Posted by: Amy | November 27, 2010

November 19 – Jason Aldean Wide Open Tour, BJCC Arena, Birmingham, AL

I have been fortunate enough to attend several shows on Jason Aldean’s current Wide Open tour. Sadly, the tour wrapped up last weekend. But, I was so glad to be at the last two shows of the year! My friend Rachel and I made the drive over to Birmingham, AL on Friday afternoon and made it to the venue without incident. The doors had already opened when we got there, so we walked right in and made our way down to the pit. It wasn’t crowded at all and we were able to get very close to the stage. I’m not sure what time the doors opened, but we got in around 6:00 and the show didn’t start until 8:00. The one disadvantage to having the pit tickets is that you have to stand the entire time, which is fine during the show, but not so fun when you’re just standing around. My high school best friend Jennifer and her husband also had pit tickets for the show. Unlike some of the shows where security wasn’t strict about which pit fans used as long as they had a ticket, this time everyone had to stand in their assigned pit. Unfortunately, Jennifer’s tickets were in the other pit, but we were able to see each other across the catwalk to express our excitement during the best parts of the show.

Promptly at 8:00 Thompson Square took the stage. Keifer and Shawna Thompson are a husband/wife duo who will be releasing their debut album early next year. Having the opening slot on such a high-profile tour has been a prime opportunity for them to win fans. Their set flew by as they played five songs, all mid-tempo and uptempo numbers, over the course of only 15-20 minutes. Their voices have a great blend and I look forward to hearing them sing a ballad. You can check learn more about the duo and their music here.

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Thompson Square’s Set List

  • Baby I Got You
  • Let’s Fight
  • Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not
  • One of Those Days
  • Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll

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Luke Bryan took the stage next to entertain the crowd with his brand of country music. He came on stage wearing his signature baseball cap and kicked off his set with “Country Man,” which is always a crowd favorite. He rolled through all of his singles and also played several album cuts from his latest album, Doin’ My Thing. He threw in “I’m Hungover” from his Spring Break 2 EP, which is an iTunes exclusive. One of the most exciting moments of the set came when the band finished playing “Do I” and Luke sang the chorus one last time with the accompaniment of his acoustic guitar. Midway through the chorus, he stopped singing and let the audience take over. It was cool to hear several thousand voices singing the song in unison. Then Luke thanked the crowd for making the song his first number one hit. For the song “Drinkin’ Beer and Wastin’ Bullets,” he switched from his black Atlanta Braves cap to a Buck Commander cap. When the song was over, Luke took off the hat and autographed it and handed it to a lucky fan at the end of the catwalk. Luke wrapped up the set with his debut single “All My Friends Say,” which he has tweaked to include a bit of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” As Luke left the stage, the roar of the crowd was deafening and everyone was ready for the main attraction!

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Luke Bryan’s Set List

  • Country Man
  • What Country Is
  • Someone Else Calling You Baby
  • Rain Is a Good Thing
  • We Rode in Trucks
  • Do I
  • I’m Hungover
  • Drinkin’ Beer and Wastin’ Bullets
  • All My Friends Say/Metallica’s Enter Sandman

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The set changeover didn’t take long and before we knew it, we were staring up at a big white sheet and hearing the thunderous booms of Rich Redmond’s drums. The guitar riffs kicked in and Jason Aldean appeared in a larger-than-life silhouette behind the curtain. The audience was going completely nuts! The band started playing the opening licks of “Crazy Town” and the curtain dropped to reveal Jason and the band. Jason sang the first part of the song while standing on the risers at the back of the stage before making his way to the front. As many times as I’ve seen Jason, I always have the same adrenaline rush when the show starts. The shows are always so high energy and I know that it’s going to be a fun night every time!

