Country superstar Jason Aldean is taking everything up a notch this year as he embarks on his “Burn it Down” tour along with special guests Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr.
“We’ve got great opening acts on this tour and I think it’s one of those things where it will be a fun show for fans from top to bottom,” says Aldean, who performs 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. “Every year we go out and try to make the tour bigger and better than the year before. This year we have a ton of new things in our show from lighting to video to pyros and different tricks that we’ll use to make the shows look pretty incredible.”
Aldean, who has won countless Academy of Country Music (ACM), Country Music Association (CMA), American Country, Country Music Television (CMT) and Billboard Music awards, was most recently named ACM’s Male Vocalist of the Year. He has also had 11 singles reach No. 1 on the hot country songs or country airplay charts and eight more tunes have reached the Top 10. In addition, his 2005 self-titled debut album, 2007 album “Relentless” and 2009 album “Wide Open” all have been certified platinum. Aldean says he is excited for his latest tour and playing Atlantic City for the first time in years.
“It’s been a while since I’ve played Atlantic City, but I’m a big fan of playing in areas where there are casinos so people can gamble before or after the show,” Aldean says. “It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
After Aldean graduated high school, he began writing songs for his band. In 1998, he would perform original tunes at a showcase which was put on by a nightclub in Atlanta. He was discovered by a song-publishing company and would move to Nashville later that year.
Aldean was offered a record deal, but was eventually dropped then dropped again by another label. After a short time, he was offered a deal from Broken Bow Records in Nashville and never looked back.
His “Burn it Down” tour has him playing all over the country — from smaller venues to some of the biggest ones around including AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Progressive Field in Cleveland, Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
“I came up playing clubs and smaller venues and have gradually gone on to play bigger arenas,” he says. “It’s cool playing a place more intimate, I don’t get the chance to do that a lot any more. I like playing the smaller arenas, the fans are right there and that makes it a little more personal.”
Aldean also uses his popularity to help charities close to his heart. Ever since losing a close friend to breast cancer in 2004, Aldean has aimed to bring awareness to the disease. This year, he is involved with Major League Baseball’s campaign.
“Being involved with baseball brings a whole new wave of people to the cause,” he says. “It’s all about spreading the word and making more people aware of what’s going on and getting people to help out and support the cause.”
Aldean will be a judge for Major League Baseball’s honorary bat girl program that takes place in May.
“We get to read peoples stories and get to pick who has an amazing story and they get to be an honorary bat girl for a baseball team,” Aldean says. “To have Major League Baseball on board ... it’s a way to promote awareness for the cause and it’s a way to do something nice for someone that’s battled the disease.”
Aldean’s first album was released in 2005 and he’s never looked back since.
“My life has changed dramatically and has changed in every aspect,” he says. “When I first came out, nobody knew who I was. During the last nine or 10 years, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the success we’ve had, and when that happens it changes everything — life as you know it comes to an end and you start fresh and you have to live your life in a bit of a different way from that point on.”
Joining Aldean on tour will be Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr.
Florida Georgia Line, one of the hottest groups in country today, recently took home three ACM awards, including for new artist of the year, two CMT awards and two CMA awards.
Tyler Farr has released four singles and also co-wrote the song “Hey Y’all” for Colt Ford and “She’s Like That” for Joe Nichols. His studio album “Redneck Crazy” peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. country charts and No. 5 overall. Farr’s single “Redneck Crazy” reached No. 2 on the U.S. country charts and No. 3 on the U.S. country airplay chart.
“I’m a fan of both Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr,” Aldean says. “Florida Georgia Line is one of the hottest things in country music right now, and to have them out on tour with us is huge for us. Tyler Farr is one of the favorite people I’ve ever toured with — he’s the comic relief of the tour and is fun to be around and keeps the mood light all the time. I love having guys like that on tour.”
Although Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr are the opening acts of the show, Aldean notes that they’ll do some stuff together. He added that even though he’s been known to play some cover tunes on tour, he only expects to play one — possibly two — cover songs this time out.
“We’ve gotten more and more away from cover songs. Now we have enough hits that we don’t have to do those kinds of things,” Aldean says. “We’ll throw it one, maybe two, covers a show just because they’re fun to play.”
Party early at free pre-show concert
If you want to get the party started early, Boardwalk Hall has that covered, too. In a very cool move, Global Spectrum, operators of the hall, will offer a free party on the boardwalk before Saturday’s sold-out Jason Aldean concert.
The bash, which will begin at 4 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza right in front of Boardwalk Hall, will include a DJ spinning country music, a beer garden sponsored by the Ducktown Tavern and food from Mad Dog Morgan’s.
“We are thrilled to host Saturday’s sold-out Jason Aldean concert and are always looking for ways to enhance the experience for the customers that support our events. Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line create such a fun and festive atmosphere and with the weather warming up, we wanted to invite fans down early to enjoy the sunshine, listen to their favorite country hits and eat and drink on the boardwalk,” says Fran Rodowicz, general manager for Global Spectrum at Boardwalk Hall.
The party will go to 6:30 p.m., when the doors open for the concert. More events like this are planned for future concerts.