Jason Aldean Wows Sold-Out Blossom Crowd
August 10th, 2019
You know what kind of night that's in store for you when, as you turn right onto Steels Corners Road, the line of traffic waiting to turn into Blossom Music Center is almost two miles long. That, my friends, is no understatement; my trusty GPS logged in a 1.8 mile-wait as the long line of cars snaked westward through a warm Friday evening.
After grumbling to myself as to why did-I-get-myself-into-this-diesel-fume-choked-out mess, I finally made my way into the venerable concert venue. I parked, made my way through the massive tailgate that was brewing up like a May thunderstorm in Parking Lot B, and got into the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra which, I'm guessing, is a much different vibe than last night's show offered. There were Rebel flags, Daisy Dukes and knee-high cowboy boots and, strangely, Lady Gaga being cranked by a homespun DJ, who had set up his mobile rig near the entrance to the venue.
I don't think I've ever seen a crowd at Blossom as large as last night's. Perhaps because summer is rapidly coming to an end or maybe because Aldean puts on a hell of a show, Northeast Ohio was out last night to give the Georgia native a warm Ohio welcome. And, for once, the August weather was cooperative: It was a beautiful night, not too humid, punctuated by a pleasant western breeze.
The show started with Kentucky native and current Nashville thang du jour Carly Pearce. Her abbreviated seven-song set was a breezy confection, highlighted by the smiling and effervescent singer bee-bopping back and forth across the stage. After a quick thirty minutes, she closed out her time onstage with her #1 hit, "Every Little Thing."
Georgia native Kane Brown was up next, after a furious interstitial set by DJ Dee Jay Silver. Brown, who became noticed due to the homemade videos that he posted on Facebook covering classic Country tunes, got a massive cheer from the audience; this guy's the next big thing in Nashville if you based it on the reception he received when he initially appeared onstage. He spent close to an hour rifling through his set, pausing for the obligatory banter with his fans. For a guy who has only released to EPs and two full-length albums, he's got a following that appreciates, and knows, his music. Pulling from an eleven-tune set, he ended his time with "Heaven" and "Lose It."
After a short stage reset, headliner Jason Aldean came out. He's somewhat of a force of nature in the Country world: Nineteen #1 songs, ten more tunes that have charted in the top ten, and multiple albums that have charted as double or quadruple platinum. Not bad.
Offering a massive twenty-four tune set, Aldean and his crackerjack backup band played well into the night, providing the sold-out crowd with almost two hours of solid entertainment. After the cheering reduced to a dull roar (from the cacophonous ear-splitting shrieks that would make The Beatles envious when he first stepped onstage) he offered up "Take A Little Ride" from his 2012 release Night Train. Seguing into "Tattoos On This Town" from My Kinda Party, Aldean made sure that a variety of his tunes from all over his musical map would be played.
Usually. a song or two stand out from the rest and get the most applause or recognition. Outside of "Big Green Tractor," a mid-set offering which got a huge ear-shattering recognition from the crowd, every other song on the playlist was received with the same aplomb.
He closed out the night with a four-song barrage of his most well-loved tunes. Starting with "Dirt Road Anthem," he segued into "She's Country," which saw every Daisy Duke-wearing female in the place start to dance in her personal bubble. Then"You Make It Easy" became a smile-inducing singalong. Finally, he closed it all out with "The Only Way I Know," which made over twenty-thousand happy, beer-swilling fans make their way up that arduous hill to their cars and the monstrous traffic jam that Blossom always gives as a reward to those who wait through the encore to hear the good stuff.
And good stuff it was.
Photos and Review by Brian M. Lumley