The first night of Jason Aldean’s ‘Night Train’ tour barreled into Fenway Park Friday night, bringing with it more than 35,000 country music fans, many donning Red Sox gear topped off with a cowboy hat.
Boston and baseball were current themes addressed by all four of the acts – yes, fans weren’t just treated to Aldean’s explosive 90-minute set, but also an hour of hits from Miranda Lambert, as well as performances from Jake Owen and newcomer Thomas Rhett.
Aldean burst onto the stage with rockers "Crazy Town" and "Take a Little Ride," accompanied by an explosion of fireworks that was a clear crowd-pleaser. He then told fans how he and his band had been waiting for months for this stop on the tour, and said he was sure that Bostonians had been drinking Sam Adams beer all day to prepare for the show.
Aldean, who has sold more than eight million records and has 11 No. 1 hits under his belt, continued to please with songs old and new. At first, the show felt slightly more rock than country, but quickly returned to its southern roots with mellow hits “Tattoos on this Town” “Fly Over States” and “Amarillo Sky.”
From his latest album, “Night Train” and “1994” set the stage for what is probably Aldean’s most notable mainstream hit, “Don’t You Want to Stay,” a duet with Kelly Clarkson. The crowd went wild when Clarkson – well, actually a really cool a hologram of her -- appeared on stage to belt out her parts of song. It was undeniably the highlight of a show packed with punch.
Aldean continued to please, finishing off the show with “She’s Country” “My Kind of Party” and finally, “Hicktown,” which went over famously in a progressive city that Friday night transformed flawlessly into just that.
If Aldean’s good looks and great sound weren’t enough to keep the ladies happy, Miranda Lambert’s opening act was refreshingly empowering. Hits like “Heart Like Mine,” “Kerosene” and “Gunpowder and Lead” seemed to leave most women ready to elbow their man out of the way.
Lambert also brought out special guest Patty Loveless for the duet “Dear Diamonds” but, judging by the length of the bathroom and beer lines, it seemed as if Loveless’ country legend’s status was lost on the crowd of city-slickers.
The sound near the stage at the ball-park-turned-concert-venue was surprisingly excellent, but it is unknown if that was the case throughout the park. Still, this show is a must-see for any country fan and tickets are still available for Saturday night’s show. Just be prepared to pay $9.50 for a draft beer. Yes, $9.50. Ouch.