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Luke Bryan: Huntin, Fishin, and Lovin Every Day, a Country Boy’s Prayer

Luke Bryan: Huntin, Fishin, and Lovin Every Day, a Country Boy’s Prayer

This was the second time this month I was caught off guard. Before the show, we were greeted with the stereotypical guys on the megaphone who are supposed to be preaching the Word of God, criticizing the modern Church and its lowered standards, reminding people that they are going to go to hell because they are out “sucking down some brewskies and ogling girls in Daisy Dukes. Country music is the most phony and disingenuous form of music out there,” they said. “The solar eclipse is happening in a few days, and God is taking out his big, black sharpie and is going to draw a line all the way across America,” they droned through a loudspeaker.

OK, you lost me on that one brother. One young man actually tried to have a rational conversation with one of them, and he just just screamed over top of him and mocked him. These “preachers” are indicative of everything else happening in this country. Can we no longer speak to one another without insulting each other and intolerance? I had no idea how wicked of an event I was attending (enter: sarcasm). What’s next, will people start trying to block free speech in this country and be violent towards others who simply disagree? That could never happen here (enter: more sarcasm). I came to see some good music and hang out with people who wanted to see music as well and that is what I did.

Craig Campbell (6)

Kicking off the night is Luke Bryan’s former keyboardist, Craig Campbell. Craig was the only guy who brought out a cowboy hat.

Craig Campbell (13)

Clad in a big black hat, white t-shirt and tight jeans, Craig shared some songs with us, “Outskirts of Heaven” and “Out of My Head” painted us a picture of dirt roads, fishing, old zebco reels, romance, green grass, not being able to forget past loves, lessons from grandpa, and the good Lord.

Craig Campbell (9)

To give some contrasts to Campbell’s country look, his band looked like they could have been a metal band.

Brett Eldredge (15)
I don’t know how many country artists come out of Illinois, but Brett Eldredge is one who made his way to Nashville and is bringing the midwest country style to us. Tall, good looks, perfect hair and a powerful voice; that should give you a recipe for success.

Brett Eldredge (10)

“Lose My Mind,” “Drunk on Your Love,” “Something I’m Good At,” “Don’t Ya,” and my two favs of his “Mean To Me” and “Beat of the Music” bring a common theme that I see: women and love! I am going to imagine Brett is living the dream at this point, making music, travelling, and on tour with one of the biggest names in country music.

If anyone deserves good things happening to them, it is Luke Bryan. Son of a farmer and growing up in a close family, Luke had dreams of moving to Nashville and becoming a star in the music business. Things don’t always progress exactly the way one expects that they will, and Luke put his music career on hold after a horrible tragedy struck his family; he lost his brother in a car accident. Feeling it wasn’t a good time to go to far away from home, Bryan went to college at Georgia Southern. Unique talent cannot be stopped by horrible setbacks though, and Luke ended up moving to Nashville in 2007, and the rest has been history. Unfortunately, becoming one of the top country music artists in the world, does not stop more tragedy from happening as Luke also lost his sister and brother in law. Seeing Luke perform, it is amazing that he has been able to take the hard times he has seen and turn it into one of the most positive shows on tour. Luke has taken tragedy and turned it something that those who are no longer here with us would be proud of.

Luke (17)

Before the curtain drops, the screams begin from the pit all the way to the back of the lawn seats. The curtain comes down at freefall speed from the rafters. The Lights go up. The man with the signature backwards ball cap throws his arms up in the air from the top of the stage and his bigger than life smile lights up the entire venue. It is impossible to not give in and and get involved with Luke’ show. If you wanted to, he will not let you. Before I could blink an eye, he was down on the catwalk interacting with his fans. I was able to slide into the pit to photograph Luke for songs 2 and 3. It’s a challenge shooting his show as he is so up close and personal, and getting an angle to shoot is difficult. It was also difficult because I couldn’t concentrate as I was just really enjoying seeing everyone’s smiles as he got as close as he possible could to the crowd.

Luke (24)

Luke has had so many hits at this point that he could fill an entire show with number one hits. His songwriting experience has translated into being able to write and work with other writers who know how to create memorable, catchy hooks that draw you in to sing along with him. All night long, the crowd was right there with him. “Roller Coaster,””Play it Again,” ”Crash My Party,” ”Drink a Beer,” ”Huntin, Fishin, and Lovin Every Day,” ”Drink a Beer,” ”Dirt Road Diaries,” ”Beer in the Headlights,” ”Out Like That,” and the song the preachers could only spell out, “Take Your Drunk A. S. S. Home.” They didn’t have a problem saying “cameltoe” and “buttcrack,” but “ass” somehow offended their morals, but I digress again. Luke knows what the fans come to a show to see. We, and I include myself in that, want to hear the songs that we love and listen to on the way to work or when we need to escape from the day to day challenges we have to deal with. Having such a hit laden catalog, Bryan gets it. He knows who he is and what got him there. I think some people forget this sometimes. I can’t imagine anyone left saying, “I wish Luke would have played my favorite song.”

