Jason Aldean brought his brand of hard-driving, modern country music to Verizon Arena Saturday night on his aptly named Burn It Down Tour, firing up his army of fans with his sturdy rock-tinged voice, energetic stage presence and an outright blaze of pyrotechnics.
Many in the crowd of 10,059 were on their feet for much of Aldean’s powerful performance, enjoying – and singing along to – hits like “My Kinda Party,” “Hicktown,” “Fly Over States” and “Big Green Tractor.” He’s known for his party songs, but it’s the ballads – like “The Truth” and the classic “Don’t You Wanna Stay” – that best showcase his voice. He was joined on the latter by Kelly Clarkson (on the video screens, that is) for a nice version of the No. 1 hit from 2011 for which the pair won awards from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. It’s a love song that’s easy to like.
Opening acts Cole Swindell and Tyler Farr joined Aldean onstage for “The Only Way I Know” and capably filled in for Aldean’s better-known collaborators on the hit – Luke Bryan and Eric Church.
Of course, Aldean didn’t just sing his popular past hits. He also delighted with songs off his recent “Old Boots, New Dirt” album, including “Burnin’ It Down,” “Just Gettin’ Started” and “Tonight Looks Good on You,” before rocking out his encore with “Dirt Road Anthem” and “She’s Country.”
Swindell is known as much for his writing talent as his vocal capabilities. So you can’t blame him for offering up his versions of some hits he co-wrote for other artists, including the Florida Georgia Line smash “This Is How We Roll,” the Luke Bryan hit “Roller Coaster” and Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That.” He’s come a long way from selling merchandise on tour for Bryan and has saved for himself a bunch of the songs he’s helped write. Among these were the fan favorites (and No. 1 hits) “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” and “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey.”
The crowd also really got into Swindell’s new single, “Let Me See Ya Girl,” especially after learning some segments for the upcoming video of the song were being filmed during the concert.
Farr opened the three-and-a-half hour concert and warmed the place up with tunes like “Redneck Crazy” and “Whiskey in My Water.”
In between acts, Dee Jay Silver kept the arena rocking with his custom mixes.