Jason Aldean Concert Draws Protest Outside Chicago – Billboard
Written by GRB on 12/09/2023
A group of protesters gathered outside Jason Aldean‘s concert on Saturday in Tinley Park, Illinois, near Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, the group of nearly 2 dozen people were part of a protest led by Revolution Club Chicago, which aligns with Communist beliefs.
During the protest, members of the group chanted, marched and burned American flags. The outlet also reported that there were no major altercations between concertgoers and the members of the protesting group.
A representative for Aldean could not be reached for comment on the protest.
The protest comes as Aldean’s latest single, “Try That in a Small Town,” garnered both support and criticism due to lyrics that advise people to refrain from burning the American flag, disrespecting police and committing robberies in small towns. (Sample lyric: “Cuss out a cop, spit in his face/ Stomp on the flag and light it up/ Yeah, ya think you’re tough?/ Well, try that in a small town/ See how far ya make it down the road.”) “Try That in a Small Town” was written by Kelley Lovelace, Neil Thrasher, Tully Kennedy and Kurt Michael Allison.
“Guess what, Jason? We will try that in a small town,” one of the protesters, Rafael Kadaris, said, according to the Tribune. “We will try that in a big city. And we will try it right in front of your concert.”
The music video for “Try That in a Small Town,” which included imagery of protests and flag burnings and was filmed in front of a Tennessee county courthouse with a history of lynchings, was pulled by CMT, sparking both support and outrage from country music fans. The video has earned 35 million views on YouTube. In July, the controversy helped drive consumption of “Try That in a Small Town” and send it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data.
On the radio-driven Country Airplay chart, “Try That in a Small Town” currently resides at No. 11. Aldean’s headlining Highway Desperado Tour will make its next stop on Sept. 14 in Rogers, Arkansas.