Review: Bryan plays to his strengths — beers and bros
Packed tailgates, cowboy boots, camo hats and bare chests. No, Kenny Chesney couldn't make it to Pittsburgh this summer, but another artist served the city the dose of country music its been craving since his performance last year.
Luke Bryan helped fans get a little drunk on beer and high on summer time at Heinz Field Saturday night, Bryan's first stadium concert on his ‘That's My Kind of Night' tour.
The show opened to Bryan atop a black 4x4 truck encircled by flames belting the tune of the tour-headlining anthem, “That's My Kind of Night.”
The pyrotechnics didn't end there, as fireworks accompanied nostalgic narrative in “Rain Is a Good Thing,” and love ballad “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.”
Bryan, dressed in a bright blue shirt, tight black jeans and signature ball cap, did not remain still no matter the tempo of the song. The Georgia native jumped, danced, shook and gyrated at every chance he got, flashing that 100-watt smile and sauntering with an approachable charm that captivated the ladies and gentlemen just the same.
Although women made up the majority of screaming fans, there was no lack of appreciation for the hunky Southerner from the men. During Billboard chart topper “Country Man,” the guy next to me screamed, “Hey, I'm a country man!” every time the refrain rolled around, while other, less-vocal men responded with enthusiastic pointing or cup raising approval. In short, they were truly happy to be there.
And why wouldn't they be? Sure, Bryan bared his more sensitive side during new single “Roller Coaster” and “Someone Else Calling You Baby,” but a major portion of the evening focused on something most men can relate to: beer and bros.
Bryan tossed cans of beer to fans during “Suntan City” and “If You Ain't Here to Party,” which he performed alongside show opener Lee Brice. The beverage was mentioned light-heartedly several other times throughout the performance, but took on a new meaning during “Drink a Beer,” an homage to lost loved ones.
He stuck true to his “bro country” roots when he welcomed other show opener Dierks Bentley back to the stage in the middle of his set with a few cups of “Pittsburgh's finest” moonshine. The two drank and played a mini set together comprised of classics like Garth Brooks' “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” and Bryan Adams' “Summer of '69.”
Bentley, who made a special appearance at Heinz Field some fans weren't expecting, pumped up the crowd with No. 1 singles “What Was I Thinkin' ” and “Am I The Only One,” where he brought a fan up to the stage to shotgun a beer with him. But like Bryan, Bentley is in touch with his emotions as well, soothing with love song “Come A Little Closer” and “I Hold On,” a tribute to his father.
Up-and-coming crooner Lee Brice, known for his teddy bear stature and deep bass, preceded Bentley. He contributed the appropriately titled “Beer” and “Parking Lot Party” to the evening's party theme, but knew when to slow things down with fan favorites like “Hard to Love,” “I Don't Dance” and “Love Like Crazy.”
Breakout artist Cole Swindell kicked off the show with upbeat tracks, “Hey Y'all,” “Let Me See Ya Girl” and hit single “Chillin' It.” His genuine excitement and breezy ballads set the stage for carefree, country fun.
Bryan closed his set with “Play It Again” and the single that skyrocketed him to fame, “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).” The women in the crowd did just that.
Fans came to Heinz Field searching for an evening of good vibes shared with close friends and a couple of brews. Bryan delivered, with just that kind of night.
Emma Deihle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Symphony off to good start
- Bennett, Gaga: Kids should know more about jazz
- Classical music crisis: Author says schools today aren’t building audiences
- Top-level jazz shows include Monheit, Branford Marsalis
- Classics radio still has a home on Western Pennsylvania dials
- Classical music enthusiasts have a variety of choices