Luke (8)

The only time for me that the show slowed just a little was when Luke brought out Brett and Craig to sing a few songs together behind a piano. There seemed to be a slight issue with the production with either a song list or words to the songs they were going to perform. Luke was looking at his guys waiting for them to bring the sheets out and tape them to the piano. This was the only time I saw him not smile all night. They brought out one sheet and taped it to Luke’s left, and Luke eyed the guy and motioned with a head nod to put it on the other side. They eventually got it worked out and they laughed. One of the songs they played was “Sweet Caroline.” I know I will get hate mail for this, but if I never hear another version of “Sweet Caroline” played, I wouldn’t be disappointed. That may just be me. They did play a nice version of “Strip it Down” together and enjoyed a number of shots of tequila.

Luke (7)

A couple of fun moments that I can’t say I haven’t seen anyone else do to this level was when they brought out a cooler with a big American Flag on the lid and started tossing Miller Light into the crowd. You better be paying attention, because you might end up seeing a can of beer smash into your forehead if you were distracted. Also, Luke grabbed people’s cell phones and took photos for them and did his best to take selfies of him and them from the stage. I saw some of the photos online where people posted them. I love when these guys do little things for the fans that make their days. It is also nice to see a guy who doesn’t take himself series. Goofy smiles and silly dancing. Luke just has a good time like only a country boy can and shares that with the fans.

I am noticing that bands aren’t staying backstage all night waiting for the crowd to encourage them to come out for their encore. Times are changing. Luke went off, came right back and closed out the show with “Country Girl (Shake it)” and “Paradise City.”

Bryan’s tour is still rolling along. The folks in the Northeast are going to get a taste of the country boy’s music before he heads out to the midwest, west, and down to Cancun for a multi day set of shows. Awesome show. Awesome guy. Us country boys will continue dreaming about Huntin, Fishin, and Lovin Every Day.

Full gallery of the night.

Catch this tour!

Date Venue Location
Aug 25 Darien Lake Amphitheater Darien Center, NY Tickets & More
Aug 26 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY Tickets & More
Aug 27 Northwell Health @ Jones Beach Theater Wantagh, NY Tickets & More
Sep 01 Red, White and Boom Lexington, KY Tickets & More
Sep 03 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam Panama City Beach, FL Tickets & More
Sep 06 The Pavilion at Montage Mountain Scranton, PA Tickets & More
Sep 08 Citizens Bank Park Philadelphia, PA Tickets & More
Sep 09 Keybank Pavilion Burgettstown, PA Tickets & More
Sep 14 Berglund Center Roanoke, VA Tickets & More
Sep 15 Klipsch Music Center Noblesville, IN Tickets & More
Sep 16 Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Tinley Park, IL Tickets & More
Sep 21 Austin360 Amphitheater Del Valle, TX Tickets & More
Sep 22 The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion The Woodlands, TX Tickets & More
Sep 23 Starplex Pavlion Dallas, TX Tickets & More
Sep 28 Benes Farm Lincoln, NE Tickets & More
Sep 29 Don Ale-Farms Baldwin City, KS Tickets & More
Sep 30 Ziel Farm Boone, IA Tickets & More
Oct 05 Spangler Farms West Fort Wayne, IN Tickets & More
Oct 06 Ayers Family Farm Edinburg, IL Tickets & More
Oct 07 Stowers Farm Centralia, MO Tickets & More
Oct 12 Concord Pavilion Concord, CA Tickets & More
Oct 13 Toyota Amphitheatre Wheatland, CA Tickets & More
Oct 14 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA Tickets & More
Oct 19 Isleta Amphitheater Albuquerque, NM Tickets & More
Oct 20 Pepsi Center Denver, CO Tickets & More
Oct 21 USANA Amphitheatre West Valley City, UT Tickets & More
Oct 26 Ak-Chin Pavilion Phoenix, AZ Tickets & More
Oct 27 Mattress Firm Amphitheatre Chula Vista, CA Tickets & More
Oct 28 Glen Helen Amphitheater formerly San Manuel Amphitheater San Bernardino, CA Tickets & More
Jan 17, 2018 Crash My Playa Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Tickets & More

Born in a small town in Western North Carolina, exposed to the wonders of the world at a young age through stories, words, and pictures. I have fond memories of flipping through Life Magazine to see the iconic images of days gone by and the exotic locations that only a National Geographic photographer could take me. Of course having my grandmother by my side giving commentary of how she met Mohammed Ali and where she was as Kennedy's car made that slow, fateful turn onto Dealey Plaza gave texture and substance to the pictures. Since then, my feet have left imprints in the soil in places I could have only once dreamed of. I have seen beautiful children smile in the dusty landscape of SW Ethiopia. I have walked the streets of the French Revolution. I have discarded my shoes to enter ancient Buddhist Temples in Thailand. I am always in pursuit to uncover new information, soak in new cultures, meet new people, and discover new music that can stimulate my imagination. I am on a lifelong journey, still searching for that ultimate experience. The goal of my photography and writing is to take you with me on my quest. If you are unable to be there with me, I want you to be able to immerse yourself in my words and pictures to help share with you an understanding of what it was like to be present in that small moment in time with me.

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