My Kinda Party Tour 2012

Written by on April 19, 2012 in April 19, 2012, Cover Story, Live Reviews - Comments Off on My Kinda Party Tour 2012
Cover Story - Jason Aldean

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March 23, 2012
John Paul Jones Arena
Charlottesville, VA

On an unusually hot March afternoon fans lined up to see what was promising to be one hell of a show featuring Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean. The audience that was later revealed to be a record breaking, sold out crowd of over 14,000 people, definitely was not disappointed.

Lauren AlainaThe evening began with an opening set by Lauren Alaina. She started her show with her hit single from her debut “Wildflower” album, “Georgia Peaches” followed up by a song she says is a “song to your ex-boyfriend” called “I’m Not One of Them”. She greeted the crowd by introducing herself, “Hi, I’m Lauren Alaina”, “I was on American Idol and I got 2nd place but whatever, I’m on tour with Jason Aldean and that’s just as cool”. She continues with another single off the album called “Tupelo” and asks the crowd (that was still filing in) to “make some noise for Jason Aldean – if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here so I’m super blessed” She finished her set with the title track “She’s a Wildflower” and “One of Those Boys”.

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I was excited to see her live. I confess I voted for her on American Idol which was the first season I had actually watched the whole thing and had actually voted. I think this little lady can sing her hind parts off and she is doing a great job with her live performance. I just hope she stays true to herself and doesn’t fall prey to industry pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way, and sing a certain way. I believe she has a bright future ahead of her and I can’t wait to see what’s next for her.

Luke BryanNext up was Luke Bryan. Thunder and lightning accompanied by strobes signaled the growing crowd that the show was about to start and Luke Bryan was taking the stage. He opens the show with one of his #1 singles, “Rain is a Good Thing” from the “Doin’ My Thing” album. He comes front and center and asks, “Where are the country girls at? Let me see ya’” and of course all the ladies (which make up the majority of the crowd) scream. He follows that up with “Country Man” and he’s dancing all over the place, rocking out. Next song was “Someone Else Calling You Baby”. He says “Virginia, how ya’ll doin?”, “Charlottesville, how ya’ll doin?”, “Let me see all my country girls”. When the girls scream, he says “Hey”, “Whatchall doin?”, and then he meows as the audience. He asks “Ya’ll got back roads right?” He flows into the next song “Drunk on You” and the crowd is singing along with him. The next song was “Drinkin’ Beer & Wastin’ Bullets”. He finishes it up and tells the crowd “I’m a little hung-over, I went and did a little trout fishin’ today, sweat my ass off, drank too much beer so”, of course the crowd loved that and responded with a rousing “hell yeah”. Next up is “If You Ain’t Here To Party” during which he tosses his red solo cup in the air towards the crowd. Guess who was in the line of fire? You guessed it, I looked up and all I could think was “crap” and next thing I knew me and a few other people were treated to a shower. Luke BryanLuke BryanLuke BryanLuke BryanLuke BryanLuke BryanLuke BryanLuke BryanLuke BryanLuke BryanLuke BryanThank God it was only water and I had a second to tuck in my notebook. They bring a piano on stage and he tells everyone he sucks at playing piano and one of the stage hands brings him another cup and he takes a sip and says “ah that’s better” and he easily plays a little diddie. Then he decided to mess with the audience and starts playing Adele’s “Someone Like You”, they take the piano away and he makes sure he gets his cup from off of it before they take it off stage. Next song was “Do I” and that was followed up by “All My Friends Say”, in the middle of which he breaks into Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” then he finishes it up. Last songs were “I Don’t Want This Night To End” and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”, during which he gets the girls in the crowd to shake it and then he points one guy out and puts the spot on him and the guy starts “shaking it” and Bryan tells him “That’s my dawg right there”. He proceeds to inform the male portion of the crowd that they are “outnumbered 8 to 1 here tonight and if you don’t go home with a girl, well then, you’re just ugly and I can’t do nothin’ for ya’”.

Luke Bryan has some great country songs. His ballads make you wanna grab your date and dance a close, slow dance and the rest of his songs make you wanna hoop and holler, grab a beer, and bait a hook. They take you back to childhood and bring back memories (some not too innocent) of your younger, wilder days. He’s funny as hell and is one heck of a performer. I can’t tell you how many times I myself laughed out loud at his dancing and joking around. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him and would definitely see him again.

