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Jason Aldean told Friday night's crowd of more than 10,000 at North Little Rock's Verizon Arena 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 onstage at a festival in Las Vegas where a shooter killed 58 people and injured more than 500 more. He canceled a series of shows on his "They Don't Know" tour after the shooting and spent time with the victims.

"I'm not going to get too into anything tonight," he said, guitar slung over his shoulder. "I feel like I kind of went into all that last night."

The country music star's first concert back on tour was Thursday in Tulsa, nearly two weeks after the Oct. 1 shooting. But he 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 Las 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," he 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.

Country singer Kane Brown, who released his debut album last year, played about 20 minutes to open the show, with top songs including "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, playing country music that ranged from Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Backroad" to Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places," as well as "Turn Down for What," originally by DJ Snake and Lil Jon, and Bon Jovi's "Livin' On a Prayer."

The setup 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 the guitar he played was an older instrument that he said he hasn't touched in close to eight years.

Second act Chris Young gave an impressive vocal performance, primarily on songs from older albums. (His latest album, Losing Sleep, is to be released Friday).

At the end of the night, when a few of the concertgoers had started to trickle out, Aldean returned to the stage to play two encores: "Big Green Tractor" and "She's Country."

Metro on 10/15/2017

Print Headline: In NLR, Aldean brings it

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