Aaron Lewis performs a musical mixture of his past and present as he entertains a full house crowd at the Firekeepers Casino Event Center.
With the words SOLD OUT across the advertised poster, the line is long as fans stand waiting to enter the show area. The crowd is made up of all ages as a result of the multiple genres that makes up Aaron Lewis today.
Aaron, the leading front man to the rock band Staind, has put the band on hiatus to pursue a career in country music. Country music is what formed Aaron as he was growing up as a child in Massachusetts with his grandfather. Based on the ideas and traditions of early country, Aaron has made the transition to country music.
In the process of the conversion, Aaron has come across obstacles that have challenged his success. With the crossover move to country, Aaron has been denied radio airplay as his new music has been considered “too country” compared to the popular pop-country being played on today’s radio.
With his many fans being genre unbiased, they have supported his move to country by taking Aaron’s first attempt of country to the top of the charts with his 2011 debut ep Town Line. Since then Aaron has released two full-length albums, The Road in 2012 and Sinner in 2016.
The show starts just like all of Aaron’s shows do, by showing his support and traditional beliefs by asking the crowd to raise to their feet and the gentlemen to remove their hats so that he could recite the “Pledge of Allegiance.” As he finishes, the band starts playing Aaron’s country debut single “Country Boy” which keeps the crowd on their feet as they sing along with the band.
Next, Aaron introduces Daniel who runs his merchandise table along with playing harmonica on his title track to the current album Sinner. Aaron professes that this song is about making decisions about sinners.
Aaron comments to the crowd that he was born northern by the grace of God and that allowed him to be a “Northern Redneck.” The crowd jumped back up to their feet and fist pumped the air with the proclamation.
The stage is set up with a four piece band in the back low lit part of the stage with a mic stand out front center with a stool holding a bottle of water, an ashtray and a pack of cigarettes. As each song progresses along, Aaron grabs a smoke and light and teases the crowd that he is allowed to smoke on stage although they aren’t.
“Granddaddy’s Gun” is a sentimental flashback to Aaron’s childhood and his love and respect to his grandfather who helped raise him.
“Folded Flag (Luke’s Song For Soldiers)” is a song written by Aaron’s guitar player that he felt compelled to record. The song is in memory of every soldier that never made it home.
The crowd goes wild with applause and cheering as Aaron expresses his dislike to today’s radio by claiming that he wrote this next song “because country radio fucking sucks.” “That Ain’t Country” has become a song that has triggered an attack on country radio as artists and fans alike feel the same as Aaron by not liking the direction of country music today and the disrespect of traditional country music.
For the second time of the evening, Aaron pleases his rock followers with a hit song from his days in Staind with “It’s Been Awhile.” At the conclusion of the song, Aaron asks the fans if they are enjoying themselves as he throws guitar picks into the crowd before leaving the stage with his band.
With chants of “USA,” Aaron returns to the stage by himself and an acoustic guitar for a duly deserved encore. Aaron begins with “Lost And Lonely” from his Sinner album as he professes that he wrote the song many years ago while on his way to rehab.
As Aaron progresses with the acoustic version of the show, it includes more of his rock and roll days and is filled with covers by other artists. With a slowed down acoustic rhythm, the crowd sings along not missing a beat to songs like “Shameless” by the Weekend, “Careless Whisper” by George Michael, “Open Arms” by Journey and “Wanted Dead Or Alive” by Bon Jovi. The crowd erupts when Aaron starts playing the first few chords as he feels it is only necessary to add this song to his show by playing “Turn The Page” by Detroit’s own Bob Seger.
Aaron concludes the show with three songs from Staind including “So Far Away,” “Tangled Up In You” and “Outside.” Before leaving the stage, Aaron thanks the crowd for “coming and spending time with me. God Bless.”
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Event Date: 31-MAR-2017
Aaron Lewis setlist:
- Pledge Of Allegiance 2. Country Boy 3. Sinner 4. Northern Redneck 5. Mama 6. Right Here 7. Granddaddy’s Gun 8. The Road 9. Sunday Every Saturday Night 10. Folded Flag (Luke’s Song For Soldiers) 11. Whiskey And You 12. That Ain’t Country 13. It’s Been Awhile Acoustic: 14. Lost And Lonely 15. Shameless (Weekend cover) 16. Careless Whisper (George Michael cover) 17. Open Arms (Journey cover) 18. Turn The Page (Bob Seger cover) 19. Wanted Dead Of Alive (Bon Jovi cover) 20. So Far Away 21. Tangled Up In You 22. Outside