46°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Jason Aldean Brings Country Music to Fenway Park

Aldean+During+Crazy+Town
Aldean During “Crazy Town”

When Jason Aldean first announced that he was playing at Fenway Park back in October, it could’ve come off like a practical joke. Big country shows don’t come to Boston, and they most certainly don’t come to Fenway Park. Just a few years ago, the country genre was the most maligned in Massachusetts, but through crossover artists, Kenny Chesney’s summer tours, and award-winning radio station WKLB, country has finally infiltrated the Bay State.
So there Aldean was, standing in the shadow of the Green Monster, announcing that his “Night Train” tour would be coming to the 101-year-old ballpark in July, and from that day on it became apparent that this would be a seminal event for the country music scene in Boston.
Aldean didn’t disappoint. On Friday night, riding the success of his fifth album, “Night Train,” he took the stage at the sold-out ballpark to tremendous roars and played a two-hour set filled with energy and number one hits. He began the show with “Crazy Town” before launching into his recent smash hit, “Take A Little Ride,” which he also played just six weeks earlier at the Boston Strong benefit show.
Aldean really shined on the fast, rowdy, country-rock tracks that made him famous in the first place. “She’s Country,” “My Kinda Party,” and “Night Train” had the 36 thousand fans in attendance dancing to some fantastic guitar work from what Aldean exclaimed was “the most kickass band in country music.” He mixed in some tender ballads — his other strong point — with his faster tracks too. “The Truth,” “Amarillo Sky,” and “Don’t You Wanna Stay” were all fantastic.
“Texas Was You” was a highlight. Aldean’s drawl filled vocals were at their best during this deep cut from “My Kinda Party.” In an era where radio singles are king, the fans appreciated this lesser known track, and were belting out the chorus by the end.
A touching slideshow during “The Only Way I Know” paid tribute to the victims of the Marathon bombing and showed some love to the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots, and Celtics. Aldean performed Luke Bryan and Eric Church’s parts as well as his own, and the fans joined in for the loudest sing-along of the night.
The song that won the night, however, was the very last sung. “Hicktown” was just spectacular. The hard-rocking anthem to southern life featured a great breakdown in the middle, and the song completely stopped before Aldean brought it back up to full volume and closed the show out with some furious guitar and drum solos, as well as a lengthy fireworks display.
At the very end of “Hicktown,” a wicked grin spread over Jason’s face, as if he was enjoying the scene before him: a full Fenway Park rocking out to country music. He’s the only headliner that has ever gotten the chance to take that in.
Aldean is the perfect artist to bring country music to Boston. While he has had plenty of crossover success, he is undoubtedly country and is steeped in “farm cred.” He’s also a relentless tourer and puts noticeable effort into each performance. He’ll forever be known as the artist who believed in this city enough to take a risk and play Fenway Park, and his decision to do so paid off in a huge way.
The scene was bizarre, with the Cask N’ Flagon playing “Cruise” loudly out their windows and folks walking down Boylston Street in cowboy hats, but there’ll always be some growing pains when you have a game-changing event like this that broke the Fenway Park record for a single night’s attendance for a concert. Naturally, the single night beer sales record fell as well.