Luke Bryan's Dirt Road Diaries Tour
Luke Bryan’s SetList
Jan. 25, 2013, Germain Arena
Dirt Road Diaries Tour
1. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
2. Country Man
3. Someone Else Calling You Baby
4. Rain Is A Good Thing
5. Muckalee Creek Water
6. Suntan City
7. If You Ain't Here to Party
8. One More Night (Maroon 5 cover) with Florida Georgia Line and Thompson Square.
9. Locked Out Of Heaven (Bruno Mars cover) with Florida Georgia Line and Thompson Square.
10. Too Damn Young
11. Dirt Road Diaries
12. Do I
13. The Only Way I Know
14. Drinkin' Beer and Wastin' Bullets
15. Drunk on You
16. All My Friends Say (with mash-up of Enter Sandman, a Metallica cover)
17. I Don't Want This Night To End (with mash-up of Dynamite, Taio Cruz cover)
18. Country Girl (Shake It For Me) (with mash-up What’s My Name, Rihanna cover)
Luke Bryan showed Friday night he can do more than shake his hips.
The 33-year-old country heartthrob showed he can throw one hell of a party.
Bryan didn’t just sell out Germain Arena. He kept the fist-pumping, booty-shaking crowd in a two-hour frenzy. With an energy level of a 4-year-old on a cotton-candy high and a fusion of pop and rock hits into his chart-topping country lyrics, he gave everyone their money’s worth and plenty to smile about.
With his third stop on the Dirt Road Diaries Tour, his first as a lead act, Bryan proved why he’s the reigning American Country Awards artist of the year.
He was confident but not cocky. He opened effortlessly with “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” never missing a beat and even giving a random beach ball that flew on stage a swift 20-yard kick.
Bryan hit his stride during “Someone Else Calling You Baby” — asking at one point where were “his Naples babies,” drawing a loud screech of approval from the crowd — and kept pouring it on with “Rain is a Good Thing.”
He then revealed that his roots lie deep in some Georgia clay with “Muckalee Creek Water,” a classic-country sounding tune that would make the likes of Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings proud.
He even played with fire, taking fans’ cellphones and taking videos and pictures during “Sun Tan City” and “If You Ain’t Here to Party.” (Recently Justin Bieber tried this only to have fans start throwing cellphones on stage.)
Bryan is more than country. He’s Pink without the high-wire aerobatics (even though he shook his hips enough to qualify him for a guest spot on “Dancing With The Stars”). He’s Kiss without the makeup and the gaudy outfits. He’s a thirty-something Bieber without the cloud of smoke and the paparazzi.
He’s the new wave of country, which is actually just today’s pop.
Last year at the CMA Fest, Bryan thrilled the Nashville crowd with a quirky medley of Bieber, Lionel Richie, Adele and Journey.
Bryan proved his fondness for covers Friday night — with help from opening acts Florida Georgia Line and Thompson Square — in a Glee-with-a-touch-of-twang moment, rocking to Maroon 5’s “One More Night” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.”
The two-song showcase was all part of a well-orchestrated night of entertainment. Like a double-shot of Crown with a Corona chaser, Florida Georgia Line started the buzz as the rock-infused opening act. Thompson Square, despite an acoustically bass-heavy challenged set, continued the party and the husband-and-wife duo showed they are bound for another No. 1 hit with “If I Didn’t Have You.”
But the night, better yet, the party showcased Bryan.
He hit his vocal pinnacle of the evening during a moment he called “pickin’ and shakin’.” His band joined him center stage in a stripped-down moonshine-induced three-song set that included Bryan’s first No. 1 hit “Do I.”
From there he cranked it up with Jason Aldean’s current radio hit “The Only Way I Know,” which Bryan makes a guest appearance on along with Eric Church. Like the lyrics in the song, Bryan was full throttle, wide open and if he was tired, he didn’t show it.
The hoedown kept going with “Drunk on You” and Bryan enjoyed a Kumbaya moment as he slowed down the beat and the crowd belted out the lyrics. His bright-white smile shined in appreciation of the singalong.
He ended his nonstop, no-wardrobe change, ball-cap turned backward 16-song set with an unlikely mashup of his hit “All of My Friends Say” and Metallica’s rock-anthem “Enter Sandman.” He masterfully collided his first-ever single with the legendary headbanging tune, causing the fans to want even more.
In his encore, he continued the Sir-mix-whatever-he-wanted-to-with-country theme.
Bryan sprinkled a dash of Taio Cruz’s dance hit “Dynamite” with his No. 1 hit “I Don’t Want This Night to End.” He capped the evening with a 10-minute version of “Country Girl (Shake it for Me)” with a touch of Rihanna’s “What’s My Name.”
After pulling a fan on stage to show off his dance moves, Bryan took a well-deserved victory lap. He slapped hands. He fist bumped with fans. The man with only three albums to his credit didn’t leave anything on the stage.
Bryan also didn’t leave any doubts. He can headline.
Tom Hanson is a News Editor at the Naples Daily News and a country and rock music fan.