Crowds from all around the St. Louis area gather to make country megastar Luke Bryan’s Busch Stadium debut a night to remember on August 25th. The lineup for the What Makes You Country Tour has some fresh new faces, along with some modern country favorites.
Before the first act and throughout the night, the Georgia based DJ Rock kept the crowd moving with his remixes of country and other party hits.
Morgan Wallen was the first performer of the night. The Tennessee native played a few of his originals, including his current single “Whiskey Glasses,” and threw in a chain of covers, giving his setlist a little taste of everything. Wallen finished his 30 minutes on stage with his catchy first #1, “Up Down.”
At 6:20, the California cowboy Jon Pardi took to the stage calling out the girl who’s “always moving his mind” in his hit “Heartache On The Dance Floor.” Pardi treats the crowd to his new single “Night Shift” before switching gears and playing his classic slow heart break jam “She Ain’t In It.” Pardi sped things back up before leaving the stage, playing his biggest hits “Head Over Boots” and “Dirt On My Boots.”
On the big screens Luke Bryan introduced his special guest performers, a duo of two talented young brothers, Christian (17) and Brody (14), who make up CB30. The upcoming duo played two songs, one of them being their current single, “Like It’s A Bad Thing.”
For many, going to downtown St. Louis could mean a good time such as going to a Cardinals or Blues game. In Sam Hunt’s show opener and newest single, “Downtown’s Dead,” Hunt sings about desperately wanting back an ex while the infectious beat of the song follows. Hunt keeps the energy flowing, in his St. Louis Cardinals hat, as he plays his catchy tunes such as “Leave The Night On,” “Ex To See,” and his first smash hit “Take Your Time.”
Hunt then covers Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight,” a song Hunt himself originally wrote. He tells his inspiring story about Currington’s help along the way getting his career kicked off. Hunt also tells a story about how he misses the old Nashville live music scene, so he grabs his guitar, sits on a stool, and plays some old country favorites. This small acoustic session included, “Brand New Man,” “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” “Goodbye Earl,” “Where The Green Grass Grows,” and lastly “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til The Sun Comes Up).” During “House Party” Hunt jumps off stage and runs over towards right field, where he finishes the song grabbing the hands of many fans that immediately swarmed him on the floor. After returning the stage, Hunt begins “Make You Miss Me” on the piano to an illuminated stadium of cell phone lights. Hunt finishes his set with the summer song that dominated the radio for weeks, “Body Like A Back Road.”
All the anticipation led to one single moment, when the lights finally went off at 9:05. Before the man himself stepped on stage, fans were amped up by the chance to catch some exclusive merchandise being shot from stage. A few short minutes later, Luke Bryan was welcomed with a deafening round of applause as he walked on stage and began by shaking it for all the ladies with his hit “(Country Girl) Shake It For Me.”
The country superstar played many of his hits, old and new, while interacting with the crowd lucky enough to be in the pits. From wearing their hats, tossing beers from his Yeti, and even stealing a few sips from the crowd, he surely made the night for some unexpecting fans. Bryan liked to prelude songs with a pun or hint to keep his fans guessing what was coming next. For example, before playing “Huntin’, Fishin’, And Lovin’ Every Day,” he references the record number of White Tail in the state of Missouri. Bryan almost couldn’t let a song end without running through the chorus one last time requesting the stadium sing along with him.
Three quarters of the way through his set, Bryan grabs his guitar while his band takes a small break. He played a few chords of “Sweet Home Alabama” to set the mood before playing a few songs for the crowd. He began singing “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 after jokingly stating he doesn’t know the lyrics or how Adam Levine hits such high notes. Similar to Hunt, he also wrote a song Billy Currington later ended up recording. Bryan introduced this song by telling the crowd it was his first #1 as a songwriter. This was a song about a woman needing some “Good Directions.”
When Bryan’s band steps back on, he surprises his fans with a cover of Alabama’s “Dixieland Delight.” After playing a few more of his own hits, they all step off the stage after almost two hours of playing. A few moments later, after some shifting around from the crowd, everyone jumps back on stage for an encore – Bryan now sporting a Cardinals T-Shirt. “That’s My Kind Of Night” rounded out the night, followed by an impressive two minute long firework show as Bryan sang the last few lines and thanked the crowd for an incredible, unforgettable night.