Jason Aldean brings ‘small town’ celebration and ‘cancel this’ attitude to sold-out show in Wheatland

Maddie Banta bounced up and down with visible excitement at her first-ever concert on Thursday night. Banta is 14, a Mesa Verde High School freshman and a Jason Aldean fan. She couldn’t stand still outside the sold-out Toyota Amphitheatre near Wheatland as she waited for the country music star to grace the stage.

Read more at:“What’s the one I like?” she asked her mom, Carisa Canada, of Citrus Heights, as she tried to recall her favorite Aldean tunes. “‘Try That in a Small Town,’ I think,” her mom told her. Banta grew up listening to Aldean, Dirks Bentley, Kane Brown and Carrie Underwood, thanks to her mom repeatedly playing their albums.

Read more at: wore one of the evening’s most popular pieces of $40 merchandise: a gray T-shirt with a middle finger superimposed over a weathered American flag, the words “CANCEL THIS” forming an arc around the gesture. “Her generation,” Canada said, pointing at her daughter between drags of a cigarette, “is trying to cancel him. But I love that he speaks his mind.”

Read more at:, 46, is a two-time Country Music Award recipient whose career took off in 2005 with the hit single “Hicktown,” but who launched into the stratosphere with the RIAA-certified quadruple platinum album “My Kinda Party” in 2010. Aldean has reached mainstream country fame in the years since, with a net worth that now hovers somewhere over $43 million.

Read more at:’s also become a mascot for the the right-wing conservative Christian culture wars, and not just as a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, with whom he and his wife spent New Year’s Eve in 2022.

Read more at: May, Aldean’s song — the one Banta was particularly excited to hear live — drew enormous criticism and accusations of racism. Written by four people (not Jason Aldean), “Try That in a Small Town” debuted as an anti-city country anthem about “good ol’ boys” who protect their neighbors from criminals and outsiders.

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