Aldean Lights Up UGA Stadium With Historic Show

Jason Aldean and Ludacris at UGA’s Sanford Stadium, Saturday, April 13. Photo: Chris & Todd Owyoung

Jason Aldean and Ludacris at UGA’s Sanford Stadium, Saturday, April 13. Photo: Chris & Todd Owyoung

Jason Aldean almost, quite literally brought the house down with a one-time-only concert Saturday (April 13) at the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium thanks to numerous high-power flamethrowers shooting skyward during opening and closing numbers, “Crazy Town” and “Hicktown,” respectively.

As part of the Georgia native’s Night Train tour, in support of his latest album by the same title, Aldean stepped up his arena tour with a few stadium dates. This weekend’s show will go down in history as the only music concert to play on the lawn of the Georgia Bulldog’s home turf in its 84-year history.

What an event it was! Tickets were capped at 66,000 and sold out in a reported 45 minutes. By comparison, LP Field holds a little over 69,000 at its maximum.

“Thanks to Dr. Adams and coach Mark Richt for letting us tear up your field for a night—It’ll grow back,” joked Aldean during his headlining set.

Fans accustomed to tailgating before football games at the Athens stadium partied throughout the day in anticipation of the ACM Male Vocalist of the Year’s alcohol-free evening, due to campus/SEC standards. Also on the bill were special guests Thomas Rhett, Jake Owen and Luke Bryan.

Deviating from his trademark plaid shirt, Aldean sported a red Georgia Bulldogs t-shirt on the stage, which featured six, impressive, moving LED displays overhead (10 screens in all), LED illuminated risers, and hundreds of intelligent lighting elements.

Backing up the star were five of his New Voice band members. Before Aldean performed his current single “1994” each musician was highlighted with throwback photographs from that year. Additional highlights included a hologram appearance by Kelly Clarkson during “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” and guest appearances by Bryan on “Only Way I Know” and Atlanta-resident Ludacris on “Dirt Road Anthem.”

“Minor-league baseball stadiums, CMA Fest at LP Field and festivals like Bayou Fest all have prepared me for this show,” said Aldean before the concert. “The first time I stepped foot in this stadium I was just glad to just see a game, let alone think I would play it. When it’s all said and done, this will be one of the defining shows of my career.”

His agrarian based mega-hits couldn’t have sounded better echoing the walls of the Georgia field. Aldean proved well-equipped as a stadium torch bearer. Fans certainly haven’t objected. Thus far, Aldean has sold out every show this year, including two upcoming stadium concerts at Boston’s Fenway Park (July 12-13) and Chicago’s Wrigley Field (July 20).

Catch him play Nashville on Tuesday, April 16 when the star appears as part of  the Country Music Hall of Fame benefit, We’re All For The Hall, at the Bridgestone Arena.

UGA Night Train Set List
Crazy Town
Take A Little Ride
Tattoos On This Town
When She Says Baby
The Truth
Fly Over States
Nothin Town
Johnny Cash
Amarillo Sky
Night Train
1994
Don’t You Wanna Stay
Big Green Tractor
Only Way I Know
Dirt Road Anthem
She’s Country
My Kinda Party
Hicktown

Photo: Chris & Todd Owyoung

Photo: Chris & Todd Owyoung

Photo: Chris & Todd Owyoung

Photo: Chris & Todd Owyoung

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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