Review: Jason Aldean heats up chilly night

Review: Jason Aldean heats up chilly night

Jason Aldean’s Night Train Tour seemed more like the Polar Express Thursday night, bringing blizzard conditions with it to town. Despite the icy conditions, over 13,000 fans turned out to see the country singer perform at Wells Fargo Arena.

It was Aldean’s first show of 2014, though there didn’t seem to be any rust that needed to be shaken off. “it’s my turn to have a little fun with you for a while, so drink up,” he told the more than willing crowd.

Tyler Farr kicked off the night with a quick 15 minute set. The Missouri singer warmed up the crowd with songs like “Redneck Crazy” and “Whiskey In My Water” while telling the audience “Screw the snow” and telling tales of hunting whitetail deer.

Florida Georgia Line had the most pop-influenced set of the night, with a recurring theme of “party” in most of the songs. Frontmen Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly wandered the stage while backed by a five-piece band.

“We’ve been waiting a month to see how Des Moines does it round here,” Hubbard said before launching into “That’s How We Do It Round Here.” Songs like “Tip It Back,” “Party People” and “Get Your Shine On” didn’t have a lot of depth, but they were very crowd pleasing.

Aldean took the stage close to 9:30 p.m., kicking off the show with “Crazy Town” and following it up with “Take a Little Ride” and “Tattoos On This Town.” Aldean climbed onto and elevated side stage on the third song, singing to the west half of the arena. Six musicians, including Des Moines native Kurt Allison, backed the singer.

Aldean gave Allison a shout out during the set and posted a photo of Allison from his hard rock days in Des Moines. Aldean ran through old photos of his whole band before showing one of his own, noting his own Justin Bieber-esque hair. A mention of the pop singer drew boos (residual negativity from his troubled July show?). Aldean’s response: “Be careful, he might egg your house.”

By just a few songs into the set, the crowd seemed to have forgotten the chill outside. Aldean slowed things down early in the set with “The Truth,” prompting the audience to start swaying together with a few lighters and cell phones raised. From there he lead into his tribute to the Midwest with “Flyover States.”

Things picked back up with “Johnny Cash” (which sounds less like a Cash song than you might expect. Pretty much not at all) and “Amarillo Sky.” After that he suggested men take their girlfriends out into the country, spread out a blanket and listen for the night train. It might be better to wait a few months before following that advice.

Kelly Clarkson made an appearance, albeit via pre-recorded video to sing with Aldean on “Do You Wanna Stay.” But Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly filled in for Erich Church and Luke Bryan “The Only Way I Know.”

Between the three acts, fans at Wells Fargo Arena had the spectrum of popular country music pretty well covered. The songs of Aldean’s “Night Train” album are a few years old at this point and they’re on their last hurrah before a new album comes out later the year. But one last stop at Des Moines’ station wasn’t a bad thing.


About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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