It was the first weekend tour at Jones Beach and the parking lots of Northwell Health at Jones Beach Amphitheatre were filled early with fans ready to tailgate and enjoy a warm August day. Jason Aldean brought his ‘Back in the Saddle’ tour back to NY, the first time he had been performing here in almost two years. Rising artists John Morgan, Lainey Wilson, and HARDY prepped the crowd and made for an incredible, high-energy night of country music.
John Morgan, who is signed to Jason Aldean’s record label, Night Train Records, took the stage and featured his up-and-coming country boy swagger. He closed out his set with his latest release, “Coldest Beer In Town” and a ton of fans who had made their way into the venue early were instant fans.
One of country music’s most promising rising talents, Lainey Wilson was up next, opening up her set by singing a killer rendition of “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen. Her undeniable swagger shone brightly as she performed songs from her debut record, Say What I’m Thinkin’ like “LA” and “WWDD”. Of course, she closed out her set and thanked country radio for making her debut single “Things A Man Outta Know” a top 10 hit as it continues to climb. The first magic moment of the night happened when the band dropped back, Wilson sang the final chorus a capella with the help of the entire audience.
HARDY – a superstar in his own right already, was the direct support on the Back In The Saddle Tour and took the stage as the sun was setting and darkness filled the beachfront venue. His 45-minute set was high energy and filled with all of the hits he’s released in the past few years. He kicked things off with “Rednecker”, as the entire venue stood up to sing along. If country fans are one thing, they are proud of their roots. Although you may not that think there are people who can relate to the lyrics of HARDY’s songs up in the Northeast, you would be very wrong while watching the audience rock out along with songs like “BOOTS” and “BOYFRIEND” from HARDY’s debut record, A ROCK.
He invited Lainey Wilson back to the stage to perform his first number one as an artist, “One Beer” which originally features Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson. For the second time that night, you could hear the entire venue singing along. “We’re just happy to be on tour again, so from the bottom of our hearts, we know times are crazy right now but thank you so much for coming tonight, and I mean that,” he stated. “This next song is about people that have been taken away from us, and if I want you to listen to one thing during this show, if I really want you to truly pay attention and listen to one thing, it’s this right here, there’s a lot of people here tonight, chances are I don’t know you personally, I probably don’t but I need you to know if you are missing somebody if you lost somebody, and you are missing that person, and you are grieving over that person, just know that I wrote that song for you.” He then sang “GIVE HEAVEN SOME HELL” which is his current radio single. He closed out his set with “UNAPOLOGETICALLY COUNTRY AS HELL”, the perfect song to end an incredible set.
By the time Jason Aldean took the stage, fans were primed and ready to continue a night full of hits, truly embracing being ‘back in the saddle’ after months and months of no live music. Aldean, celebrating his 25th number one hit this month, could fill an entire set with number ones at this point, but while he of course played the majority of the hits, he took fans back to his debut album and his earlier songs with “Amarillo Sky”, “Fly Over States”, and “Big Green Tractor”. He crammed 22 songs into his high-energy set that included incredible visuals to bring a fully immersive experience to the entire venue.
The setlist truly showcased Aldean’s versatility as a country artist by jumping from songs like “A Little Summertime”, to “The Only Way I Know”, then to “Any Ol Barstool” – proving he can sing about love, partying, and heartbreak all in one show cohesively. It also proved his staying power in an industry that is always changing and evolving. Closing the night with two classics, “Hicktown” and “She’s Country”, the vibe was electric and country fans based on Long Island were left standing in a crowded venue, just happy to experience the killer show.
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