Tailgaters packed the lawn at Cruzan Amphitheatre Saturday night with grills, Fireball whiskey, and cornhole. Pretty country chicks donning daisy dukes and cowboy boots stood around guzzling beer. Confederate flags were waving and country music was blasting from trucks as attendees drank the day away, waiting for the concert to start.
It was the South Florida stop of Luke Bryan's That's Kind of Night Tour with openers Lee Brice and Cole Swindell. And after everyone was buzzed and in possession of $5 Luke Bryan shirts, the whole lot of us rushed the arena like little children on Christmas morning.
Cole Swindell kicked off the night in a blue plaid shirt and tight jeans. Although we missed a few of his songs, we caught "Just Chillin It," which was an easy singalong. Lee Brice was next and opened up with the fun and guitar heavy "Parking Lot Party." After, he launched into the lighthearted "Hard to Love" and had the crowd cheering in recognition during the line "Sometime I drink too much," not just because of the meaning of the lyric but because he yelled it extra loud.
The atmosphere took a more somber feel when Brice briefly started talking about veterans and thanking them for their service. "Hold up your lights!" he yelled. "This is for my grandpa that fought in the Battle of the Bulge." The cowboy then sang "I Drive Your Truck" and the entire audience was lit up with cell phones illuminating the place all the way to the lawn. Graphics onstage showed army badges and what looked like old home pictures, one including Brice as a child driving a red pickup. The whole thing was very touching and Brice brought out a bunch of passionate singing. Then during "Love Like Crazy," Brice took a selfie with a fan with a camera. Like, an actual camera, not a phone -- the unicorn of concert props.
"Where's all my drinking class at?" asked Brice before singing the appropriately titled "Drinking Class." Background graphics consisted of a custom beer label that contained Brice's name, the song name, and the phrase, "If you're one of us, raise your glass!" We obliged.
"Before I go, I got to sing this song for my wife," Brice announced. The sappy yet cute "I Don't Dance" ended Brice's set and we got ready for the arrival of the ever hunky Luke Bryan.
We embraced the opportunity for a quick bathroom break. Stuck in a line that seemed to extend to the parking lot, we witnessed some prime, drunken people watching. Females with long shiny hair and short, high-waisted Daisy Dukes stumbled and laughed as they shot selfies quickly uploaded to Instagram. Not surprisingly, the ladies comprised about 60% of the audience. The other 40% were their unwilling boyfriends dragged out to see the show. There was a girl sobbing on her phone in front of the ice machine while another with short, blonde hair squatted behind her and peed. "She has the right idea," said a woman who went to take a peek.
Back in our seats, the lights dimmed and the band came out without Bryan in sight. There was a video playing of Luke shooting a lit bow and arrow. Finally, after arriving on a moving podium and fire onstage, the handsome singer appeared in tight, faded blue jeans, thick black belt, a black baseball cap, and navy blue v-neck, which was snug. The opening song was the name of the tour, "That's My Kind of Night." Any night is our kind of night with Luke Bryan.
"You guys got some whiskey out there? I know you're feeling frisky," the country cutie asked the audience with a sly grin. From there, he launched into "Rain is a Good Thing" with cornfields on the big screen.
Next was our personal favorite, "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" and the drunken anthem "All My Friends Say," where he pointed in our general vicinity with a "call me" hand sign. We may or may not have fainted. All songs were complete with pelvic trusts, grinding, and nothing but pure energy and smiles from Bryan. Audience members seemed to know every lyric as they sang along, jumped up and down, danced, and waved homemade signs.
Following his newest single "Roller Coaster", then "Country Man," and "Someone Else Calling You Baby," Bryan was drenched in sweat. "It is hot," he said to numerous female cheers. "We have a lot of history in this place, and we want to thank you guys for selling this out... It means a lot to me as a man from South Georgia," adding with a laugh, "I need an IV of whiskey after this."
From there, Lee Brice was invited back onstage. After a brief toast to the audience, Bryan sat down to play keyboard (saying, "Shit, it's hot") as Brice sang a cover of Eli Young Band's "Love You Like Crazy Girl" while playing guitar. After Brice left, Luke finished his brief stint on keyboard with "Shut It Down."
Things got more energetic when Bryan covered Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Fishing in the Dark" remixed briefly with Brooks and Dunn's "Hillbilly Deluxe." He then toned it down with his first #1 single "Do I," and picked things up with Florida Georgia Line's "This is How We Roll," which he sang with Cole Swindell, one of the single's songwriters. It sounded just as good as the original.
Bryan played the summertime favorite "Drunk on You" and ended his set with "I Don't Want This Night to End" remixed with Jason Derulo's "Dynamite." The big finale was his guitarist playing a solo on a rising platform with smoke billowing underneath.
But wait! Was the concert over? Indeed it wasn't, as Bryan came out in a fresh orange T-shirt and playful smirk, singing "Play It Again." Although audience members jumped up and down and sang, it was the last single that really got everyone turned up: "(Country Girl) Shake it for Me." Bryan's gyrations and hip thrusts were intense than ever, especially when he grabbed what seemed to be a pink birthday hat from the audience and placed it on his head. Bryan even managed to sing a few snippets of "All About that Bass" by Meghan Trainor and "Talk Dirty to Me" by Jason Derulo.
The tune ended with a smash when Bryan threw the mic to one of the stage managers, which he immediately dropped. Bryan laughed, opened a can of Miller Lite, and swung around, soaking the audience. He did this four times. Bryan opened the last can, poured it on himself and shook his head like a dog.
With our voices slightly shot the next day, it was pretty apparent that Luke Bryan put on a memorable performance at Cruzan. With nonstop energy, crystal clear vocals, fun dance moves, and a silly attitude, he looks like he loves what he's doing, so we love watching it. Not to mention, the man sounds better live than he does on the radio. We're pretty sure everyone can attest to that, even the unwilling boyfriends who attended.
That's My Kind of Night
Rain Is a Good Thing
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
All My Friends Say
Someone Else Calling You Baby
Crazy Girl with Lee Brice (Eli Young Band cover)
Shut It Down
Fishin' in the Dark (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band cover)
Hillbilly Deluxe (Brooks & Dunn cover)
This Is How We Roll with Cole Swindell (Florida Georgia Line cover)
Crash My Party
Drink a Beer
Drunk on You
I Don't Want This Night to End / Dynamite
Play It Again
Country Girl (Shake It for Me)