OFFSTAGE: Back When Jason Aldean Had Moves Like Jagger

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Jason Aldean gives Rascal Flatts all the credit for showing him the ropes when he was just an opening act and starting to hone his live show. But it also sounds like Mick Jagger was a bit of an inspiration, too. “I’d go out there like I was Mick Jagger, and I had no reason to have any of that swagger,” he told me when he was in Chicago on Saturday (July 20). “I had one song floating around in the 40s [on the country chart], so there was no merit to it. It was either brilliant or complete ignorance to act like that.” But it worked. That kind of confidence he learned from other headliners — country and otherwise — has always been part of Aldean’s shows. Even when he did have a couple of hits, he told me he’d go onstage and act like he had 20 No. 1’s. “When I played those arenas with Flatts, after playing in so many little clubs, I was like, ’This is what I’m shooting for. I’m ready for this to be my show.’ I knew I had one shot to go out and show these people what I did and what I felt like I did well,” Aldean said. “So I tried to go out there with the confidence of a superstar — even though I wasn’t.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.