Jason Aldean delivers his kinda party

A review of Jason Aldean at the Comcast Center on June 5, 2011

, Editor-in-Chief

Swinging through town as part of his “My Kinda Party” summer tour, Jason Aldean arrived at the Comcast Center in Mansfield on Sunday night and delivered a show that lived up to the tour’s moniker.

Aldean is on the road in support of his fourth album, 2010’s My Kinda Party. And with years of experience on the road – from the dingy rock clubs to big concert halls – Adean has become quite the performer. This was clearly evident last year when he was given the primary support slot for Brad Paisley’s show at Gillette Stadium. This summer, Aldean has earned the opportunity to headline major amphitheaters/arenas on his own, and the 34-year old is thriving in the larger spotlight.

Just as it does on the new album, the pedal-steel fueled “Tattoos on This Town” opened the show. Aldean quickly followed with a pair of crowd favorites in “Amarillo Sky” and “Big Green Tractor”. Much has been said about Aldean and his status as a “country” star. It’s no secret that the Georgia native draws heavily from his southern rock influences and on Sunday, it was on full display as he cranked up the amplifiers. “I don’t give a damn what anybody says, that’s my kinda country music right there,” he declared later in the night as the band reworked the start of “Hicktown” into a crunching hard rocker.

Truth be told, Aldean is at his best on the rock-fueled anthems like “Crazy Town”, which highlighted the first half of the show after its surprisingly early appearance in the set. The middle part of the show found Aldean delivering five consecutive songs off My Kinda Party. For the most part, the new material fared very well. While “See You When I See You” was forgettable, “Texas Was You” proved to be the album’s hidden gem. On “Dirt Road Anthem”, Aldean continued to push the country line by infusing some hip-hop flavoring.

Aldean balanced the energetic rockers with a healthy sampling of mid-tempos and ballads including “Why” and “The Truth”. When it came to “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, he was joined by collaborator Kelly Clarkson via video. Despite the fact it never works well, it’s a move many other country artists have used in concert. In Aldean’s case, with no back-up singers present, it seemed unavoidable – unless he could have persuaded openers The JaneDear Girls to assist.

Throughout the show, Aldean stirred the crowd into a frenzy, working each end of the stage – from the back of the stage on a high rise platform to a catwalk that ran through the center of the crowd. Playing to the hometown crowd, he also employed a handful of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff (Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Daniel Bard) to serve as his stage hands. “The way I see it is if these guys want to come out to a show, I’m gonna put them to work,” he jokingly declared after Lester delivered one of his guitars.

The second half of the set included many of Aldean’s older hits including a trio from 2007’s Relentless: “Laugh Until We Cried”, “Johnny Cash” and “Relentless”. The harder edged “Hicktown” brought the main set to a close before Aldean and company returned for a two-song encore. A note-for-note cover of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” kicked it off and crowd favorite “She’s Country” brought the show to a close.

Thanks in large part to DJ Silver, the Comcast Center crowd was already in party mode before Aldean hit the stage. Spinning a mix of country, classic rock and pop tunes, Silver had the crowd up and dancing as the stage was being prepped. Every party needs a good deejay and Silver executed his role perfectly.

In the primary support slot was Eric Church, who delivered his hard rocking country songs with a stage show that screamed 80’s hair metal and climaxed with “Smoke A Little Smoke”. Early arrivals were treated to a quick 15-minute set from rising stars The JaneDear Girls.

Jason Aldean Setlist

1. Tattoos on This Town
2. Amarillo Sky
3. Big Green Tractor
4. Why
5. The Truth
6. Crazy Town
7. See You When I See You
8. Don’t You Wanna Stay
9. Texas Was You
10. My Kinda Party
11. Dirt Road Anthem
12. Laughed Until We Cried
13. Johnny Cash
14. Relentless
15. Hicktown
Encore:
16. Wanted Dead or Alive
17. She’s Country

One Comment

  1. Jess1234 says:

    Jason Aldean is a great country singer. I’m going to his concert on July 16 @ Cruzan Amphitheater. Can’t wait to sing along to all my favorite songs at the concert. Yee-haw, Im gonna have a good time! Looking for great seats…. http://tinyurl.com/5u32xp8.

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