KELLY CLARKSON; JAKE OWEN; THOMAS RHETT
♦ 6:30 p.m. July 20
♦ Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison St., Chicago
♦ Tickets, $45-$89
♦ (800) 745-3000;
Updated: August 20, 2013 6:09AM
In April, country music giant Jason Aldean found himself playing the inaugural concert at University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium. At his feet stood 66,000 fans, screaming for the boy from Georgia who had made it to the big time. With his trademark cowboy hat pulled down just far enough to hide any visible signs of emotion, Aldean attacked the first song of his set and began to get comfortable with his new status of stadium headliner.
“Nah, I don’t get emotional during moments like that, but I do remember yelling ‘holy s--- a few times that night,” laughs the 36-year-old during a recent interview, regarding the first of four stadium stops on his current 2013 Night Train Tour.
“I specifically waited to even go on to the stage that night until showtime because I wanted to wait till the last minute to see that vision in front of me. It was an unbelievable scene. I mean, we used to have trouble selling out a 500-seat club. Here we were selling out a stadium of 66,000. It’s pretty cool we are even in this position to do something like that.”
A former Little League player himself, who found a home playing first base as a teenager, Aldean says he can’t quite grasp the fact that he will play Wrigley Field, or the fact that he is one of the biggest stars in country music right now, selling more than 8 million albums and charting 11 No. 1 songs including “She’s Country” “Big Green Tractor” and “The Only Way I Know.” Aldean currently finds himself as the headmaster to a tour circus that boasts 19 buses and trucks and more than 100 band and crew members.
“I have always tried to do things in my career that would push myself, and by doing that I have figured out what I could do well and what I couldn’t do well,” Aldean says. “I’m not scared of falling on my face. God knows I have done that plenty of times. I guess it’s just that I never want to get comfortable with what I am doing. Pushing myself to try new things doesn’t scare me at all.”
Claiming to not have asked for advice from former country music performers such as Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley who have graced the Wrigley Field outfield, Aldean says he will approach his Chicago show like any other, albeit with more excitement mixed in.
“I never dreamed we would be doing stadiums at this point,” says Aldean, who will share the Wrigley stage alongside “American Idol” alum Kelly Clarkson, Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett. “Just to have gotten to that point in my career to do something like headline a show at Wrigley Field is crazy.”
Tricia Despres is a local freelance writer.