one guy walking around with his shirt off and the lack of rain — always a concern at Blossom, especially for fans sitting in the rain — made for an auspicious start to the season.