COVID-19 has slapped all of us in the face, at least mentally. For those who have managed to avoid any health woes related to the virus, there’s been virtual school, work from home, canceled events, and perhaps worst of all, no rock 'n roll concerts.
The lack of concerts, to borrow a phrase from the Rolling Stones, has given me No Satisfaction. No, no no!
So when a Jason Aldean concert was announced on the Bonnaroo grounds, Cupcake and I decided to give it a try. You know I have to be itching to get out and listen to live music if I'm willing to hear a country music star, which is definitely not my first choice.
The concert was held this past Saturday night with a peppy, yet socially distanced, crowd filling what is normally the main stage area at Bonnaroo.
One thing I’ve never done before a concert is do concert homework. That’s because, up to this point in my life, I’ve only seen bands that I really like, thus no need to learn their songs. I've already heard them again and again.
Jason Aldean was completely different. I could only name one of his songs, “Amarillo Sky,” and that's because of an odd story. About 15 years ago, the CD player went out on my radio here at work. With it being a cranky older radio, the only station I could get from my office was a country station.
This was about the time "Amarillo Sky" was climbing the country charts. I think there must have been a mandate to play this song every hour on the hour. Anyway, I endured the country music station for about a month before I realized I could listen to music online instead and that's the last time I've listened to country radio.
What I learned in my non-stop week of Jason Aldean song study is he seems to sing an awful lot about tractors. I must admit I’ve never owned a tractor, and perhaps if I did I would understand the desire to sing about one. But without a tractor in my life, all the plowing fields and farm equipment references don't really resonate with me.
As for the concert, I've learned it's wonderful when you set your expectations low and don't expect much. That way you can be pleasantly surprised.
Jason Aldean put on a very good show with a talented band behind him. I'd give him a grade of A and recommend seeing him in concert.
As for the fans, we were kept somewhat isolated in what were called pods, a friendly term for what would better be described as steel fencing. Groups of four were supposed to stay in their own pod, or fenced-in area, to prevent throngs of fans from flocking to the front of the stage shoulder to shoulder.
Aldean mentioned several times that he didn't like the pod setup and he wished the fans could get closer together. We aren't there yet, but we're getting there rapidly.
Having a concert at all is one giant leap for mankind. It won't be long before other barriers are removed and I get to see a show where I don't have to study.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.