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Jason Aldean compares ‘Try That in a Small Town’ song to Boston Marathon bombings aftermath

The singer referenced the terrorist attack while performing in Mansfield, Massachusetts, about 40 miles from where the Boston Marathon bombing occurred on April 15, 2013.
/ Source: TODAY

The controversy involving Jason Aldean and his song “Try That in a Small Town” has added another chapter.

On July 29, Aldean continued to defend the song, which some say promotes violence and has racist lyrics, during his concert at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts. 

According to multiple social media videos from fans who attended the show, the 46-year-old country music singer compared the support he has received for “Try That in a Small Town” to Americans coming together after the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013.

Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean at CMA Fest in Nashville on June 10.Connie Chronuk / ABC via Getty Images

“It’s been really wild, man,” he told the crowd during his set, seeming to reference recent headlines about the polarizing track. “Something that we cut that we thought was a really cool song, the message that we’ve wanted to get out there, has completely gotten overshadowed by all the bulls---.”

He continued, “I was lying in bed last night and I was thinking to myself, you guys would get this better than anybody, right? Because I remember a time, I think it was April 2013, when the Boston Marathon bombings happened, you guys remember this right?”

The venue in Mansfield is located about 40 miles from where the terrorist attack occurred. 

“What I saw when that happened was a whole, not a small town, a big-a-- town came together, no matter of your color, no matter of anything,” he said.

Aldean recalled the entire country joining Bostonians in their efforts to track down brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who planted the bombs that killed three people and left 260 injured. 

“And anybody, any of you guys that would’ve found those guys before the cops did, I know you guys from Boston, and you guys would’ve beat the s--- out of them, either one,” the musician added. 

He then connected the tragedy to his defense of “Try That in a Small Town” and said, “And I’ve been trying to say, this is not about race, it’s about people getting their s--- together and acting right, acting like you’ve got some common sense.”

Aldean further emphasized his stance that critics are trying to alter the intent of the song. 

He said its message is about parents sending their children to school or the movie theater “and not (having) to worry about if they come home or not.”

The singer went on to say, “I don’t care what you’re doing. If you’re acting out, burning down buildings, costing taxpayers all this money just for you to go and show that you’re pissed off.”

He concluded his speech by telling his fans he was “proud” of them and that they made the song and music video “one of the biggest things I’ve ever had in my career.” 

In recent weeks, Aldean has been called out by peers like Sheryl Crow, political figures such as Tennessee state Rep. Justin Jones and more for the song, which was originally released in May. 

On July 14, he released a music video for the track that included images of the courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where an 18-year-old Black man named Henry Choate was lynched by a racist mob in 1927.

CMT has since pulled the video from its rotation and it was edited to remove copyrighted footage. The song still managed to land at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on July 25. 

Aldean has voiced his opinion about the song’s lyrics on X, formerly known as Twitter, and at concerts since the controversy began, pointing to “cancel culture” as the reason for the backlash.