Jason Aldean Is Constantly Making Small Set Changes to Create the ‘Perfect Show’
Touring is second nature to an industry veteran like Jason Aldean. At a recent press event, the singer said that hitting the road for the first few shows of his 2019 Ride All Night Tour felt as comfortable as slipping into a favorite pair of blue jeans.
"We've been doing this for so long now. Once it's time for a tour to start, we just kinda fall right back into place, you know?" Aldean explained. "You can't really throw surprises at us anymore. It's kind of like clockwork."
Having a lengthy career already under his belt eliminates any pre-show jitters, the singer goes on to say. "You don't get too many nerves because you've been there, done that a lot of times before. We fall into place and get into a rhythm pretty quick," he adds.
Aldean doesn't chafe at the routine of tour life; in fact, he likes it that way.
"I think as musicians, we're a little bit creatures of habit. We like to know where catering is, and our dressing room, too -- when we get in there, we wanna know what's in there," he explains, adding that the repetition provides him with a little much-needed stability. "You're away from home so much that when everything is the same every day, it makes it somewhat feel like home. For me, I like having things the same. It feels like I have a little bit of normalcy."
However, just because he likes to get into a backstage routine doesn't mean Aldean lets his set get stale. On the contrary, the singer says that he constantly revises his setlist and song order, searching for ways to improve his show.
"I will sit down for hours and stack songs, move them around, almost like a puzzle, trying to figure out what works best," he relates. Often -- especially with material from new albums that he hasn't played live much yet -- Aldean can't predict exactly how the songs will translate to live performance until he tests them out in front of a crowd. That's why he continues to make changes to his set even a couple weeks into a tour.
"We're three weeks into the tour. Just last week, I'm in there in the dressing room moving songs around, just trying to find that perfect show," he continues. "There's always parts of the show where if you're playing too many ballads or [mid-tempo tracks], you can just feel it onstage, that there's a little bit of a lag. Then you've gotta work a little harder later in the show to get 'em back up and going.
"So if you fix that to where you never have that lag, that's a good thing," Aldean adds. "So I was in there this weekend, still plugging things in and moving stuff around. That's something I constantly mess with until I feel like we've got the best set we can have for that particular point in time. It's something I work on a lot."
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