Jason Aldean Goes ‘Wide Open’ in Oklahoma
As Jason Aldean takes the Gallagher-IBA Arena stage on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, Okla., drummer Rich Redmond thumps the opening beat of 'Wide Open.' The lights come up and a large 'Jason Aldean' banner drops from the light fixture behind the stage, sending the crowd into a frenzy. "I know these guys in the yellow shirts like to keep you in your seat," the singer tells the crowd with a grin, "but that's going to change here shortly!"
After playing the hits 'Amarillo Sky' and 'Why,' Jason and band tear into a countrified version of Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down.' "You will hear plenty of country music here tonight – our version of country, that is!" Jason asserts.
Prior to playing his multi-week No. 1 hit 'Big Green Tractor,' Jason asks, "How many ladies do we have in the crowd tonight? How many came with their husbands or boyfriends? If any of you have ever had them roll up in a big-ass green tractor, you better keep him!"
Jason's band members leave the stage as the lights dim down on the singer. "You guys are going to be one of the firsts to hear this next song," he says. "I've gotta let you guys know it might not be very good. We decided to pull it out yesterday at soundcheck. I've never played it with a full band. It might be good, but it might suck!"
After a solo acoustic version of his latest single, 'The Truth,' Jason is rejoined on stage by the band . Jason clutches the mic stand as purple and pink lights shine down on him, his hat shadowing his face. As the opening notes of 'Laughed Until We Cried' fill the arena, Jason slowly cruises the stage front, shaking hands and signing autographs while a crush of fans make their way closer to the stage.
"Show me how an Oklahoma girl does it one time," Jason insists as he tears into 'She's Country.' And as if the crowd wasn't fired up enough, with a tug of his cowboy hat even lower over his brow, Jason pulls at his jeans and squats down low. Naturally, the girls swarm the stage even more.
"How many rednecks do we have at Oklahoma State University?" he yells before closing his show with the song that put him on the musical map, 'Hicktown.'
As he exits the stage, the entire crowd gathers around the stage for Jason's encore when he showcases some of the tunes performed on his 'CMT Crossroads' special with Bryan Adams, including 'Summer of '69' and a beautiful, acoustic rendition of 'Heaven,' accompanied by guitarist Kurt Allison and bassist Tully Kennedy.
Those unable to get to one of Jason's high-energy live shows might want to check out the singer's 'Wide Open Live and More' DVD, out now.