Friday, April 15, 2016

Concert: Luke Bryan at Royal Farms Arena

I have been wanting to see Luke Bryan in concert for YEARS! Usually he performs at Jiffy Lube Live, but I've only heard bad things about that venue, so I've never gone. But when I saw he was going to be performing at Royal Farms Arena, a venue in Baltimore that is much easier for me to get to, I immediately bought tickets!

I had never been to this venue before, but is it great! It's right in downtown Baltimore, and there are tons of parking garages (which give Parking Panda passes, too), so it's quite convenient. Also, it's much smaller than other stages (for example, the Verizon Center) so as long as you're not squished in one of the corners, you really can't have a bad seat. I was very pleased, and I'll definitely be going back for another show sometime!

This was the only photo I could get when he wasn't jumping and dancing around!
The show started on time, which amazed me! Dustin Lynch was first up. He has a lot of energy! He bounced around the entire stage, even in those tight pants! I thought he did a nice job and is a good fit as an opener for Luke Bryan. Here are some of the songs he sang:

Where It's At

Hell of a Night
Cowboys and Angels

The next opener was Little Big Town. They started off by singing Dolly Parton's "Jolene," which I thought was pretty cool. They sang a lot of songs that night, but I only recognized a handful of them.They're one of those groups that I don't think about when I think of country music, but they do have some hits I like. Here are the few songs I recognized:


Boondocks (which always makes me think of my ex from college. Ugh.)

Day Drinking

Little White Church

Pain Killer

Girl Crush

I will say that I didn't like the special effects that Little Big Town used on the monitors during their performance. They were a little gimmicky and didn't really add to the show. Actually, they were quite distracting! And the blonde, Kimberly Schlapman, is the weakest link of the band; her solo was so high-pitched that I couldn't understand a word she sang! (And when looking her up, I just realized she's 46 years old! And so is Karen Fairchild, the other leading lady of this group!)

It was like some bad music video!
Shattered glass? Not sure what's going on here...
No show would be complete without a disco ball, right? And not just one, but two!
Karen Fairchild looked like a disco ball herself in all those sequins!
Then it was onto Luke, the man everyone came to see! He did an amazing job! I love all of his songs anyway, but they were even better live! He has a fun energy, and Karen Fairchild had warned the crowd ahead of time about Luke's hip-shaking (like Elvis' pelvis!). He sure had some moves! Here are some pics from his show:

There were some fun light effects, though not as impressive as the ones at the Verizon Center.
I don't know what was going on with this jacket, but it is UGLY!
I loved this backdrop!
Yep, Luke was having a good time performing with Little Big Town!
Luke teaching Dustin how to dance!
I really liked this backdrop, too!
You can just barely make out the Orioles hat that Luke put on after a fan threw it to him!
Luke had several wardrobe changes (like most stars), but he mainly just switched T-shirts and ball caps.
Usually before a concert, I like to look up an artist's songs so I can listen to them and learn the words. But with Luke Bryan, I'm already such a fan of his music, so I didn't need to "practice" the songs: I already knew them all! He played so many, but here are a few of my all-time favorites:

I Don't Want This Night to End

Drunk on You (essentially the "sequel" to the video above)

Play It Again

Crash My Party

 I See You
During his song "I See You" (I think it was that song...), there were silhouettes of women, James Bond style.
 Home Alone Tonight
It was pretty cool that Karen Fairchild was actually there so that they could sing "Home Alone Tonight" together!
Drink a Beer
Luke encouraged people to take out their phones for his song "Drink a Beer."
There was one part of Luke's act that I really didn't like. He called Dustin Lynch back to the stage to sing a cover of an oldie country song (something by Brooks & Dunn I think?). While they were up there, somebody rolled a cooler onto the stage, which was full of beer. Then Luke and Dustin started throwing beers into the crowd! This is so dangerous, for several reasons:

1. They clearly were not carding people, so they could easily be handing them to minors, which is illegal.
2. They could have hit someone in the head and hurt them. A beer can to the head could certainly leave a large bump, if not something worse!
3. Luke actually opened some of the beers and drank from them before handing them into the crowd. Think of the germs! People could get sick! (Although I suppose that might be unlikely, since if Luke were sick, he probably wouldn't be performing.)
4. In general, they could have just been pissing people off. I know I would be LIVID if I got hit with a full beer can or if beer spilled on me during this whole charade. And if I got hurt, you know a law suit is right around the corner...

I think the only other really annoying thing that night was that I had three big men surrounding me during the concert: my friend Mike next to me, another guy on my right (who kept leaning over so I couldn't see!), and then a third guy in front of me. It was sometimes hard to see anything, let alone take pictures! I'm only 5'3"!

But other than those few things, I had a really good time. I was pleasantly surprised by the venue, the music was great, and I finally go to see Luke Bryan in concert. What a fun night!

PS: We ate at a cute pizza place called Forno before the concert, and it is so good! The calamari is served as a huge portion, and the white pizza is delicious. I recommend it!

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