Written By | Bradley Reiter
On Friday, October 26, 2018 Luke Bryan visited Detroit Michigan in what would be the penultimate stop on the What Makes You Country XL Stadium Tour. Supporting his recent release What Makes You County, this tour saw Luke crisscross North America with more than 50 stops starting in Springfield Missouri back in February, culminating in the Motor City this weekend.
The multi-time AMA and Country Music Association award winner Luke Bryan brought a star studded line up in support of t XL stadium tour, setting the stage for what would turn out to be a huge night of country music in Detroit.
Carly Pearce was the first to hit the stage at 5:30 to an already packed crowd. The Nashville native is an up and coming country superstar in the making with several number 1 hits including Every Little Thing and Hide the Wine. She delivered a short and energetic performance, using her powerful vocals and charisma (huge smile!) to engage the audience in a impactful performance featuring many of her hits.
Next on stage was the talented Jon Pardi, who according to Luke Bryan, has been the life of the party throughout the tour. Jon has been described by Rolling Stone Magazine as one ofthe most classical-leaning country artists on contemporary radio today. His songs have a bit more twang than many modern artists, but Jon has been able to find a niche in today’s country music charts with witty lyrics and a playful style. Pardi’s set was heavy on the guitar and vocal, transitioning easily between some current hits and even debuting a new single do out late in 2018.
In an effort to promote up and coming artists, Luke Bryan invited a Nashville Duo CB30 to come on stage in front of a packed football stadium to play a couple of acoustic tracks from their upcoming debut studio album. Not looking phased at the 45,000 in the crowd staring down on them, the young musicians captured the audience proving they may be a name to watch in the future.
Sam Hunt was the next to take the stage at 7:30. With a meteoric rise, Hunt’s debut album Montevallo has smashed records with no less than 5 number one singles. Prior to launching a successful solo career, Hunt was a songwriter for the country music elite including Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and Reba McEntire. In stark contrast to Jon Pardi, Sam Hunt is know for his genre blending fusion of hip hop, R&B and country in the recording and performing of his songs. Hunt clearly delivered with an up tempo performance of his biggest hits, but he also showed great range by stripping things down not only with an acoustic set in the middle of his performance but also sat down at the piano to perform a selection of songs that highlighted the artist’s musical talents. Fans were left with a greater appreciation of Hunt’s abilities than the highly produced and polished singles seen on VEVO and on the radio.
Luke Bryan was the big draw on the night and after an already 3 hours of solid music, the crowd was ready to pop. Bryan did not fail to deliver opening the show with his mega hit Country Girls. With multiple references to this being the last night of a long tour, it was clear that Bryan and the band were anxious to send things off on a high note with a high energy performance as well as several guest appearances from the crew as Bryan gave thanks to their service. Several members of the ban’s family were also in attendance for the show, including Luke’s wife Caroline Boyer who could be seen partying with crew members other significant others at the side of the stage.
Originally slated to play until 10:30, Luke took the show into overtime playing a wide range of hits, a solo acoustic set as well as several popular covers from Florida Georgia Line’s This is How We Roll, to Maroon Five’s Girls Like You and even mixing in a little Bruno Mars. Overall, Luke Bryan delivered a very confident and high energy performance with great audience engagement and intention, including just enough booty shaking for the ladies in the audience. Equally at home with nothing more than an acoustic guitar at the centre of the stadium or cranking out hits with behind a powerful and tight backup band, Luke Bryan shows why he is one of the largest draws and most likeable musicians in country music today. The loyal fans… some waiting in line at 9am to get a prime pit spot…all left with a great time after nearly 6 hours of high quality live music.