Current ACM Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan is preparing for the opening night of his first Las Vegas Residency. In between rehearsals, workout sessions and more rehearsals for the big night, Bryan sat down with Country Now and other outlets to give a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at what the show will entail and think about the journey he has taken to get here.
At this point, Luke has been on site for several days getting ready for the stadium-sized concert, and boy is he ready to show off all the hard work between him and his team.
“Every part of our stage has function and moves…sometimes on our tour the venues change night after night and we have to change our production to fit the venue. Here, we built everything based on the stage and we get to use it all,” the Georgia native explained. “It’s visually something unlike I’ve ever been a part of.”
Bryan has come so far since his days of being a house band in a honky tonk and first moving to Nashville as an artist trying to achieve his dreams. He’s currently in the “fun years” of his career where he gets to choose to do the things that are most interesting to him, whether that’s being on stage or enjoying a hunting trip with his buddies. Stepping back into his shoes as a young, hungry artist for a moment, he imagines what he would have said if someone had told him back then that he would have his own Vegas residency now.
“I would have said, ‘is it in a car dealer parking lot in Vegas?,'” he joked. “It’s surreal – as a kid, I listened to Elvis’ record Live From Vegas, and there was always so much nostalgia about it…even during rehearsals yesterday when I was playing the piano I thought, ‘I might just need sit a glass of Jack Daniels up there kind of like Frank-Sinatra-style.”
He may not be playing those same honky tonks as before, but they did teach him some lessons that he still carries with him to his shows, and especially to Vegas.
“They teach you how to really get the crowd’s attention,” Bryan explained. “If you’re the house band at a club or the honky tonk and you’re playing music and nobody’s responding to it, nobody paying attention to you, that means you’re not doing your job to grasp their attention and to create an amazing show. Everything I’ve ever done in music was propped up for me to be on stage. If I wrote songs, if I moved to Nashville, if I did all this, the purpose of it was what can I do for the fans while I’m up on stage.”
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“Now being in this room,” he continued. “I’ve never been a part of something so technologically amazing, from the sound and the lights and the way the stage works. It was a big reason we chose to do these shows with Resorts World, because we knew it was a brand new theater and they were going to have the biggest and best things. It’s certainly been amazing rehearsing and seeing what we all have at our disposal.”
Now that he’s achieved his dream of making it to Vegas, he’s among some of the biggest names in entertainment with shows in Sin City. This means the show will look a bit different from what he’s used to, even the fans will be out of the norm for him. No matter what, no matter where he’s performing, his goal is to get people up on their feet dancing, drinking and just having a good time.
“When I look out in that crowd, it may not always be your typical country fans or your typical Luke Bryan fans,” he acknowledged. “There’s gonna be a lot of people out here that don’t even know who I am, they just pop into the show. I want ’em leaving going, ‘wow we didn’t expect for a country concert to be like that.'”
Bryan teased bits and pieces of his high-energy Vegas show, saying his performance of his 2021 song “Waves” was “one of the coolest moments I’ve ever had on stage.” He also revealed that in between all the lights, tricks and partying, there will be an acoustic piano section thrown into the set.
At the end of the day, Bryan admitted how proud he is of what the show has become. Even though Luke Bryan Vegas is going different and it’s going to be one of the biggest Bryan has ever been a part of, his pre-show routine will stay the same. That includes getting a good night’s sleep, hanging with friends and family that will be attending the show and giving a pre-show toast as he gets ready to have a blast on stage.
Tickets for Bryan’s shows in Vegas at The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas are available now.