Jason Aldean Puts a Few Surprises on His Set-List
Country, rock 'n roll and wrestling make up the basics for Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party tour, which hits the road this weekend (January 21). Now that may sound like a strange combination, but Jason has a perfectly logical explanation for it.
"The first show I saw that had any impact on me was Alabama," Jason tells The Boot. "That wasn't my first concert but it was the first I remember thinking it was badass. Even as kid I was blown away by that show. I think I was in the second or third grade.
"But everyone I've seen, from Alabama to Garth, Tim McGraw, Travis Tritt, even some of the rock shows like Guns N' Roses, have influenced me. And I know this will be funny to some people, but I'm influenced by other live events, like wresting. I watch to see how the wrestlers get people riled up, and I use all the stuff I've seen over the years that got my attention, in my show. I draw from everything."
Jason's set for the My Kinda Party tour may look familiar to fans because it's an amped up version of last year's stage. "This year we put drop lighting into some of the ramps that we didn't have last year. I wanted ramps so I could run around on stage. They give me places to go other than down in front, and it also give the guys a playground to run around on.
"When it comes to the stage design, I'm pretty involved because I want to make sure that it looks cool but is also something that we can really use. It just doesn't look right if there are ramps but you can't use them to your advantage. With this set, the band and I can go all the way across the stage on it."
One of the most noticeable elements on the stage is the huge line of amps that goes all the way across it. "We wanted to have a rock n' roll vibe to it," Jason admits. "I don't know how many amps we have up there but it looks like a Metallica show and that's what we wanted. It's cool."
"Last year we did Kid Rock's 'Cowboy,' so when we were looking for something to do this year we came up with this one. We all love '80s rock and it was a song we thought would be fun to play. It sounds cool in rehearsal, but we may get up there the first night and find out that it doesn't go over well. Then we'll have to figure out something else to do."
Another element of the show is Kelly Clarkson's big screen appearance with Jason to sing their new hit single 'Don't You Want To Stay.'
"We looked for a way to make her a part of the show because she can't be here every night to sing with me," Jason says. "I think it's cool and it kinda looks like she's live from satellite. And none of my guys look or sing like that!"
The other artists on the tour are Eric Church and the JaneDear Girls. "Eric and I have worked together on quite a few dates and I think we have some of the same fan base," Jason says. "He will be a cool part of the show. I'm not as familiar with the JaneDear Girls, other than watching them on YouTube and meeting them briefly recently. From what I've seen and heard, they are energetic and edgy and that will fit in real well with this tour. And they're a lot better looking than me or Eric!"
Jason says that he has loved the past couple months at home with his family but now he's ready to be back on the road. "I'm about to go nuts," he admits to The Boot a few days before the tour opens. "Being an entertainer is like being on crack. If you're without it for a little bit you start to freak out.
"This first weekend will be exciting but also hectic. It's one of best weekends, because it's all new and everybody's fresh and excited to be back out there. I think now we know what to expect and we have learned to pace ourselves for the year coming up."
My Kinda Party opens with two dates in Arkansas this weekend -- Little Rock tonight (January 21) and Fayetteville on Saturday (January 22). They head to Columbia, Mo. the 28th; Tulsa, Okla. the 29th and Lubbock, Texas the 30th.