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Concert Reviews:
Luke Bryan closes tour with rowdy show at Ford Field

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2016

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DETROIT -- Luke Bryan has plenty of reasons to make his concert on Saturday night, Oct. 29, at Ford Field a little extra rowdy.

It was the closing show of his Kill The Lights Tour and his last live date of the year, period. So, as he told the 40,000 or so fans in the stadium, "We can sing, we can drink, we can party as long as we want to!" Adding fuel -- it was also Bryan's last gig before his tenure as the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year comes to an end on Wednesday, Nov. 2 (although he's nominated for a three-peat). "I may have, like four more years of being Entertainer of the year," he declared, "so I'm gonna make this s*** last!"

And he did -- for two hours and 24 songs, with plenty of spirit, and spirits, and closing-night hijinks.

With quite a few fans decked out for the coming Halloween holiday -- a chicken, a gorilla and a Donald Trump were particularly visible in the general admission pit in front of the stage -- Saturday's show was a bit tamer than last year's tour closer (Little Big Town's apparently a slightly better influence than Dierks Bentley and Randy Houser -- though just a bit) but Bryan still managed to turn the fun factor up a notch for a one final blowout.

The beer was flowing from the start of the show, but the real party was with his tour partners, LBT and Dustin Lynch. After Bryan and LBT's Karen Fairchild dueted on their hit "Home Alone Tonight," the rest of her band joined in for "Thinking Out Loud," sharing shots of Petron tequila from the bottle as the slow jam morphed into a Motown-appropriate sample of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." Lynch then joined Bryan on "Brooks & Dunn's "Play Something Country," which Bryan finished by filling Lynch's cowboy hat with beer and tossing it into the crowd.

A few songs later, during the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Fishin' in the Dark," the others surprised Bryan and his band by wheeling around the stage on bicycles, dressed i slings, neck braces and other first aid items -- and with Lynch sporting a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle helmet. Bryan then kept everyone on stage for a loose, tequila-fueled rendition of Steve Miller's "The Joker."

Those were certainly special moments, but Bryan -- sporting a baseball cap and white T-shirt most of the night -- hardly slouched on his own. The show started big with lasers and pyrotechnics even before he and his band hit the first notes of "Rain Is a Good Thing," and he filled the rest of the show with a steady roll of hits, from 2007's "All My Friends Say" to "Kill The Lights" album singles "Kick the Dust Up," "Strip It Down," "Huntin' Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day" and "Move" in addition to "Home Alone Tonight."

It was overwhelmingly uptempo from start to finish as Bryan romped around ramps that jutted into the Ford Field floor, slowing down only in select spots -- including a gentle rendering of "Drink A Beer." But at the end of the show, there was no doubt the Ford Field faithful felt what Bryan professed with "That's My Kind of Night" and "I Don't Want This Night To End," and as more fireworks went off behind the stage, the country girls, and boys, were shaking it for Bryan without any reservation.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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