Luke Bryan Cements His Entertainer of the Year Status with Sold-Out Bridgestone Arena Concert
“We’re making music in Music City tonight,” Bryan promised.
Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Thousands of fans descended upon Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Friday (July 30) for Luke Bryan’s sold-out Proud To Be Right Here Tour. The show marked Bridgestone’s first sold-out show of the year and Bryan’s eighth time performing for a sold-out or beyond capacity crowd at the venue.
The superstar more than lived up to his title of ACM Entertainer of the Year with a massive, career-spanning set that showcased his biggest hits amongst top notch production.
Immediately kicking it into high gear with “That’s My Kind Of Night,” Bryan entered the stage beneath an enormous disco ball. As colorful lasers and spotlights lit the path, Bryan immediately welcomed the capacity crowd as he took to the catwalk.
“Bridgestone, Nashville …What’s up? Let’s go!” he shouted.
Fans welcomed Bryan with a burst of cheers and applause, proving they were ready to party alongside the country hitmaker.
Without skipping a beat, Bryan grabbed his guitar and went on to perform his 2010 hit, “Rain Is A Good Thing,” prompting fans across the arena to sing along.
“I want ya’ll to understand something. At 11 ‘o’clock I’m supposed to be off the stage, but we’re closing the whole city down tonight, alright,” Bryan promised. “If anybody leaves, I’m calling your ass out, alright?”
Amid the roaring applause, Bryan went on to say, “It’s been over a year in a half and it’s time for some country music fans to get their damn money’s worth tonight. ‘Cause I don’t know if we gonna be doin this shit next weekend. Who knows? Y’all might be drinking beer through a mask in two weeks.”
As fans booed at the mention of masks, Bryan replied, “Who knows? Hey, it ain’t my damn rules!”
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He went on to perform hit after hit, only slowing it down for “Waves” and the romantic “Down To One” before transporting fans south of the border with the tropical vibes of “One Margarita” and a cover of Kenny Chesney’s “When the Sun Goes Down.”
That’s when the surprises began and kept coming.
“We’ve got some crazy ass people that come out to party with us tonight,” he teased. “I’m about to have the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”
Bryan’s Proud To Be Right Here tour mates, Dylan Scott and Caylee Hammack, returned to the stage to join him for a rowdy rendition of his breakout release, “All My Friends Say.”
After that, Bryan welcomed Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard for a performance of their 2013 collaboration, “This Is How We Roll.”
Moments later, Jason Aldean appeared from backstage to join Bryan for “The Only Way I Know,” a chart-topping hit from Aldean’s Night Train album that features Bryan and fellow country superstar Eric Church.
That’s when the biggest surprise of the night came as the superstars welcomed their “good friend” Morgan Wallen to the stage for his first major performance since a controversial video surfaced earlier this year.
After Wallen performed his chart-topping hits, “More Than My Hometown” and “Whiskey Glasses,” Aldean, Bryan, Hubbard and Wallen joined forces for an all-star performance of “She’s Country.”
The cheers and applause were so loud that many fans left with their ears ringing for hours on end.
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Bryan continued his show with many of his greatest hits, aptly wrapping his set 30 minutes past curfew with “I Don’t Want This Night To End.”
Since his 2007 debut, Luke Bryan has steadily climbed the country music ladder and proved to be on top of his game time and time again. Friday’s Nashville showcase was yet another career-defining moment for the superstar as he proved to be one of the genre’s leading entertainers with no slowing down in sight. After a tumultuous 16 months, Bryan offered fans inside Bridgestone Arena some sense of normalcy, if only for a few hours.
Dylan Scott provided direct support and impressed with his unwavering confidence. Scott shared performances of fan favorite tracks such as “Hooked,” “My Girl,” and “Nothing To Do Town,” while also throwing it back to the 1990s with covers of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tim McGraw, George Strait and more. He also performed his just-released breakup anthem, “New Truck.” This slot on the Proud To Be Right Here Tour will undoubtedly catapult his career to new heights.
Bryan’s labelmate, Caylee Hammack, opened the show with a charming set that featured tracks from her debut album, If It Wasn’t For You, and covers of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and Eric Church’s “Smoke A Little Smoke.”
The show marked both Scott and Hammack’s debut performances at Bridgestone Arena and it surely won’t be their last time playing the famed venue.
Luke Bryan’s Proud To Be Right Here Tour runs through October.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.