A Country Fan’s Thoughts on the Jason Aldean Show at Darien Lake [PICTURES]
It was a show I waited all summer for. When it was announced I knew that the Jason Aldean/Luke Bryan show was going to be big. You can't go anywhere without hearing at least one of their songs on the radio, a jukebox, Pandora or an iPod. They are at the top of their game and in the top tier of popularity in country music.
Jason Aldean has sold out EVERY show he has planned this year. Some shows have sold out in a matter of minutes. It took a few weeks, but the My Kind Of Party Tour sold out the Darien Lake PAC in record time for a country music concert. Anyone who is a FAN of today's country music could tell it was going to be a special night.
After reading some of the reviews from this past weekend's show, I figured I would give you my perspective on what was an incredible show.
Parking and Traffic:
No doubt, Darien Lake and Live Nation have some work to do to try to make things a little more accessible,smooth and timely when it comes to getting traffic in and out. After the recent changes to their regulations, things were more than frustrating for concert goers. We fielded calls, text, tweets and Facebook comments from some very angry people. Some who waited in traffic for hours. Some that missed the start of the show and even a portion of Luke Bryan's performance. I planned ahead and got there early and left early in anticipation of the volume of traffic. But, because this was the first sold out show since the new policy, there clearly are some "growing pains" that need to be addressed.
It was simply amazing to look out from the stage prior to the show and see the sold out crowd. The only other time I felt such energy was at Taylor Swift's show this past Fall and the Garth Brooks' shows from back in the day. Song after song, the crowd sang along and got louder and louder as the night went on. And why not!! These guys are very good and delivered exactly what the crowd came to enjoy. Like all of the shows lately, the average age is much younger than country shows of days gone by. The music has evolved and relates both lyricaly and melodicaly to the audience. Many of whom work their tales of to make the money to spend on tickets for the show. I think some critics need a reality check and remember what it was like to work all summer to make the money to see your favorite stars with your friends. And as far as hanging out on the lawn...in my opinion, if you are under 30, try to get a seat somehwere under the tent. The lawn is for "the party crowd." I don't go on the lawn anymore. It's even too much for me. I realize however, that the younger crowd wants to get crazy and that's fine. I DON'T think that gives anyone an excuse to be disrespectful. Urinating , fighting and acting like an idiot is NOT cool and should never be tolerated at any show.
Drinking beers and having fun?? I am all for that as long as it's done responsibly and NOT at someone else's expense. Want to act like a dick? Stay home.
Unless you live under a rock, you will notice that country music is constantly evolving. I am a traditionalist and I still believe that country music should stick to it's roots as much as possible. However, I am also a realist. If you are going to survive in any business, you need to change with the times and give the audience what they want. Country music is an ENORMOUS business that has learned to adapt from generation to generation. It is because of it's ability to do so that it remains the Number 1 format in the USA and the Number 1 radio station in Western New York and most other markets nationwide.
My Critique of the Critics
To say that Saturday's show wasn't on the mark with the audience is plain IGNORANCE. Luke Bryan is one heck of a talent. He is funny, a great singer/musician and according to 90% of the crowd, "sexy as hell." Song after song on Saturday, he and his band never missed a beat. Even after a rigorous schedule, they made it seem as though it was the only show on the tour. When Luke Bryan sang "Do I," it was a special moment. I didn't realize how talented Luke is on piano and the crowd went nuts from the first note.
I read what critics thought about songs like "Drinking Beer and Wasting Bullets." That song was never a radio hit, yet, somehow, that song and "Drunk On You" (the boom boom song) got the biggest reactions from the crowd-including me I sang as loud as the next guy!! Critique the performance, not the lyrics.If you can't relate or have never experienced the things Luke Bryan sings about, send someone who can. He sings about the things we "country fans" appreciate.
I forgot how amazing Jason Aldean's voice is in concert. It is a real art to be able to sing on key and with such power night after night, city after city. Somehow, Jason and his band are able to be at 100% every time I see them. Saturday was no different. I really feel like some critics have a hard time watching what is happening with country music these days. Who cares what Jason Aldean's band members look like? It is pure ignorance and narrow minded to assume that all country music stars and musicians should have a certain "look." If it was me, I would want the best talent I could find no matter what they dress like.
Jason Aldean may not dance like Luke Bryan, but I thought he used the entire stage well and loved how he recognized those on the lawn. The tour is called "My Kind Of Party" for a reason. It is exactly what happened at Darien Lake on Saturday it was a party. Not just a concert.
The fans that waited all summer for this show got more than their money's worth from both artists. The traffic tie ups and headaches were a combination of poor planing on the venue's part and some of the fans not planning accordingly for a sold out show. If you have ever been to Darien Lake for any show, there are always delays and traffic jams. It needs to be addressed. As far as the entertainment that night, it will rank in the top tier of the shows I have seen this summer.