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Jason is at the point in his career that everyone in the audience knows the words to his singles and almost everyone knows the words to the album cuts. I think that it makes the show so much more fun when everyone is rockin’ out and singing along. Since the last time that we saw Jason, the new album, My Kinda Party, has been released. He played the same three songs from the new album as he played when we saw him in Cherokee, NC back in October. Fans who haven’t heard the new album are always surprised when Jason breaks into his country rap during “Dirt Road Anthem.” The live version of the song has such a cool, laid back vibe that the recorded version didn’t quite capture. If you like the album version, you’ll LOVE the live version. And, if you’re only so-so with the album version, give the live version a chance before you write it off. Prior to playing “My Kinda Party,” Jason mentioned that he had recently released a new album titled My Kinda Party, and that he would be kicking off the My Kinda Party tour early next year and that the album’s debut single was titled “My Kinda Party.” Then he asked if anyone was noticing a pattern? It was a cute moment of self-promotion. 🙂

I love this face!
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Jason’s whole set was great and the encore was the perfect way to wrap up the show. Every night when Jason plays “Big Green Tractor,” the crowd erupts. That song really catapulted him to the next level of stardom and he seems to recognize the song’s impact as soon as he and the guys play the opening notes of the song. Before playing the final song of the evening, Jason did the same bit that he had done in Cherokee. He asked if anyone was at the show with their BFF, “whatever the hell that is.” (Oh, Jason! You know what a BFF is! haha) He then said that if anyone didn’t know the next song, their BFF should take them to the nearest bar and buy them a drink because they obviously don’t get out much. Then he explained that the next song wouldn’t be found on any of his albums and proceeded to tell how the instrumentation of the original song was done and said that they wouldn’t be playing it exactly like that because he doesn’t play harmonica. After the long intro, he says, “Cowboy,” into the talk box on his microphone and everyone goes crazy! I still love to watch the fans’ reaction to Jason playing Kid Rock’s “Cowboy.” Especially before he recorded “Dirt Road Anthem,” it was surprising to hear Jason rapping a song that seems so different from his own style of music. But, he has really put his own stamp on the song and it’s one of my favorite parts of the show. Unfortunately, when it’s time for “Cowboy,” it means that the show is almost over.

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Before leaving the stage, someone from Jason’s crew tossed him a can of Bud Light. Apparently this can had really been shaken up prior to Jason opening it. When he popped the top, it spewed all over his face. I don’t think that he was expecting that, but it was pretty funny. After he’d wiped his eyes and taken a few sips of the beer, he and the band all walked to the front of the stage to take their final bow. As sad as we were that the show was over, we knew that we would be seeing Jason again in Atlanta the following night. And, the Atlanta show was going to be extra special because it was the last night of the tour and I had been selected by Country Financial/Cotton States’ Road Trips and Guitar Picks, the sponsor for several of Jason’s shows, to be the official blogger for the Atlanta show.

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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
  • Bryan Adams’ Heaven
  • Asphalt Cowboy
  • Johnny Cash
  • Relentless
  • Laughed Until We Cried
  • She’s Country
  • Hicktown

Encore

  • Big Green Tractor
  • Kid Rock’s Cowboy

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Check out all of the photos from the show here.


Responses

  1. Great review! A Luke Bryan/Jason Aldean combo is pretty strong. I’ve seen them both, but never together. I have a couple of concerts coming up pretty soon. The only two shows I’ve attended recently were the Miranda Lambert/Eric Church CMT on Tour show in New York City back in September and the Don Williams “Out of Retirement” show (which was incredible by the way) at the Ryman in Nashville on October 20th.

    • Ward, just wait until next year. Jason & Eric Church will be touring together! That’s a solid combo! Eric opened one show for Jason this year and it was great, but a whole tour will be even better. Now I’m just waiting for them to announce some dates in the South!

      Although, I’d love for Eric to do another headlining tour. He’s got so many good songs and he doesn’t get to play them all when he’s the opener.

  2. this was our 1st ever Jason show and def won’t be the last! He’s worth a road trip!


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