Full disclosure - I'm not a die hard Jason Aldean fan. I heard so much about his music from so many people, though, that I was really looking forward to seeing him in action. The tailgaters who kept giving me free drinks and leis wouldn't lie to me, right?
He played at the same time as Huey Lewis and the News and the Right Reverend Al Green. From my vantage, I could spy all three of them, and I have to say Jason brought the least energy to the stage. Huey Lewis
The Reverend Al Green took the stage in a full tuxedo. He didn't bat an eye at the heat as he tore up the stage and gave roses to the audience. When he moved, you could feel it in your own pelvis. Across the field, Huey Lewis looked like he hadn't aged a day since "I want a new drug" was on the air. I'm embarrassed how many 50+ performers I've seen this weekend who are in better shape than I am. Both the Reverend Al Green and Huey Lewis rocked out. Every bit of energy the crowd gave them was reflected back tenfold.
Young pudgy Jason, on the other hand, just stood there.
C'mon. You're the opening act for Kenny Chesney. The least you could do is wiggle your hips. No? How about tapping your foot? No? Jason, please. Your band totally outstaged you. They weren't trying to, but they actually looked like they wanted to be here. The drummer (who was in a Ramone's t-shirt) had great energy. The bass player gave it more than you. Please. I know country music is supposed to be laid back, but next time you're on a major stage, don't take a Valium first.
I know it's hot, but standing there stock still, pausing every now and then to drink from a solo cup, and occasionally strumming your guitar when you remember you're at a concert isn't living up to the full experience.
To give him credit, towards the end of his set someone must've slipped some Red Bull into Jason's beer because he actually started walking the stage. He still didn't look thrilled to be here - goodness knows his facial expression didn't change in the slightest - but at least he noticed he was at a concert.
This is the first time I heard him. I wanted to like the guy, I honestly did, but with so many amazing and enthusiastic acts at HullabaLOU, I'm not won over by someone who treats the festival like it's 4 pm Friday and he can't wait to get out of the office instead of a like a killer concert experience.
Photo credit Just Jennifer on Flickr via Creative Commons.