Luke Bryan at Gillette Stadium (Night #1) 7-15-16

Courtesy of Gillette Stadium - David Silverman

Courtesy of Gillette Stadium / David Silverman

“They told me I just had to say one thing: Free Tom Brady!”  With that, the crowd belonged to Luke for the night.

Luke Bryan unleashed his killer line-up for his “Kill The Lights” tour to Gillette Stadium for the weekend with lights and smoke and lasers and fireworks…and beer. From the time you walked in, you were inundated with Gillette Stadium’s most expensive beers. Seriously, it was the first time I was at a venue where wine cost less than a Bud.

The event opened with Dustin Lynch, who just a few short years ago, was playing the Barnstable County Fair to a packed house. There were a lot of empty seats and the stage seemed almost too big. Dustin came out later during Luke’s set to team up for “Play Me Some Country Music”… Wearing a Tom Brady t-shirt, which gave him a chance to get in front of a real crowd and throw some beers around with Luke.

Next in line were Chris Stapleton and his wife Morgane. I was excited to see Chris. He did a set that was pretty much what I expected: Low-key home-style country music with no fuss. One stand out was a duet with his wife of “You Are My Sunshine” which you can find on his “Southern Family” album. It was edgy and haunting and uplifting all while really showcasing Morgane’s singing against Chris’s guitar work.

I felt the wait between acts was a little long; as were the lines for Friendly’s Ice Cream. And I could have done without the trance-dance-hip-hop music played between acts. I am sure every Dad who brought his little girl to the concert agreed! (And there were lots of fathers with their daughters at the show!) I also notice something else: a strong police presence. From SWAT to K-9 to uniformed officers, there was an entire battalion of law enforcement: each was often interrupted by concert-goers thanking them, asking to take a picture or shake their hand, or even an occasional hug.

Little Big Town came out with a musical running start. Their set was like a greatest hits playlist and the fans sang along to each song from Pontoon to Day Drinking to Tornado. Karen Fairchild did her best to interact with fans from the long catwalk. She stopped many times to take selfies with fans from the stage. Kimberly Schlapman also made her way down the long runway to the delight of fans.

As the sun finally faded we were washed once again in beat-music that I could feel pounding through my strawberry ice cream. (I was hot and the ice cream was cold – don’t judge… Besides, ice cream was 1/3 the price of another beer and the same price as a bottle of water!)

Finally, the lights dimmed, the smoke machines kicked into full power, the green lasers cut through the air in the stadium and the fireworks lit up the sky to announce the arrival of Luke Bryan

 Courtesy of Gillette Stadium / David Silverman

Courtesy of Gillette Stadium / David Silverman

to the stage. His performance was fun and full of emotion and energy. Yes he was wearing his tightest jeans and giggling at his own suave dance moves. It was a shame the camera operators were filming him from the waste up most of the time as I am sure there were plenty of women who missed his more subtle moves while watching the show on the jumbotron! At times I also felt like the lights and pyrotechnics were a bit unnecessary, but the crowd was cheering and dancing and clapping along.

We were treated to a catalogue of Luke’s greatest hits that had everyone on their feet and dancing from start to finish. Luke even announced he was adding 4 more songs to the set: “In honor of those four games… You know what I am talking about, Gillette!”

Luke brought Karen Fairchild from LBT out for a version of “Home Alone Tonight” that seemed a little rough around the edges, but followed it up by bringing the entire band out for a few Motown songs that were a stand-out moment in his set.

I don’t want to give away all the surprises, in case you are already tailgating in preparation for tonight’s performances.

All in all, it was a great night. I normally prefer seeing concerts in smaller venues, but the crowd was well behaved (mostly) and friendly and definitely there to have a good old fun night of tail-gate style partying.

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.

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