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When time’s right, Jason Aldean likes Las Vegas residency

Updated September 22, 2018 - 10:44 am

Linked indelibly to Las Vegas, Jason Aldean faced the concept of a residency in this city Friday night.

And he liked it.

Aldean, onstage when the shooting started on Oct. 1, said Friday night prior to the iHeartRadio Music Festival’s opening night that he would be interested in a Las Vegas residency, but “the timing for something like that has to be right.”

Asked if he’d been in talks for an extended engagement in town, the country-music star said, “I, personally, have not been in talks, but maybe somebody else in my camp has. Maybe you know something I don’t … But it’s definitely something I’d be into at some point. I’ve had friends who have come out here and done that. I think if the opportunity presents itself, it would be cool.”

Country stars such as Garth Brooks, George Strait and Reba McEntire with Brooks & Dunn have held extended engagements on the Strip. Further back, Kenny Rogers headlined at Golden Nugget.

In emphasizing the timing of a resident series in Las Vegas, Aldean said he deals daily with his own memories of Oct. 1.

“For us, it’s sort of been a daily thing. Every night in our meet-and-greets, we meet new fans who were here,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve played a show this year where we haven’t had survivors come out to the show. I feel we do that on a daily basis, not just as the anniversary’s coming up.”

Aldean has three more shows remaining on his current tour.

“Then, we’re off, we’re done touring for the year,” he said. “But for me, every year Oct. 1 rolls around it’s something we’ll be reminded of and sticks with us. It’s going to be a little weird. This is our first performance in Las Vegas since then, but at the same time it’s a way for us to get through all that stuff.”

During Friday’s show, Aldean was joined by another Route 91 headliner from October, national radio host Bobby Bones, who fronts the Raging Idiots. From the stage, the two spoke briefly about the tragedy.

“On Oct. 1, 22,000 people gathered in Las Vegas to celebrate their love for country music,” Bones said to lead into a video of the night. “I was there myself performing with my band and what started as a beautiful weekend was shattered when a senseless act of violence took 58 lives and impacted countless others and the families forever.”

Then first responders joined the artists onstage.

“We salute the city of Las Vegas. These men and women on stage with me are just some of the men and women who acted selflessly on 1 October,” Bones said. “They represent the spirit, they represent the strength, they represent the resilience of the entire city. And they represent the unbreakable resolve of this great country that we live in.”

Aldean closed with, “On behalf of myself and my family and the country music community, I want to say thank you to the city of Las Vegas for your courage, strength and kindness. Tonight we are all proud to be Vegas strong.”

The crowd erupted into a standing ovation.

The remainder of Friday’s star-infused lineup featured a performance by Vegas rockers Panic! At the Disco, which also headlined at the arena in August. Rolling through the night were Fleetwood Mac, Jack White, Mariah Carey, Sam Smith, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd and Childish Gambino.

Saturday afternoon, the Las Vegas Resorts Festival Grounds on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue will be re-animated with a daylong surge of music. The string of stars: Logic, Dua Lipa, 5 Seconds of Summer, Lil Uzi Vert, Dustin Lynch, Bazzi, Belly, Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots, Greta Van Fleet, Bad Bunny, Grandson, Leon Bridges, MAX, Badflower, Evvie, The Vamps and Drax Project.

The night-time action returns to T-Mobile with another hot-selling Vegas rock band, Imagine Dragons, heading the lineup.

This weekend marks the first time Panic! At the Disco and Imagine Dragons have headlined a large-venue festival in the U.S. Also in play: Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes and Logic.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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