Jason Aldean Brings Country To The Cold For A Packed BJC
A sea of flannel shirts and cowboy boots made it clear: The BJC was ready for a night full of country. The live environment surely made everyone in the crowd wonder why there aren’t country parties there more often. An enthused crowd watching and singing along with the chart-topping Jason Aldean reaffirmed the exuberance of an excellent show.
A Thousand Horses opened up the “We Were Here” tour. The new country band primed the growing crowd as it performed boot-stomping songs from their most recent album, “Southernality.” Their most notable single “Smoke” was a crowd-pleaser. Everyone in the audience was singing at the top of their lungs as the band provided a good warm-up for the upcoming acts.
Arguably one of the best breakout country artists to come out of Nashville in the past couple years, Thomas Rhett took the stage, captivating female concert-goers in the process. Rhett brought an ample amount of energy to the stage as he skipped, danced, and sang some classics. “Make Me Wanna” and “Crash and Burn” fueled the already energetic frenzy. After his two most popular songs, Rhett performed a plethora of others like his newest single “Die A Happy Man.” One of the most memorable moments of the night came at the end of the song. Rhett owed the success of it to the fans and asked if he could sing the chorus again with everyone singing along. He ended his stint on stage with a tribute to the rowdy Penn State crowd.
With all the anticipation building up to this one performance, Jason Aldean came on stage to ignite one of the best performances in the BJC’s recent memory. Aldean proved that country concerts are among some of the most fun despite occasionally flying under college students’ radars — there’s a reason he came back for a third show in Happy Valley. The icon started off with classics such as “Just Gettin’ Started” and “Take A Little Ride” and my voice was turning to mush before the set list was even a quarter done. Aldean played a slew of singles dedicated to hardworking Midwestern Americans like “Fly Over States” and “Tattoos On This Town.”
Aldean slowed it down a notch next, performing a four-part medley of his highly successful, more emotionally charged songs. Between “Asphalt Cowboy,” “Why,” “The Truth,” and “Don’t You Wanna Stay” (popularized by his collaboration with Kelly Clarkson), the crowd was singing to Aldean rather than him singing to us, as the best concerts go. Serious vocal talent, captivating instrumentals, and the glowing cell phone light bred an intimate environment and brought life to a somewhat somber yet beautiful middle act.
Aldean thanked the Central Pennsylvania crowd for always bringing a fun atmosphere to his tour when he finished off the concert with singles from one of his best-selling albums, “Night Train.” The show ended with an encore of his popular hits “Burnin’ It Down” and “Crazy Town.”
The crowd left happy and tired after all the dancing and singing along, but we will be back next time he comes around because it was a country music-lover’s paradise.