Although the show started early in the day, we were a little late to the party. After a four-hour drive and a time change, we needed to grab some grub before the show. We headed to Murph’s, Dale Murphy’s restaurant, for a peanut butter burger and some cheese curds (an adult lemonade was also involved). By the time we finished, we had to rush to the stadium to catch the tail end of Luke Combs and grab some Hootie & the Blowfish merchandise.
This was a hometown show of sorts for Georgia native Aldean, who actually hails from Macon. He’s a big Braves fan so headlining this park was a huge deal for the singer — who even got some custom merchandise. A “Jason Aldean” t-shirt was on sale and it looked like the Braves logo with a tomahawk.
Once we grabbed our gear and made the long trek across the field, we were seated a mere 20 rows from the center of the stage. Drunk fans filled in the areas around us, standing on seats and spilling beer. It looked like everyone was already having a great time and we were “Just Gettin’ Started.”
Hootie & the Blowfish were next to perform and they performed to a very excited crowd. The band performed “Time,” “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry” and, of course, “Only Wanna Be With You.” Darius Rucker took shots on stage and looked like he was a having a blast with his old band. Towards the end of their set, they paid tribute to R.E.M. Apparently, they influenced the band so much that they became professional musicians because of them. They covered their song, “Losing My Religion.”
After Hootie & the Blowfish left the stage, a couple of folks took the stage to ask everyone to clear the field. Thousands of people moved like herded cats to the breezeways to wait for the storm to pass. Luckily it did and we were able to return to our seats for the night’s headliner, Aldean.
Aldean performed an energetic set to 37,935 fans during the High Noon Neon Tour stop. He played songs new and old and showed his gratefulness for fans for sticking it out through the weather delay by not leaving for an encore. Instead, he performed straight through.
“Playing SunTrust was one of those nights I’ll never forget,” he says. “So many friends, family and fans were out in the sea of people and I could feel that energy the minute we got on stage. Hootie & the Blowfish, Luke and Lauren [Alaina] definitely set the night off right, and if we could have kept playing all night, I think we would have.”
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