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article imageReview: Luke Bryan masterful at Madison Square Garden in New York City Special

By Markos Papadatos     Sep 13, 2014 in Music
New York - Country mega-star Luke Bryan headlining his "That's My Kind of Night" tour at Madison Square Garden in New York on September 12.
This marked his second time playing at this iconic New York venue this year. He brought fellow country artists Lee Brice and Cole Swindell along with him on this tour, and they delivered impressive opening sets.
Bryan opened his set with "That's My Kind of Night" and from the very first note he had the crowd in the palm of his hand for the remainder of his evening.
He immediately broke into "Rain Is a Good Thing," as well as the upbeat "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" and the laid-back "All My Friends Say."
It was followed by his latest radio single "Roller Coaster," where he displayed his smooth, lilting vocals. He showed the New York audience his country roots on "Country Man," backed by a fiddle solo and he displayed his dancing skills. "Someone Else Calling You Baby" was a fun sing-along for the crowd.
"Madison Square Garden, New York City, how are you doing tonight?" Bryan asked, prior to expressing his gratitude "from the bottom of his heart" to his fans for helping him sell out the venue tonight.
He paid homage to September 11, 2001, and he brought out Lee Brice who assisted him in a gratuitous rendition of the national anthem, which they performed a-capella. They silenced the entire venue doing so, and their performance was well-received. "U.S.A.," the crowd kept chanting in return, showcasing their patriotic spirit. Brice also joined him for a cover of Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl," which was co-penned by Brice himself.
Bryan accompanied himself on piano while singing the soft ballad "Shut It Down" and he sang the fun "Fishin' in the Dark."
Fellow country singer Cole Swindell joined him for their version of Florida Georgia Line's "This is How We Roll," where Swindell sang the lead parts in lieu of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley. Swindell did the song more than justice and showcased his immense passion for his craft. This duet was a substantial indication that both Bryan and Swindell ought to do more collaborations in the future.
It was followed by the piano-driven tune "Do I," which was his first No. 1 single. Ever-humble, Bryan extended his appreciation to his fans for helping him secure that milestone.
One of the fan-favorite songs of the evening was "Crash My Party," which Bryan commenced a-capella and built it up into a true powerhouse vocal event. "Where are my party crashers at?" Bryan asked.
He changed the pace of his set, with the melancholic ballad "Drink a Beer," which he performed solo, sitting on a pier stage prop, with fog in the background. Towards the end of the song, he encouraged the fans to sing an additional chorus, as he inspired the audience to take a sip of their beers, while thinking about a person they used to sip beer with. It was definitely one of the most moving moments in this set, proving his versatility as an artist.
Another stand-out vocal was the electrifying "Drunk On You," and the country superstar shared that he was a "little drunk for New York" tonight. In "I Don't Want This Night to End," Bryan interacted well with the fans and ran across the stage in some instances. "I don't want this night at Madison Square Garden to end," he said. "I love you New York."
For his encore, he returned to sing his multi-week No. 1 single "Play It Again" and another crowd-favorite, the uptempo "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)."
The Verdict
Overall, Luke Bryan was spectacular at Madison Square Garden. He and his band gave New York City a night of country music that they will never forget. He proved to be a natural entertainer, with stellar stage presence. Swindell and Brice were sensational as well. It is no wonder that his songs are played regularly on New York's Nash FM 94.7. His concert garnered an A+ rating. If one has yet to see Bryan play in a live setting, then their life is not complete. They ought to add a ticket to a Luke Bryan concert on their bucket list.
For more information on Luke Bryan and his upcoming tour dates, visit his official website.
More about luke bryan, Madison square garden, New york, Country
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