Jason Aldean told Friday night’s crowd of more than 10,000 that he was ready to get back to performing, although the shooting earlier this month in Las Vegas would never leave his mind.
Friday was Aldean’s second show since he was playing a concert in Las Vegas and a shooting left 58 dead and more than 500 injured. He cancelled a series of shows on his “They Don’t Know” tour after the shooting, spending time with victims.
“I’m not going to get too into anything tonight,” Aldean said, guitar slung over his shoulder. “I feel like I kind of went into all that last night.”
His first concert back on tour was Thursday in Tulsa, nearly two weeks after the Oct. 1 shooting.
However, the country music star repeated some of the defiant sentiments of the Tulsa show, and screens on either side of the stage reminded the audience members that they could buy T-shirts or text to donate money to the victims of the Vegas shooting.
“I intend to play every song for you guys and the people who came that night and didn’t get to see the whole show,” Aldean said.
He then began energetically playing his fourth song of the evening, “Take a Little Ride,” a 2012 hit.
The crowd roared the lyrics along with him, cellphone flashlights glowing white across the stands of Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
Kane Brown, a country singer who released his debut album last year, was the first act. He played for about 20 minutes – top songs such as “What If” and “Used to Love You Sober,” which have a distinctly new-country edge.
Dee Jay Silver remixed songs from several genres during set changes. He played country music that ranged from Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Backroad” to Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.” Silver also threw into the mix songs like “Turn Down for What” originally by DJ Snake and Lil Jon and Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer.”
The set-up for Aldean’s act, assembled while Silver was playing, was not the equipment intended for this tour, Aldean said. Most of his touring equipment is still in Vegas – even down to the guitar he played, an older instrument he said he hasn’t touched in close to eight years.
Chris Young, who was the second act, gave an impressive vocal performance. He sang primarily from older albums. His latest album “Losing Sleep” drops Oct. 20.
At the end of the night, when a few of the concert-goers had started to trickle out, Aldean came back onstage to play “Big Green Tractor” and “She’s Country.”