Now that Guns N’ Roses is all but confirmed to reunite in its original configuration for Coachella and a stadium tour, excitement is hitting fever pitch among folks who lived through the late Eighties and early Nineties.
That certainly goes for some of the harder rocking performers of country music, who have long had a healthy appetite for Axl, Slash and crew. Before his ascent to stadium-filling, flame-throwing superstar status, Jason Aldean honed his act mixing country and rock covers in the South’s grimy clubs. In 2007, he was touring with Dierks Bentley (and Miranda Lambert) with only the Number One “Why” and Top 10s “Hicktown” and “Amarillo Sky” to his credit. At their March 23rd, 2007 show in Reading, Pennsylvania, Aldean and his band tipped their hat to one of their biggest influences.
It’s almost jarring to see Aldean on a smaller stage as the band tears into “Paradise City,” but he’s already standing on the monitors and running across the stage the way he does in the present. After two choruses, Aldean’s guitarist peels off the infamous opening riff from “Sweet Child O’ Mine” to the crowd’s delight. Wisely, Aldean sings in his lower register rather than trying to match Axl the way Carrie Underwood does in her GNR tributes. The guitarists serve up note-perfect copies of Slash’s solos, and the whole gang rocks out with glee. The video unfortunately cuts out during the “Where do we go” section, but they’re clearly having a ball.
With multiple Number Ones and platinum records to his credit, much has obviously changed for Aldean since that performance. His current single is “Gonna Know We Were Here” and he will launch his We Were Here tour on January 14th in Moline, Illinois, with guests Thomas Rhett and A Thousand Horses.