Summer officially started in Saint Louis on Thursday night as Jason Aldean brought his ‘High Noon Neon’ Tour to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater with special guests Lauren Alaina and Luke Combs.
Lauren Alaina kicked off the night with an eight song setlist that included her own rendition of Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls,” as well as Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City.” Alaina’s set built as she danced with a member of the crowd during her song, “Next Boyfriend,” and discussed family matters before singing “Doing Fine.” She finished her set by telling her story about what happened after she was named runner-up on American Idol at age 15. After struggling with bullies and an eating disorder for six years, she says she wrote “Road Less Traveled,” the title track off of her newest album. As her final song played on, the crowd’s engagement hit a peak as they sang along. Between Alaina’s vocals and her ability to connect with her audience, it’s clear why she won the ACM Female Vocalist of the Year award just over a month ago.
Next to the stage was Luke Combs who walked up to the microphone with his red solo cup and began to sing “All My Rowdy Friends” by Hank Williams Jr. At a time when country music is increasingly more clean-cut and pop-influenced, Combs brought out a gritty blue-collar sound that feels familiar to older generations of country music. He warmed up the crowd with “Honky Tonk Highway” and allowed it to bleed into a short segment of the classic song “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks & Dunn, finishing the song with “Saint Louis, Missouri is calling me home.” After singing his newest song, “Beautiful Crazy,” and witnessing a proposal in the crowd, he continued on with short renditions of “Take It Easy” by the Eagles, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” by Toby Keith, and “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” by Alan Jackson. The crowd was buzzing by the time he finished his set with his debut single, “Hurricane.”
By the time that Jason Aldean took the stage, the crowd at the amphitheater was booming. The stage opened up and a bright “A” was reflected onto the floor as Aldean was propelled up and toe-touched before starting off his almost two hour set with one of his newest songs, “Gettin’ Warmed Up.” Without much chatter in between songs, Aldean sang hits like “Take a Little Ride” and “A Little More Summertime” as the crowd continued to grow louder and louder. Reflected on the screens behind him were different visuals, similar to the ones used in his music videos. Aldean’s rock-infused set heavily engaged his diverse crowd of country music fans as they sang along to each and every song, including songs off of his most recent album, “Rearview Town” as well as hits all the way back to his self-titled debut album, “Jason Aldean.” From rocking along to “When She Says Baby” to dancing in the aisles and holding each other during Aldean’s newest hit, “You Make It Easy,” the audience was loving every second. This three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year knows how to put on a show, and finished his set with back-to-back hits like “Dirt Road Anthem,” “Big Green Tractor,” “My Kinda Party,” and “She’s Country.” After deafening screams from the packed crowd, Aldean came out to perform two more songs as an encore, stating, “Guys like me don’t know how to go home on a Thursday night!” He then performed “Burnin’ It Down” and took it back to the beginning of his career fourteen years ago with “Hicktown.” This classic country rockstar left nothing on the stage as he said goodnight.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Bardol – www.alyssabardol.com