Rain makes corn. Corn makes whiskey. Whiskey makes Toronto feel a little frisky!
Well, wasn’t that a night! Luke Bryan returned to Ontario for the first of two sold out shows at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre Friday night and he delivered in spades. The Kill The Lights Tour absolutely did kill it. Luke can certainly bring the energy, and definitely whips his audience into a frenzy with some amazing interaction and a stage show that might be one of the best I’ve seen. Smoke effects, lasers, strobes and an abundance of lighting all built around a massive staircase that took up a huge chunk of the main stage. Luke Bryan brings quite a big production, and it was well suited for arguably one of the biggest names in country music today. This was the second show of the 2016 Country Mega Ticket Series – can it get any better?
The weather was hot, the beer was cold, the music was phenomenal, and Toronto showed up in one hell of a mood. A mood to party HARD that is. Man, beer sales were certainly brisk and Mr. Bryan definitely helped when at one point in his show, during Country Man, he rolled out a huge cooler and starting tossing cans of cold ones to the lucky fans in the general admission pit areas. It was just that kind of an evening. A little bit of letting loose on a Friday night, and the performers certainly let loose on stage.
The night kicked off with Broken Bow Records artist Dustin Lynch. This guy delivered an amazing set. His band sounded great behind him and I have to say, this guy has a great voice. Low and smooth, on top of the melodies of his songs, it was super. The crowd was already up to a good size by now and continued to filter in as he played. Which is nice, because for some opening acts, they only get a partially full venue. On the day he released his new single Seeing Red, Dustin definitely got things warmed up and was well received by the fans as they sang along and, just as his song promises, he definitely delivered one Hell Of A Good Night. I Loved seeing this guy play his music and can’t wait until he returns to give us his own headlining show.
After a brief break, we were treated to the talents of Little Big Town. And, once again, the crowd loved it and sang along as this country party continued to build. How could they not love this set of music, with songs like Pontoon and Day Drinking. There was such stage presence from these artists, and two beautiful ladies fronting things up for LBT. Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman were spot on with their vocals and often paired up together at the front of the large stage thrust to give us some great looks and amazing crowd contact. They also have a new release in Wanderlust, that dropped just a couple of weeks ago. And, with a risk of sounding repetitive, I just loved them! What a great addition to the Kill The Lights Tour, and we were about to find out a little later why it actually could get a little better.
Then, the pièce de résistance, Luke! The house lights dropped, and the fans all jumped up. There was to be no sitting for the rest of the night as the band broke into Rain Is A Good Thing. Mr. Bryan appeared at the top of that massive set of stairs, rising up from within them. Quite a dramatic entrance and a harbinger of things to come. The place just went nuts as Luke sang and danced and drove the female fans crazy with some wild hip gyrations. It was a full on assault of country music, Luke Bryan style, with hit after hit after hit. And he has nothing but hits. With what seems to be his trademark “C’mon” he urged the adoring fans to take a ride for the next hour and a half.
His set list is some 21 songs long, so you are definitely not disappointed from beginning to end. He brought Dustin back out for a cover of Brooks and Dunn’s Play Something Country, and then later on teamed up with Karen Fairchild for their amazing duet Home Alone Tonight. That was simply perfect. After they finished that song, the rest of Little Big Town came out to perform a medley with him that started with Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. And then Luke slowed things down a bit and had a bottle of tequila brought out so they could all do some shots, raising a toast to “two sold out nights in Toronto!” After finishing a couple of shots, they broke into Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. Good times!
I could go on and on about how this amazing this show was. The superlatives were flying from the exiting crowd after the show: “That was so amazing” “I loved that show” “he is so amazing, such an entertainer” and on and on. Truly, the man knows how to entertain. He brought his “A” game and left if all out there.
Many thanks to Luke Bryan’s team, and Live Nation Ontario for having us out for this amazing night.
More photos from the show:
Scott Burns / Scott Burns Images / Sound Check Entertainment