Pandora Presents Backroads: Jason Aldean with special guest Steven Lee Olsen
When you think of music providers/streaming services, Pandora is definitely at the top of that list. Providing a service to music fans and artists alike, to keep them connected is something that they have carefully developed a niche in doing. It should come as no surprise that when you have an invitation for a “Pandora Live Presents” event, the answer is always yes.
This time, Pandora held the event at Marathon Music Works in downtown Nashville and brought along a few friends to help make this event even bigger and better. The list of sponsors was long and each had booths, such as Advance Auto Parts, Krystal, Ashley Furniture, Goody's, Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning and Ocean Spray. As a guest, you could visit each one, receive a terrific gift at the stop and have your card stamped to show you had been there, sort of a sponsor bingo card you might say. Once complete, you turned the card in to the Pandora station for a bigger gift.
Keep in mind, all of that fun and gift giving was before the main event and by no means did Pandora skimp on the caliber of musicians they were presenting. The bill for the evening started off with Singer/Songwriter, Steven Lee Olsen, who is credited with writing some of the biggest songs in Nashville like, Kip Moore's "More Girls Like You" as well as Keith Urban's 2017 double-platinum hit "Blue Ain't Your Color". Olsen, whose current single, "Timing Is Everything", gave a stand out performance and it was clear that he is as good of an artist and musician as he is a songwriter.
As the icing on the cake, Pandora gave us, two time ACM Entertainer of the Year, Jason Aldean. With 19 number one songs, more than 15-million total album sales, not to mention, the several sold-out stadium shows. Aldean's current album, Rearview Town, has a lot to live up to, with his last three albums each landing at Number One on the all-genre Billboard 200 Album Chart and all seven of his previous albums achieving platinum certification or better. If anyone can continue this streak, with each album and each new release getting better than the one before it, Aldean has made that clear. It just keeps getting better and better as the music and shows continue to grow and change in exactly the right direction. I think the lyrics got it right with "Just Gettin' Warmed Up".
So, with all of this success and accolades, this was just an intimate concert with a couple hundred of Aldean's closest friends, right? That is exactly what Pandora made it feel for us. Aldean made it known upfront that they were going to “give it all they had tonight. So if you were thinking this was some small, scaled down show, your wrong."
Give us all he had is exactly what Aldean did. There was no lack of high-energy, crowd interaction and everything you would hope to experience from this artist. This was the same show, being delivered in a small, uniquely personal venue, as if you were in a large arena with thousands of people.
This is what makes the fan-artist connection so special, moments like these where the artist gets to walk back into a venue, like those where they may have “started” and an audience of fans being able to feel they are not “lost in the crowd”, feeling as if they are friends.
Thank you, Pandora for inviting us to this event and thank you to all the sponsors and to the artists for giving us a night we won’t soon forget. Sometimes, reconnecting with those who inspire you so much, through the lyrics they write and the songs they sing, is simply a necessary part of this thing called...Music.