Posted by: Amy | October 10, 2010

October 3 – Jason Aldean, Harrah’s, Cherokee, NC

It had been over three months since my friend Rachel and I had seen Jason Aldean. Soon after our last show, we heard about the Harrah’s show and quickly made plans to attend. At the time that we bought our tickets, there weren’t any other new dates announced. But, Jason quickly added shows on Friday and Saturday night in South Carolina, which probably would’ve been more convenient for us. But, we stuck with our tickets for the Sunday night show at the newly-opened Event Center at Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino. With the buzz about the new album and the success of the album’s first single, the Brantley Gilbert-penned “My Kinda Party,” I knew that we were in for a fun night. My friend Christy joined Rachel and me for the show. The drive from Atlanta through the mountains of western North Carolina was breathtaking. We had a fun ride of jamming out to Jason tunes and talking about the show. Our friends Dawn and Lyn were already at the casino/hotel when we arrived, so we hung out in their hotel room before the show. Rachel and I both had meet and greets through Jason’s fan club, so we were pretty excited. Our friends had also gotten meet and greets, so we were all able to meet Jason.

Prior to the show, Rachel and I walked over to Event Center ahead of everyone else because we still needed to pick up our meet and greet passes. We got in the line for meet and greet and it seemed that there were more people than usual who had passes. We were near the back of the line. Security was extra picky about everyone having their passes affixed to their shirts at eye-level, even after they had check our passes. Because there were so many people in line, I feel like the meet and greet was a little more rushed than usual. Basically my turn consisted of handing Jason my CD for him to autograph and then us taking a picture. There wasn’t time for any chit-chat as there had been last time. It was a little disappointing, but also understandable. I know that Jason’s time is valuable and there is a lot to do before the show starts.

After we all met Jason and reconvened in the lobby, we made our way to the floor. When the tickets went on sale, it was made perfectly clear that the whole floor would be general admission. We learned that evening that the general admission was per Jason’s request. He loves to have the fans up close and he feeds off the energy of the crowd. The only reserved seats were in the two balcony levels. I have read some complaints about the standing room only floor, but I don’t feel that it was the venue’s fault because it was clearly announced when the tickets went on sale. Because we all got to meet Jason, we didn’t have anyone inside holding a spot for us. However, we were able to get close to the stage by standing to the side. The angle was a little weird and we couldn’t see much of the back part of the stage. The meet and greet meant that we missed all but the last couple of songs that the McClymonts performed, but from what I heard, I really liked their harmony. We wound up only staying in the spot near the stage for the last part of the McClymonts’ set and for the first four songs of Jason’s set. We then moved farther back, but we had a much better view of the whole stage. The back of the floor wasn’t crowded at all and we had plenty of room to move around.

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From reading reviews of other people’s experiences during this leg of Jason’s tour, I knew that Jason had changed up the set list and had added two songs from the new album in addition to playing “My Kinda Party.” I was excited to hear the new songs. I really like “Tattoos on This Town” and I’m very familiar with “Dirt Road Anthem.” I’ll admit that I was a little nervous when I heard that Jason had recorded it, but I really like his version. It’s very different from the Colt Ford/Brantley Gilbert version. Jason put his own spin on it and I think fans will respond well to the song. What I didn’t know prior to the show was that Jason had changed the way that he performs several of the songs on the set list. In the past he has done an acoustic set which featured “Asphalt Cowboy” and the Bryan Adams tune “Heaven.” Those were both performed with the full band, which gave them an obviously fuller sound and amped up the energy of both songs. Jason also varied the introductions to several of the songs including “Amarillo Sky,” which he used to always introduce by saying, “I’m gonna take you down to Texas, Amarillo style!” He also didn’t really do an intro for “Big Green Tractor,” but he did a cute bit before he played Kid Rock’s “Cowboy.” He asked how many people were at the show with their BFF. He said that once they started playing the next song, if your BFF looked at you and didn’t know what the song was, that you needed to take that person out to a bar after the show and buy them some drinks and teach them about music. It was pretty funny. Then he launched into “Cowboy” and the crowd went nuts. At the end of the show, he picked up a baby blue Braves baseball cap featuring the old school Chief Noc-A-Homa logo. I’m not sure if it’s one that he had or if someone had thrown it on stage, but the crowd screamed loudly when he put it on. It was only fitting that he wear the cap as the Braves had just clinched the National League Wild Card spot for the playoffs right before the show started. Jason popped the top on a Bud Light and then had the band all come to the front of the stage for a final bow. Rich Redmond, Jason’s drummer, took the beer from Jason and had a long sip prior to their bow. It was a funny moment.

This one cracks me up. I’m not sure what he was doing.
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The whole show was fantastic! The revamped set list and changes to the dialogue were great and I believe the show was livelier than ever. It was clear that Jason and all of the guys in the band were having the time of their lives on stage. They really enjoy playing music and are really at home when they’re on stage playing for thousands of screaming fans. I’m already looking forward to seeing Jason and the band again in Birmingham and Atlanta when the band wraps up tour.

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Jason Aldean’s Set List

  • Crazy Town
  • Wide Open
  • Amarillo Sky
  • Why
  • The Truth
  • Tattoos on This Town
  • Dirt Road Anthem
  • My Kinda Party
  • Heaven
  • Asphalt Cowboy
  • Johnny Cash
  • Relentless
  • Laughed Until We Cried
  • She’s Country
  • Hicktown

Encore:

  • Big Green Tractor
  • Cowboy

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Because we were near the back of the floor for most of the show and had to contend with lots of hands/arms, I didn’t get too many good pictures, but you can see all of the pictures here.

A special thanks to Lyn and Dawn for letting us staying in their room on Sunday night. The downside to going to the show on Sunday was that we had to get up Monday morning and drive back to Atlanta for work. But, the sleep deprivation was worth it!

I was very impressed with the Event Center. It just opened last month and they’ve got several other big-name country artists booked to play shows through the end of the year. I highly recommend going if you get a chance!


Responses

  1. Great review and pics! I got to see Jason on Thursday what a awesome show. I can’t wait for new CD to come out.

  2. Good article girl…thanks for the props but next time…I was the first born so it goes….Dawn and Lyn…ha ha ha ha
    Kidding. Still no pics on his website tho??

    • Dawn, you’re a nut! I listed you first at the top of the article. 🙂

      I don’t know what’s up with them not posting our pictures! I’m impatient with everything, so it’s really driving me nuts! Maybe they’ll post them tomorrow…

  3. Great review. I was there as well and had a great time.
    So how are you so lucky with the meet & greet. There was only about 40 people on the website showing they were going and all 4 of you got pulled and I didn’t?? waahh – just kidding, I always enjoy your reviews

    • Thanks, Suzanne! It was a fun show, wasn’t it?

      I don’t know how Rachel and I got so lucky with the meet and greet. We both got ours through the fan club and I was surprised that we both got them. The other people with us had gotten theirs through a friend who had connections.

      I’m sorry that you didn’t get to meet him. 😦 Maybe you’ll win next time! It still blows my mind that they only pick six people from the fan club. That’s kinda crazy!


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