Luke Bryan’s popularity is phenomenal. In the past 8 years he’s gone from rising country star to the leader of the pack. With four studio albums under his belt, Luke has amassed a number of chart hits, millions of record sales and built a formidable fan base across the globe. It’s incredible to think that he’s never made it over to England but that all changed last night as he headlined the first day of C2C: Country To Country at London’s O2 Area.
That’s My Kind of Night, taken from Luke’s current album Crash My Party, opened his set on a high note. The audience knew all of the words and it got everyone in the arena on their feet. Over the course of Luke’s set he celebrated hits from across his career along with selections from Crash My Party. Drunk On You was a welcome addition to the setlist as was Rain is a Good Thing, one of Luke’s earlier hits.
Highlights over the course of the set included the heartfelt Drink a Beer (complete with audience sing-a-long), current single I See You, and a solid rendition of his 2009 hit Do I. Luke also slipped in a partial cover of the Commodores’ classic Easy during a section of the show where he played the keys and he mashed up I Don’t Want This Night To End with Taio Cruz’s Dynamite.
Luke has the charm of a down-to-earth everyday kinda guy. Kitted out in a t-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap, part of his appeal is how relatable he is to his audience. He laughed and joked with the crowd throughout his set, impressed with his gyrating and soaked up the atmosphere of a crowd that had waited all day just to see him.
One of the things that really impressed us was Luke’s voice. He has a really rich vibrato that he uses to great effect. His deep Nashville tones sounded fantastic throughout his set and he has a wider vocal range than we’d previously realised.
The set, and Day 1 of C2C, came to a close with 2011 hit Country Girl (Shake It For Me) ,which was packed with as much hip-swivelling as it was singing. Luke was in his element teasing the crowd and sending revellers in the front rows into a frenzy with his gyrations.
Luke Bryan’s C2C set was the highlight of the first day. Whilst all four sets were good in their own ways, Luke really topped the night off with a mixture of high energy and solid country music. It’s not hard to understand how he’s achieved the success he has and judging from the reception he received at C2C he would have a good chance of adding to his list of achievements by concentrating more on the UK with his future releases.