In the days leading up to Luke Bryan’s show at Joe’s Bar, I was wondering to myself how the show was a complete sell out. I mean, I have seen more established artists than Bryan at Joe’s and they had not sold out. Well, after seeing the show, I am embarrassed that I ever wondered why he would sell out.
Luke Bryan was easily one of the best shows I have ever seen at Joe’s or anywhere else. It took 15 seconds on stage for Bryan to flash his pearly whites and shake his ass to get the ladies going crazy. It was only about another 45 seconds into “Calling You Baby” that he had the guys into show as well.
Like many artists with only one album under their belt, Bryan had to add cover tunes to his show, however unlike other artists, he didn’t just use the covers to fill time, he used them to rock the house. After getting the party going four songs in with his newest single “Country Man,” and then the title track off his album, “I’ll Stay Me,” Bryan add two more originals and then jumped into a powerful cover of George Strait’s “True.”
He then played “Good Directions,” a song he wrote and was a No. 1 single by Billy Currington. That was followed by Joe Diffie’s “Pick-Up Man” and a rendition of One Republic’s pop hit “Apologize” that far and away blows the original out of the water.
Mixed into the cover tunes, Bryan threw in samplings of songs like Eric Church’s “Guys Like Me” and Brooks and Dunn’s “Hillbilly Deluxe.” He added more samplings during a medley of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishing in the Dark.” The medley included pieces of “Shine” by Collective Soul and “Mountain Music” by Alabama. Bryan also sampled rap hits “It Takes Two” by Rod Base and D.J EZ Rock and 2Pac’s “California Love” and metal hit “Enter Sandman” from Metallica, all wrapped around in a medley of Steve Miller’s “The Joker.”
The show ended, or we thought, with the usual suspects, “We Rode In Trucks” and “All My Friends Say,” Bryan’s two smash hits. That left me wondering how his encore could possibly top that. Again, why did I doubt the man? Bryan came out to a cover of Brooks and Dunn’s “Play Something Country.” He then pulled out a new song that he said will be the last song of the night as long as he plays country music.
The song, “Drunk Ass Home,” has a chorus that says, “It’s time to take my drunk ass home, I drank all the whiskey and my money’s all gone. All the girls sang every song, It’s time to take my drunk ass home.”
A song fitting for a show that was as much like a party down on the farm as it was a concert. The biggest thing I learned from the show is that next time Bryan comes to town, I won’t just buy my ticket early because it is convenient, I will buy it early because if I don’t it will be sold out again.