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Luke Bryan concert review

Kyla Chenier, Staff Writer

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Let it be known that I am what you call a “country music un-enthusiast.” It was by some incredible celestial alignment (a friend’s birthday) that I found myself at the Chicago show of Luke Bryan’s “Kick the Dust Up” tour. However, I approached it with the most impartiality I could muster.

The concert opened with two different acts: Dustin Lynch and Randy Houser. Dustin, who cannot be missed with his obligatory 10-gallon hat, did well entertaining the slow arriving crowd. He played his most well known hits like “Cowboys and Angels” and “Hell Of A Night” towards the end of his set, expectantly pleasing the crowd. His vocals lost a bit of their deep country twang in live performance in comparison to their recorded sound. Lynch, as far as country singers go, was not very distinguishable.

Roughly a ten minute intermission followed before Randy Houser took stage. The venue shuffled some background tunes to pass the time. Mainly dubstep was played and then I was confused. Then Houser woke the crowd up once again with more fitting music. Houser has the vocals that could impress anyone, as opposed to Lynch who seemed stereotypical. I had to applaud as he hit heavy vibratos with a notable range for a baritone/bass singer. If his own set didn’t convince the audience of this, his feature during Luke Bryan’s made it clear. Lynch and Houser were brought out a few songs into the main act and they covered Maroon 5’s “Sugar” with Bryan. Lynch had a short solo, then Houser followed with a vocal run of his own that outshined it without contest. Bryan jokingly led Lynch off stage since he had clearly been one-upped.

Intermission pt. 2: More dubstep, more head scratching, it pleased the masses. Then, the long awaited Luke Bryan came out following the visuals of a slow approaching tractor breaking the screen. My impartiality wavered with an eye-roll but I pulled it together when he came out with the expected “Kick the Dust Up.” The audience ate it up. He came out with energy and tight jeans and wild screams ensued. The crowd, while it may not have been my typical scene, had a contagiously good time. After all, Bryan packed the United Center, so it’d be hard to ignore the ambiance of 20,000 happy concert goers. The most memorable part of the night was his performance of “Drink A Beer.” Bryan had the stage lights turned off and asked the audience to raise their cell phones. One audience member near me raised a lighter instead, which restored a bit of respect I had for the members of the country listening population. Way to bring back old school.

Luke Bryan at the Chicago United Center

Kyla Chenier
Luke Bryan at the Chicago United Center

Bryan finished his set with a two song “encore” of “That’s My Kind Of Night” and “Country Girl (Shake it for Me).” Everyone knew he wouldn’t end the night without playing his two most predominant songs, so how much can you really classify it as an encore? Nonetheless, he ended the night in a bang with flames, trucks, and questionably tossing beer to the crowd. Yet it was clear from the audience’s enjoyment that it was a country lover’s dream. As an avid country hater, I can’t say it was a bad night. Of course I did not fail to find something completely unrelated to country to deem as my favorite part of the night.

Randy Houser’s guitarists: a greaser, a guest appearance from Slash, and some guy with a fohawk.

Randy Houser's Guitarists at the Chicago United Center

Kyla Chenier
Randy Houser’s Guitarists at the Chicago United Center

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The student news site of Geneva Community High School in Geneva, Illinois
Luke Bryan concert review