Jason Aldean Rocks Out at ToC Fest 2017 [Pictures]
As far as modern country rockers go, Jason Aldean is one of the best. The superstar blends 1970s and '80s rock influences with inspiration from his 1980s and '90s country heroes to create his sound, and from his song selections to his stage setup, Aldean's set at the 2017 Taste of Country Music Festival reflected both.
Throughout his hour-and-a-half-long set, Aldean roared through more than 20 songs, beginning with his newest single, "They Don't Know," and ending with his second No. 1 song, "She's Country." Near the beginning of his show, the singer explained to the crowd packed onto the mountainside in Hunter, N.Y., that he's "not a guy that stands up here and does a lot of talking."
"We're gonna play as much music as we can for you guys tonight," Aldean said, as the audience roared with approval. "But don't take that for me being unsociable."
Aldean wasn't lying: "Take a Little Ride," "A Little More Summertime," "Crazy Town," "The Truth" -- they, and more, were all there. But so was a cover of the Allman Brothers Band's "Midnight Rider." A native of Macon, Ga. -- where the Allman Brothers formed -- Aldean put the iconic song into his setlist following Gregg Allman's death in late May; it was supposed to be a one-night addition ... but one night just didn't feel like enough.
"The Allman Brothers kind of came out of my hometown, Macon, Ga. And so, being a musician from there, growing up, I learned how to play music playing a lot of their songs," Aldean told Taste of Country prior to his set. "I actually had a chance to play with him once before he passed away ..."
Fans were singing along throughout Aldean's set, but they got especially loud during "Any Ol' Barstool" and "Hicktown." Friday nights, Aldean explained, are his favorite nights to play because it's prime time for his fans to let loose.
"If I know my people like I [think] I know my people, y'all have been drinking since breakfast," Aldean said. "And if you don't mind, we're gonna drink a little bit up here with you."
Clearly, nobody minded.
The 2017 Taste of Country Music Festival is scheduled to run through Sunday (June 11). Miranda Lambert will headline Saturday night (June 10), while Sam Hunt will close out the festival on Sunday night.
Meet the Hottest Country Festival Headliners