CMA Entertainer of the Year Nominee Jason Aldean continued his whirlwind album release week yesterday (10/18) with surprise announcements of his first stadium dates planned for his 2013 Night Train Tour.
Aldean kicked off the day at Boston’s Fenway Park with Red Sox EVP/COO Sam Kennedy on hand to announce his July 13, 2013 concert, making history as the first country artist to ever play the famed stadium. He then traveled to Chicago’s Wrigley Field in the afternoon and was joined by Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts to reveal that his long history of record-breaking Chicago area shows helped catapult him to stadium level headliner for the July 20 tour stop.
“It takes a lot to make me nervous, but walking out of the dugout at Fenway this morning to announce our show definitely did it,” said Aldean. “It’s the kind of moment you dream about your whole career, so I tried to take a minute to soak it up, but it’s pretty overwhelming.”
The Macon, GA native and lifelong Georgia Bulldogs fan ended the day in Athens, GA by surprising a crowd of UGA students who thought they were attending a pep rally. When the curtain dropped behind the cheerleaders, Aldean and his band were revealed to a thunderous, enthusiastic crowd. Aldean announced that he will hold the first ever concert at Sanford Stadium on April 13, 2013. He was welcomed by football head coach Mark Richt and followed the surprise announcement with a special performance for fans.
“It was an incredible day as we went on to Wrigley for that announcement and then finished it up tonight with a surprise performance for the fans at University of Georgia, “said Aldean. “It’s a day that I’m never going to forget.”
Despite efforts to keep the surprise appearance in Athens top secret, there were unconfirmed rumors that fans had identified Aldean’s plane earlier that day and were tracking its route. Even media members were given UGA laminates to avoid giving away any hints to inquisitive students. But by the time Aldean appeared behind the curtain, the hyped-up energetic crowd seemed to have been in on the secret the whole time. But of course, that’s the way all Aldean fans act, so who really knows.
After the performance, we had a chance to visit with Aldean and ask about the day’s events. Speaking of his desire to add stadium dates to his next tour, Aldean said, “Brian O’Connell from Live Nation and I talked a lot about it. One thing I didn’t want to do was to pick a handful of stadiums just to say we were playing stadiums. I wanted to play places that were special to me and places I really admired such as iconic ballparks like Fenway and Wrigley.”
“Being from Georgia and being a big Georgia fan, Sanford Stadium was number one on my list to play but they’ve never had a show here. This is probably the most excited I’ve been about any of my shows.” He then praised O’Connell and his management team Chris Parr and Clarence Spalding for getting the ball rolling and getting the University of Georgia on board.
Giving us a glimpse into his day, Aldean shared, “I got up at 9 o’clock, drove over to Fenway, announced that show at 10am, drove to the airport, got on a plane, flew to Chicago, drove an hour to Wrigley Field, announced that show, drove an hour back to the airport, got on the plane, flew here, and 20 minutes after arriving, I was on this stage. It was an exhausting day but one of the coolest things I’ve done in my career.”
Aldean’s fifth studio album for Broken Bow Records, Night Train, was released on Tuesday (Oct. 16) and has already produced a multi-week No. 1 single “Take A Little Ride.” Aldean recently earned three CMA Awards nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Single of the Year for “Dirt Road Anthem.”
Boston, MA – July, 13, 2013
Support: Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Thomas Rhett
On Sale: Oct. 26, 2012 at 10am ET
Chicago, IL – July 20, 2013
Support: Kelly Clarkson, Jake Owen, Thomas Rhett
On Sale: Nov. 3, 2012 at 10am CT
Athens, GA – April 13, 2013
Support: Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Thomas Rhett
On Sale: Nov. 2, 2012 at 10am ET
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About the AuthorSherod Robertson is President and Owner of MusicRow Enterprises. He oversees all operations and develops strategic initiatives for MusicRow magazine, RowFax, and MusicRow's CountryBreakout chart. Robertson previously served as Director of Finance of Arista Records after beginning his career as Vice President of Finance and CFO at Reunion Records.
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