Jason Aldean Relates to 2013 Boston Bombing As He Doubles Down on ‘Small Town’ [Watch]
Jason Aldean once again spoke in defense of his polarizing "Try That in a Small Town" during a show in Boston, Mass. on Saturday night (July 29.) This time around, the singer connected his song's message to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, a domestic terrorist attack which killed three people and injured hundreds more on April 15, 2023.
"I was laying in bed last night, and I'm thinking to myself, 'You guys would get this better than anybody,'" Aldean told the crowd during a Mansfield, Mass. stop on his 2023 Highway Desperado Tour.
He went on to recall the Boston Marathon tragedy, which occurred after brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev planted two homemade pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the race. They detonated a couple hundred yards and just shy of 15 seconds apart. Three people -- including one eight-year-old child -- were killed by the bombings. A few days later, after the suspects were identified, they shot and killed an MIT policeman and had a shoot-out with police officers, severely injuring two (one of those, Dennis Simmonds, died a year later as a result of his injuries.)
During the three-and-a-half minutes Aldean spent onstage discussing this event and how it relates to his song, he highlighted how the Boston area, and the rest of the country, banded together to identify and locate the shooters in the days following the bombing.
"What I saw when that happened was a whole -- not a small town, a big-a-- town -- coming together, no matter your color, no matter what," Aldean said from the stage. "The whole country, especially Boston, came together to find these two pricks that did that, right?"
The crowd roared in response, and roared even harder after Aldean suggested his fans would've taken the law into their own hands if they'd found the two bombers before the police did.
"And anybody, any of you guys that would have found those guys before the cops did, I know you guys are from Boston and you would've beat the s--t out of them," the singer said.
"I don't give a s--t what color you are," the singer continued. "If you're acting out, burning down buildings, causing taxpayers all this money, just so that you can go and show that you're pissed off, to me, I just don't get that. We just are never gonna see eye to eye.
"I've been trying to say this: It's not about race. It's about people getting their s--t together and acting right. Acting like they've got some common sense," Aldean quipped, walking around the stage as his fans applauded.
"Try That in a Small Town" dropped in May, and when the music video followed in July, criticism of both the lyrics and visual began to heat up. Many listeners interpreted the song as racist dogwhistling and a glorification of gun-based vigilante justice, and pointed out that portions of the music video were filmed in front of a courthouse were a Black man named Henry Choate was hung dead after being lynched by a mob. CMT pulled the music video from rotation, and Aldean issued a statement on the controversy, describing accusations leveled against him as "meritless" and "dangerous."
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