I am definitely a country music fangirl, but I ended up at Jason Aldean in Edmonton almost by accident. Don’t get me wrong, the guy is great and I love his music, but after our whole “Summer of Concerts” this year – not to mention quitting my job to start a business – I didn’t exactly have the spare change to buy tickets to more live music events.
But as it turns out, the universe is totally down with me going to concerts. If you don’t care about how I ended up there and want to just read about the concert, feel free to scroll down a few paragraphs and keep reading. Because right now I am going to regale you with the tale of just how I was able to attend.
Last weekend Kris and I were out at Cook County Saloon, a fun country bar only a few blocks from where we live. Now, we don’t go “out” often (and we didn’t even particularly want to go “out” on this evening), but we rallied ourselves and made an attempt. It was a friend’s birthday, after all. I have to say, when we go dancing, we tend to go so hard that we don’t even leave the dance floor. This is exactly what was happening last Saturday night, when the announcer let us know that it was contest time!
It was a two-stepping contest, which Kris and I both love to do, but the twist was that the girl had to do the leading. We looked around for the group we had come with, hoping to find some boys that would be into joining the contest, but to no avail. It wasn’t long before we decided to just dance with each other. I knew that Kris would have a great shot at winning because she is really great at two-stepping and total knows how to lead when needed. That being said, we both assumed that they would pick an actual couple to win, so we were pretty much doing it for fun.
Throughout the song, we looked around and realized that the announcer was nowhere near us. We just kept going and were laughing when the song ended. At that moment, over the loudspeaker came:
“And the winners are these two girls right here!”
Kris and I looked around, wondering which girls had been so lucky to have actually been chosen, when all of a sudden, the announcer appeared from nowhere. He was pointing right at us! As he brought us back to the booth to claim our prize, he told us that there was no other couple on the dance floor where the girl was actually leading – and he couldn’t deny that Kris was doing a great job. So basically, thank you Universe and Cook County Saloon for getting me to this show!
And now on to the actual concert:
Kris was unable to attend since she was heading out of town for the weekend, so our contributor Johnny Rico came along with me. We showed up early enough for the opening acts because I knew a song or two from each of them and just love to see these lesser-known artists perform in general. Have I mentioned yet that the tickets we won were floor seats? In the 7th row? If I hadn’t already been closer than that to One Direction this year, I would have been pretty blown away.
The first of two opening acts was Tyler Farr.
Before this show, I knew only a couple of his songs, but also knew that I liked them. Have you heard “A Guy Walks into a Bar”? If not, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s a great track, and it’s been all over the radio here in Alberta. Farr got the crowd warmed up really well for the following performers. Maybe it was exciting because I was on the floor, but any opener that has the crowd on their feet dancing and having a good time is certainly a winner in my books. During the last part of his set, he walked right out into the crowd, stood on the arena boards, and sang from there. It was awesome to watch him get a hand to climb up there from a guy in the crowd, and just keep on singing like it was nothing.
Here’s a short clip of one of his performances for you to enjoy:
Next up was Cole Swindell.
I’d heard a few songs of his and was very excited to see him perform live. What I wasn’t prepared for is the fact that Cole Swindell is a total BABE ?. And from the moment he came on stage to the moment he left, he looked like he was having absolutely the BEST time; I love performers like that. He sang a few songs that I didn’t know but enjoyed listening to, as well as his popular songs including “Chillin’ It”, “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight”, and “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey”. In addition to these, Swindell has written a bunch of well-known songs for a variety of other artists including Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young, and Scotty McCreery. He treated us to performances of a couple of those songs: “Get Me Some of That” (released by Thomas Rhett) and “This is How We Roll” (co-written with Luke Bryan for Florida Georgia Line). It was really neat to see his renditions of these songs that I already know so well. That being said, my favourite part was hearing him do “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” live, so here is a little clip of that:
I have to say that I think Swindell was my surprise favourite part of the evening. I was certainly excited to see him, but I had no idea that I would become such a fan. After this show, I think his music is what I will be listening to on repeat. And after looking him up on Wikipedia, I think his story is really interesting. He was a “Highway Find” on SiriusXM Radio’s The Highway, and that was what lead to his record deal. Before all this happened though, he spent several years selling items for Luke Bryan (a fellow Sigma Chi member). In particular, I think what made me love him was the way he happily danced around, smiling and pointing at girls in the crowd throughout his performance – his joy was infectious.
And now on to the main event, the amazing Jason Aldean.
It was easy to tell that Aldean is a seasoned performer throughout this show. It was also easy to tell that he had a lot of fun with his staging – this is called the “Burn It Down” tour and there was certainly no shortage of fire! He had flame graphics on the large screens behind him, as well as actual pyrotechnics and real fire. The high point on the production was the end of the show, when he walked off stage while his mic stand was slowly engulfed in flames. It was sick.
As far as the music is concerned, he sounded stellar, just like I always expect from country artists when performing live. I like Jason Aldean and knew several of his songs, but only really the ones that have come out as singles and some of his bigger older hits. He performed everything that I personally wanted to see, plus some extras that were totally enjoyable, including a cover of Bryan Adam’s “Summer of 69”. He was composed on stage even when a fan jumped up to join him of her own accord, and he kept on singing without missing a beat. Here are a few clips to check it out if you want to see what his performances are all about:
So just how good was this concert actually? According to our handy fangirl-inspired rating system, the Burn It Down Tour scored the following:
8/10 feels: ?ﾟﾘﾍ?ﾟﾘﾊ?ﾟﾒﾃ?ﾟﾘﾃ⚪️⚪️
The heart-eyed smileys are for Cole Swindell, obviously. The rest of the show was a blast, and I had a lot of fun dancing to the mostly upbeat set of tunes. I love that Aldean carried his guitar for most of the show – it was awesome to see him rocking out on that while singing his iconic lyrics. I definitely recommend this show for any fan of country music. As you probably know, I’ve been to some pretty major concerts this year and this one was overall simpler than many of those, but it was still highly enjoyable.
This concert definitely made me long for Nashville. Some of you may know that I’ve been there twice in the past two years and it is my dream to live there. Just how does a Canadian girl move to Nashville, not at all to pursue music? If any of you can figure it out, please let me know!
Did you see these guys on the Burn It Down Tour? What did you think? Let me know in the comments or tweet us at @Fangirls_Online!