It’s hard to tell which show was the biggest one of the 2014 Waterfront Concerts series. It might have been Dave Matthews Band back in June, but it very well could have been the Jason Aldean concert on Sunday, a show that capped off three full days of concerts and which wrapped up the season.
Aldean, who appeared previously at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in 2012, drew a sellout crowd to Bangor, despite a light drizzle and the threat of thundershowers. Sporting cowboy boots and hats, super-short denim shorts on the ladies and jeans and T-shirts on the guys, the fans of the country megastar turned out in full effect.
“I saw him when he was here last time. He’s awesome,” said Courtney Doucette of Waterville, who was in attendance with a large group of friends, all in their mid-20s. “It’s just fun music to party to. We listen to him in the car and sing along. I’ve been looking forward to this all summer.”
Aldean is not one for understatement; his songs are big, loud and easy to connect with, singing about small-town life, love, and lots and lots of partying. He opened his show with explosions and fire coming from several spots on the stage, and a set shaped like a giant “A,” decked out with huge video screens.
He started the show with “Hicktown,” the debut single from his very first album; he also played “Amarillo Sky” from that same album and “Johnny Cash” from his 2007 album, “Relentless.” Fans were in luck, though, as he did play more recent hits such as “Tattoos On This Town” from 2010’s “My Kinda Party,” and “Big Green Tractor” and “The Truth,” both off his 2009 album, “Wide Open.”
After three albums that found moderate success on country radio, Aldean shot to fame in 2010 with his album “My Kinda Party,” which went triple platinum and spawned major country radio hits such as the title track, the Kelly Clarkson duet “Don’t You Wanna Stay” and the hip-hop tinged “Dirt Road Anthem.” During the show he also played music from his upcoming album, “Old Boots, New Dirt,” due out in October.
Opening for Aldean was country singer Tyler Farr, known for his hit single “Redneck Crazy,” and the country/hip-hop duo Florida Georgia Line, who appeared in Bangor on the Country Throwdown tour in 2012.
“We came through here two years ago on the Country Throwdown tour and I think about 50 people knew who Florida Georgia Line were, and now look at us. And it’s all because of you guys,” said lead singer Tyler Hubbard.
Waterfront Concerts fans can expect to see announcements about the 2015 season over the winter.