Country singer Jason Aldean will perform in Columbia at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Thursday night in the midst of controversy surrounding his song “Try That in a Small Town” and an accompanying music video featuring protest footage.
The evening concert is part of his “Highway Desperado Tour,” which began with a July performance in New York and is slated to end in Florida this fall. The Merriweather show will be his third appearance following Country Music Television’s decision to pull the video for the song from the network last week.
Tickets for Aldean’s 7:30 p.m. Columbia show are nearly sold out on Ticketmaster, with remaining individual seats selling for $124 and up. On the ticket resale website StubHub, a small number of seats were still available late Wednesday starting at around $70 for the lawn.
The Howard County Police Department does not expect protests at the concert, according to a spokesperson.
“As with any large concert, HCPD will have adequate security and EMS personnel on site,” Seth Hoffman, the department’s public information officer, wrote in an email to The Baltimore Sun. “We’re currently unaware of any planned protests or disruptions, however our detail will be fully staffed with all necessary resources available.”
Representatives for Aldean and Merriweather Post Pavilion did not respond to requests for comment.
In Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town,” which was released in May and alludes to violence against protesters if they venture into small towns, the country star sings: “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.”
A music video released in July, in which Aldean is shown singing in front of a Tennessee courthouse where a Black teenager was lynched in 1927, also originally appeared to include footage from Black Lives Matter protests, which has since reportedly been removed.
On July 18, Aldean wrote on Twitter that he was “accused of releasing a pro-lynching song” and that some claimed he was “not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests.”
“These references are not only meritless, but dangerous,” he wrote.
Aldean’s next tour stop after Columbia, his sixth concert of the tour, will be Hersheypark Stadium in Pennsylvania on Friday.