Music News & Reviews

Jason Aldean revs up a big crowd again, with help from Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes II

A crowd of about 13,500 greeted Jason Aldean at his May 10, 2018, show at Sprint Center.
A crowd of about 13,500 greeted Jason Aldean at his May 10, 2018, show at Sprint Center. Special to The Star

Jason Aldean has an esteemed history in Kansas City.

In October 2007, he opened for Rascal Flatts, one of the first sold-out shows at the brand-new Sprint Center. In March 2012, he headlined a show that set the arena’s attendance record — more than 18,000. And in August 2015, he co-headlined a show with Kenny Chesney that set the attendance record at Arrowhead Stadium: 57,368.

Thursday night, Aldean returned to Kansas City, kicking off his High Noon Neon Tour at the Sprint Center. He broke no attendance records but he gave a crowd of about 13,500 the usual: a heavy dose of country-fried rock.

Aldean is touring off “Rearview Town,” his eighth studio album, released in April. “Rearview” offers more of the sounds and formulas that have made Aldean one of the most-popular and best-selling country stars for more than a decade: a mix of heavy anthems and power ballads steeped in a variety of sounds, from hair metal to Southern rock.

Backed by a five-piece band and dressed in jeans, boots, a cowboy hat and a black-and-gold Guns N’ Roses long-sleeved T-shirt, Aldean opened with “Just Gettin’ Started,” a track from his 2014 album, “Old Boots, New Dirt,” another tale of a guy heading out to the outskirts in his truck, a girl in the passenger seat and a six-pack between them, both hotter than the summer night: “Ain't been two miles down the road/The way you look at me, baby I don't know/If we even gonna make it to the party.”

He followed that with another truck-meets-girl anthem, “Take a Little Ride,” but this time his honey is barefoot and wearing cutoff jeans and the driver is spent but ready after a day of bailing hay. It drew the first of several hearty, widespread sing-alongs.

The set list included plenty of oldies and favorites, like “Another Round,” from his debut self-titled album, now 13 years old; “Crazy Town,” an ode to Nashville; “Tattoos on This Town,” a eulogy for a longtime homestead; “Night Train,” a wistful ballad about heading deep into the sticks to disappear amid the sounds of a passing train; and “Fly Over States,” an appreciation of the Heartland that provoked a big cheer for the line about a “harvest moon in Kansas.”

He also showcased some tunes from “Rearview,” like “Drowns the Whiskey,” a lament about a girl whose absence and memory is stronger than a bottle of Jack Daniels. It’s Aldean’s newest single, but it wisely doesn’t stray far from what he’s been doing so successfully for more than a decade.

The finale included a burly, straight-forward cover of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” which is right in Aldean’s wheelhouse.

That came after another celebrity in the building aroused the longest and loudest cheer of the night: the Kansas City Chiefs’ undefeated (1-0) quarterback, Patrick Mahomes II, upon whom Aldean literally shed the spotlight and who will soon fill Arrowhead himself, just like this evening’s headliner.

SET LIST

Gettin' Warmed Up; Take a Little Ride; They Don't Know; Little More Summertime; Any Ol' Barstool; Crazy Town; Tattoos On This Town; Night Train; Amarillo Sky; Drowns the Whiskey; Fly Over States; Burnin' It Down; Lights Come On; Rearview Town; When She Says Baby; You Make It Easy; Dirt Road Anthem; My Kinda Party; Big Green Tractor; The Only Way I Know; She's Country; Hicktown; Wanted Dead or Alive.

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