Before the show, Aldean caught up with CMT Hot 20 Countdown to talk about selling out an arena in a tough town.
“It’s fun. I think a lot of times the Nashville community sort of gets hit with so much music that it gets jaded sometimes,” he said. “It’s the first time we’ve been here in a couple years, so for us to come back and it be sold out, to have that much excitement around the show is fun, man.”
Nashville shows can be some of the most intimidating for country singers who are coming home to perform for industry peers, so Aldean made sure to pull out all the stops.
The singer burned through some of his biggest hits over the years, his latest crowd pleasers and some brand-new tracks as well, and he says there’s definitely a strategy in choosing just the right song order.
“I think the biggest thing is people are coming to your show, they want to hear the hits — the songs they’ve heard on the radio — so you’re gonna have that for sure,” he admitted. “Then, for us, you also have the new album out and you want people to hear some of the songs off of that. And some of those are gonna go on to be singles at some point, so you kind of try them out on the crowd. I think you have to take a song that people haven’t really heard and sort of bury it between a bunch of other songs they do know. … You just sort of strategically place them in there.
“To me, it’s more about trying to gauge the reaction that some of those songs get from the crowd because, a lot of times, that’s how I gauge what I want the next single to be.”
The Burn It Down tour will trek across the pond for several upcoming European dates before kicking off its spring leg in Toledo, Ohio, on March 26.
Tune in to an all-new episode of CMT Hot 20 Countdown Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 28-March 1) at 9 a.m. ET/PT.