By Matt Pais
RedEye Sound Board
4:05 PM CDT, October 18, 2012
I'm not much of a country music fan, but at this point I'm in favor of anything happening at Wrigley Field that gets people excited.
On Thursday, country music star Jason Aldean (a nominee for Entertainer of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards, as I'm sure y'all know) confirmed that he will perform July 20, 2013 at Wrigley Field, with opening acts Kelly Clarkson, Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Nov. 3.
After the big announcement I spoke to the 35-year-old singer about Chicago's country music fans, hearing Wrigley concerts for free and booking his own show at the stadium.
There aren't a ton of country concerts downtown in Chicago; they're usually in the suburbs. What sense do you have of the country audience in Chicago as far as city or suburbs?
I don't really think much about it in terms of city, suburbs. I think of it in terms of just Chicago in general. We've been forutnate enough to play a couple shows here over the last couple of years. And both of those shows have been unbelievable. We've sold both of them out at one of the biggest amphitheaters in the country [First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre]. So obviously we've always had a lot of support here in Chicago. The fans have always been very good to us. That's kind of what's cool about this is to be able to come in and do another show in Chicago but also do something that's a little different, kind of make a special event out of it.
Not all artists are in favor of people hanging out and hearing the show for free. How do you feel about that?
[Laughs] Hey, obviously I would much rather 'em be in here watching the show, but hopefully it'll be sold out and there will be people that if they want to listen to the show that much, go for it, man.
What's the biggest thing they'll be missing out there?
I think if you want to hear music you go and buy the CD. If you watch a show and come to see something a little more, I think that's why people actually show up to a concert. It's one thing to listen to music; it's another to get the full experience and watch the show and the interaction with any artist and the crowd and things like that.
If you booked a concert here, who's someone you'd want to see at Wrigley?
I've always been a big Aerosmith fan and I've never had the chance to see those guys in concert, so I would probably try to book those guys.
Do you have any favorites in Chicago as far as bars, restuarants or any other things you like to do in town?
I'm a big baseball fan, and I was talking about this earlier: To me coming here during baseball season and just watching, the stadium and how it's such a big baseball place. During the game there's people walking around and just kind of in and out of all the little bars around here, that's something I didn't expereince as a Braves fan in Georgia. We just don't have that kind of feel. To me coming out here and coming to a game and just experiencing that, game day here in Wrigley and just around the stadium, to me is just one of the coolest things about chicago.
Are you a ketchup or mustard person on your hot dog?
Mustard. Mustard only.
Is someone who puts ketchup on being sacrilegious?
Hey, I'm not judging. Mustard is my thing.
How badly do you want to run around the bases right now?
Pretty bad, but it's raining and it's cold so pretty sure if I was to run around the bases I'd pull a hamstring right now.
Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U
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