Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Jason Aldean returned to Des Moines this weekend. And he brought a party with him.

The reigning Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year spent Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena, bringing with him a set of booming, beefy country radio hits.

A total of 11,232 arena country fans saw the show, Aldean’s third night on the “‘High Noon Neon” tour and first in Des Moines since being on stage during the mass shooting at Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last October.

His first show in Des Moines since January 2016, Aldean didn’t waste any time — ripping through 23 songs during his 95-minute set.

“We’ve been off the road for five months, waiting for this tour to start,” Aldean said, introducing his audience to the tour. “We've got a lot of pent-up energy ... ready to cut loose for you all tonight.”

High noon in Des Moines: The “High Noon Neon” tour comes in support of “Rearview Town,” Aldean’s eighth studio album and fourth consecutive to chart No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart.

He didn’t dwell too much on the new stuff, though. He kept to playing the album’s title track, the lead single “You Make It Easy,” show opener “Gettin’ Warmed Up” and “Drowns The Whiskey,” a Miranda Lambert collaboration headed for country radio.

Earlier this year: Miranda Lambert packs an emotional punch in long-awaited Des Moines return

Aldean mostly served fans what they wanted: an hour-and-a-half of his arena-built country-rock formula. The anthems in attendance included “Big Green Tractor,” “Any Ol’ Barstool,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” “Fly Over States,” “The Only Way I Know” and one of the night’s oldest numbers, 2005’s “Amarillo Sky.”

A five-piece band backed Aldean, including lead guitarist and Des Moines’ own Kurt Allison. The south-side native, now residing in Nashville, joined Aldean’s band in 1999.

“It’s a little bit of a homecoming for one of our boys tonight,” Aldean said. “It’s also a Saturday night, which means none of you guys have to be at work tomorrow ... which means you can cut it all the way loose tonight.”

This one's for the openers: Aldean wasn’t the only award winner on stage Saturday night.

Lauren Alaina, 2018 ACM new female vocalist of the year, opened the show with an engaging half-hour set that featured top-charting Kane Brown collaboration “What Ifs” and breakout single “Road Less Traveled,” plus an abridged cover of fan-favorite “Paradise City.”

Luke Combs, a gruff and gravelly-voiced songwriter hailing from North Carolina, followed Alaina with 45 minutes of audience-approved Mountaineer country.

Combs and his five-piece band brought to life nine beer-raising singalongs. The set leaned heavily on tracks from his 2017 breakout album, "This One's for You." Fans heard "Don’t Tempt Me With A Good Time,” “Honky Tonk Highway” and “When It Rains It Pours," to name a few.

Related: In a world of streaming, this Iowan wants to make buying music a community experience

He took time to share a few stories, too — including one from his unlikely rise through the Nashville ranks.

“I dropped out of college with 21 hours left to start doing this for a living,” he said. “They told me to grow up and get a real job — I heard that a lot.

“[I’m] touring with Jason Aldean in Des Moines, Iowa. That’s a pretty good job.”

A wanted encore: Aldean closed the initial set with a one-two punch of favorites: "My Kinda Party" and "She's Country."

He returned for a two-song encore, leading with 2014 ballad "Burnin' It Down" before bringing out an take on debut single, "Hicktown."

With his band delivering the night's last riff, Aldean praised the 11,000 onlookers.

"Thank y'all so much for coming out tonight, Des Moines," Aldean said. "We appreciate y'all."

Related: Tom Petty, Van Halen ... Prince?! This Des Moines duo created art for some of rock's biggest albums

Jason Aldean's setlist:

  • Gettin' Warmed Up
  • Take a Little Ride
  • They Don't Know
  • A Little More Summertime
  • Any Ol' Barstool
  • Crazy Town
  • Tattoos on this Town
  • Night Train
  • Amarillo Sky
  • The Truth
  • Drowns the Whiskey
  • Fly Over States
  • Lights Come On
  • Rearview Town
  • When She Says Baby
  • You Make It Easy
  • The Only Way I Know
  • Dirt Road Anthem
  • Big Green Tractor
  • My Kinda Party
  • She's Country

Encore:

  • Burnin' It Down
  • Hicktown
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://dmreg.co/2rFyxaD