Jason Aldean had no idea he’d ever be touring stadiums with Kenny Chesney, but he is and he’s having a ball. The show at CenturyLink Field is Saturday, June 27.
A year and a half ago, Jason Aldean packed the Tacoma Dome on the strength of four No. 1 singles off “Night Train,” his fifth studio album.
On Saturday (June 27), Aldean expects to supersize that experience in Washington state as he joins fellow country star Kenny Chesney at CenturyLink Field for one of 10 NFL stadium dates the pair is co-headlining. Brantley Gilbert, Cole Swindell and Old Dominion are also on the bill.
In a telephone interview, Aldean said that playing in front of 50,000 people was never his goal.
Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean
5 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at CenturyLink Field, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; $39.50-$250 (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com).
“We were hoping to fill up clubs, maybe fill up a little arena,” Aldean admitted, before taking the stage last Saturday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. “It’s been pretty amazing, man. Not a lot of people get to do it on this level.”
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Chesney, currently riding the momentum of three No. 1 hits off 2014’s “The Big Revival,” has been at “this level” for some time, of course, having sold out his last show at the Clink in 2013. Aldean sounded tickled to be in Chesney’s league.
“To come out and be able to learn from guys like that, and be able to team up with somebody like that — hey, I used to play Kenny’s music in the clubs back in the day,” he recalled.
Not that Aldean hasn’t sold a few albums himself, having racked up single-, double- and triple-platinum discs the past decade. His latest, “OId Boots, New Dirt,” has scored two more No. 1 hits with “Burning It Down” and “Just Getting Started.”
Some characterize Aldean’s music as “bro country,” a term meant to describe mainstream country that focuses on trucks, beer and pretty women.
Aldean bristles at the words.
“I don’t like the label simply for the fact I don’t think it’s a compliment,” Aldean said. “You can take a handful of my songs and they’re definitely going to fit that description, but to me if you take the time to listen to the albums in their entirety, I think there’s more to that on most of our records.”
Fair enough. But some of Aldean’s and Chesney’s fans conform uncomfortably to type. Shortly after this interview, more than 20 were arrested at the Green Bay show for alcohol-related offenses — mostly fighting, but also for groping, erratic driving or passing out in the bathroom.
Drunk or sober, Aldean’s fans are going to find it more expensive to hear his music online. He recently moved from Spotify — also notoriously spurned by Taylor Swift — to Tidal, which charges users $19.99 a month for high-quality audio. Aldean is the only country act on the streaming service, started by a collective of high-powered artists led by Jay-Z.
“I could have cared less who else was involved with it,” Aldean said. “The thing I was really drawn to was they were trying to do the right thing when it comes to music. A lot of these streaming sites don’t do it the right way and all the writers and artists and producers are kind of getting the shaft.”
Whether he’s playing in front of 50,000 people or teaming up with some of the most famous musicians alive, Aldean has remained levelheaded and grateful for his success.
“I don’t know if I ever expected this to happen,” he said. “For whatever reason the stuff we’re doing resonated with [our fans] and we’re still doing it 10 years later. It’s crazy.”