Luke Bryan Brings the Fire With Huntin’, ‘Fishin, Lovin’ Every Day Tour Launch in Nashville
If there was any doubt that Luke Bryan is the king of modern day country music, those doubts were dashed on Friday night (May 5) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with the kickoff of his latest excursion, the 2017 Huntin,’ Fishin,’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour. Bryan rocked the stage for nearly two hours, kicking the show off with a bang with the spirited “Move,” followed by hit after hit, getting the crowd pumped one after the other.
In addition to his beloved chart-topping hits, Bryan has become notorious for his sassy dance moves, which were on full display as he shimmied and shook along to the beat anytime the opportunity was presented, much to the delight of the crowd. Though the energy was on high all night long, there was a particularly special spark when he performed early hits like “Rain is a Good Thing,” “Play it Again” and “All My Friends Say,” the latter of which found him tossing beer cans into the elated audience, using the cooler as his stage. And he was just as playful with them as they were with him, taking photos and videos on fans’ phones as he sang his several signature tracks like “That’s My Kind of Night,” “Drunk on You,” “Do I” and more.
Though the night was comprised mostly of his hit songs (he’s got nearly 20 of them), Bryan also paid homage to his traditional country roots, throwing in a solid cover of the Alabama classic, “Mountain Music.” He followed it up with a crowd sing-along to another classic by Neil Diamond in the form of “Sweet Caroline,” which ignited the audience with just as much as excitement as the hits they know and love from Bryan’s catalogue.
Bryan’s smooth vocals come through loud and clear on the radio, but his sense of musicianship is truly appreciated during his live show. The superstar proved himself as an instrumentalist, demonstrating his impressive skills on both the piano and guitar, whether hitting all the right notes on piano during an impromptu cover of “Girl Crush” with Karen Fairchild after she came out on stage to surprise the crowd for their fiery duet of “Home Alone Tonight,” or rocking out on guitar during the electrifying jam session Bryan had with his band after “Huntin,’ Fishin.’” You could feel the sense of thrill he gets just from playing his music, let alone singing it.
But perhaps one of the most enjoyable elements of the night was Bryan’s child-like glee, a common thread weaved throughout the entirety of the show whether he was singing the fast-paced “Kick the Dust Up” or simply interacting with the crowd. You couldn’t have wiped the gleaming smile off his face, clearly showing how thrilled he was to be on that stage, singing – and shimmying – for the thousands of fans who showed up for their favorite star.
With so many hits to choose from, it was a toss up how he was going to close out the riveting show, selecting his signature anthem “Country Girl (Shake it For Me),” with the opening notes met with a roar from the arena. It’s safe to say that not one person was still during the energetic number, with fans screaming for the song’s entirety while wiggling right along with the singer.
Adam Craig and Brett Eldredge were the right guys to get the party started, serving as a solid opening acts. Eldredge made the most out of his set, showcasing plenty of new music in the form of “Superhero,” the sweet “Take Me the Long Way Around” and the poignant “Castaway,” which he debuted for the first time ever. Eldredge could very well find himself in Bryan’s position in the near future, engaging the crowd much like the superstar and prompting them to sing along to his own popular hits like “Drunk on Your Love,” “Lost My Mind” and “Wanna Be That Song.”
It was incredible to see how Bryan had the crowd in the palm of his hand for the entire night, never ceasing from the second he stepped on stage to the moment he closed the show, as the devoted fans sang whenever prompted – and even when they weren’t – dancing along to every song in between, proving that the ultimate gift fans give an artist is their own spirit and passion.