Jason AldeanFinal set and the one everyone was waiting for was Mr. Jason Aldean. He took the stage to “Hillbilly Deluxe” by Brooks & Dunn and then asked the audience, “Virginia, whatcha got?”. First up was “Johnny Cash” and “Big Green Tractor”. Already, nobody is sitting down and the noise level of the crowd has grown. Next up was “Amarillo Sky” and “Why”. He addressed the crowd after that by saying “What’s up Charlottesville?”, “It’s good to be back in Virginia”. He’s all over the stage back and forth making sure everyone in the place gets a good view and picture opportunity. With every place he stops you see numerous cell phones raise up all the sudden from people trying to get pictures. He sings “Crazytown” next and then lets the audience know that he has a new album coming out at the end of the year. Next was his newest single “Fly Over States” and then he disappears from the stage and next thing I know, he’s at the back of the arena at the soundboard. He tells the crowd that he knows “being in the back sucks” and he “wanted to make sure that everyone had a good seat”. He’s joined next by Luke Bryan and he tells everyone that they are gonna pay tribute to their idols. He says they both grew up pretty close to each other in Georgia, played some of the same clubs, listened to the same music. They both perform “Amarillo By Mornin’” by the great George Strait, Jason AldeanShenandoah’s “Sunday In The South”, and “Dixie Land Delight” by Alabama. Luke Bryan tells the crowd “Virginia, you are killin’ it tonight”, “I had gone to the bus and started drinkin’ beer”, “Gimme one more – as if I don’t need any more”. Jason let the crowd know that they were informed that they were the biggest crowd at a show at the John Paul Jones Arena – that they actually broke an attendance record. Luke Bryan sang his song “We Rode In Trucks”. He left the soundboard stage and Jason went back to the front stage and performed “Tattoos On this Town” & “Relentless”. The next song, which as of my writing this review won Jason Aldean two ACM awards for Vocal Event of the Year and Single Record of the Year, was the huge hit ballad “Don’t You Wanna Stay” which was originally recorded and performed with Kelly Clarkson but tonight Lauren Alaina filled in and did a fantastic job of it in my opinion. Next up was the title song from his double platinum album “My Kinda Party” and finished with another huge hit “She’s Country”. He left the stage and the crowd began stomping their feet and screaming for more. Jason took the stage once again with two more of his hugely popular songs, “Dirt Road Anthem” and after telling them to “Crank that bitch up” he completed the night with “Hicktown”.

Jason AldeanJason Aldean has become one of my favorite country artists. I was very excited to see this show and I was not disappointed for one minute. There’s something different at a country music concert, don’t get me wrong, I’m still a rock girl deep inside too, but the crowds are different, almost friendlier and relaxed. Oh they get up on their feet and raise hell, NEVER doubt that, and they know how to do it as well as the next person. You see couples slow dancing with each other during the slow songs and next thing you know they are rockin it out with the rest of the crowd. His music relates to everyone. You have the songs that remind you of your hometown and your country, the songs that remind you of family and friends, the songs that bring to mind the one you love, and the songs that make you want to party and raise hell. The tour is one of the highly anticipated tours of the season, people are being told to buy their tickets very early if they want to go because they are selling out and they may miss out. This was a fantastic night; I had the opportunity to see 3 country music artists that I had been anxious to see live. Lauren Alaina is the sweet southern belle with the voice that just pours over you like honey, she’s new to the industry and yes you can tell but she’s got a huge future ahead of her. Luke Bryan is the funniest guy I have seen live and I am a fan of him and quite a lot of his songs. He’s had a huge year this year and I don’t think he has gotten the recognition he deserves for that. Jason Aldean, LOVE his music, let me get that out there. He has caught fire in the country music world but like Luke Bryan, I don’t think he has gotten the recognition that he deserves, from the industry anyway, the fans are damn sure giving him the much deserved recognition and that is proven time after time by the huge crowds that are going to stadiums and arenas to see these guys on tour. I can’t wait for the new album to come out, I know it’s gonna be as good as the others and will become part of my collection.

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A special thank you to Broken Bow Records, Green Room PR, and John Paul Jones Arena for making this night possible.

Review by: Melissa Gibson
Photography by: Stephen Gibson Photography