ith Kenny on the bench this year, cities have doubled down on a heavy dose of the bro country movement. Luke Bryan is playing the football stadiums while Jason Aldean takes on the ball parks.
On a rain drenched Saturday night, Aldean set up shop in center field in Pittsburgh's PNC Park. Still touring behind last year's number one "Night Train," there were no real surprises in the set list.
Though the Macon, Ga. native is a country radio favorite with a devoted fan base and plenty of twang, the "Burn It Down" Tour is essentially a big, (very) loud rock show complete with pyro, dry ice and a rising section of the stage in the shape of an A. He set the tone for the upcoming two hours by opening with the barn burning trio "Hicktown," "My Kinda Party" and "Tattoos On This Town."
Aldean spent a good chunk of time trying to sing over Kurt Allison's incendiary guitar rand Rich Redmond's thumping drums. Though some of the highlights included these more muscular numbers, Aldean's voice clearly welcomed and needed the ballads "The Truth" and "Amarillo Sky" to change the atmosphere and allow the band to take things down a few notches.
P>The hologram of Kelly Clarkson for the duet, Don't You Wanna Stay" is eerily realistic and effective, but it, too was cranked up well beyond power ballad standards. Aldean had to cut the show a few numbers short due to lightning strikes in the area. Nonetheless, the crowd did not seem displeased with anything omitted at the premature illumination of the light towers.
Prior to Aldean's entrance, Miranda Lambert came out for her hour-long set looking fitter than ever after "my breakup with Cheeto's." Her guns were blazing for the two scorchers, "Fastest Girl In Town" and the title track from 2005's "Kerosene." From there on, she strutted, swayed and showcased an impressive vocal range on what she called a "bad hair day that has turned into a wet T shirt contest." After she closed out with "Gunpowder & Lead," it was hard to believe that the headliner was still to come.
Florida Georgia Line's set was cut to only five songs due to lightning strikes, but they managed to squeeze in most of the summer party anthems at the expense of "This Is How We Roll." As long as they squeezed in "Cruise," everything was fine.
Tyler Farr was also plagued by inclement condition as well but not long enough to prevent him from performing the ordinary title track from "Redneck Crazy" to a mostly empty stadium in a Pirates tank.