STORY AND PHOTOS BY BREANN LENZMEIER
Despite the temperature being well below zero last Friday night, Luke Bryan was able to heat up the Fargodome as he brought his “That’s My Kind of Night” tour to Fargo.
The sold-out Fargodome welcomed Bryan, along with opening acts Cole Swindell and Lee Brice, with open arms, as they had everyone on their feet for most of the night.
Cole Swindell, whose debut album dropped on Feb. 18, got the crowd pumped up with his set including “I Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” and his current hit “Chillin It.” Swindell, who has helped write a number of country hits, showed why he belongs on stage with his smooth voice and his ease in wowing the crowd.
After Swindell’s 30 minute set, Lee Brice took to the stage and played slow tempo songs, which contrasted Swindell and Bryan’s sets as they played more fast tempo music. Brice played many hits from his “Hard 2 Love” CD including “I Drive Your Truck.” Brice showed his powerful voice throughout the set and got the crowd fired up for Bryan. From “A Woman Like You” to “Parking Lot Party,” Brice played the tunes fans were familiar with and that have helped him become a country star.
With Brice finishing his set a little before 9 p.m., it was time to get ready for the main act, Luke Bryan. The crew quickly set up for Bryan, and by 9:30 he took to the stage, coming out on top of a pickup in a ring of fire singing “That’s My Kind of Night.”
Bryan kept the party going through 18 songs and had the ladies screaming whenever he would do one of his famous dance moves. The Georgia native had the crowd going from the moment he appeared on stage to the last note he sang in the final song.
Bryan put everything he had into each song and made sure fans got their money’s worth.The musician interacted with the fans, talking about how the Fargodome is home of the North Dakota State Bison, but had fans laughing when he said the word in his accent. He also commented on how cold it was and how grateful he was for all the fans “selling this big ass place out,” in reference to the Fargodome.
With a unique stage setup that went out into the crowd, Bryan moved around the stage and made sure he called out to everyone in the Fargodome. The front of the stage changed from a pickup and a piano to a pier. It was obvious Bryan wanted this tour to be special, and he made sure fans enjoyed themselves.
Bryan’s songs are mostly about having a few cold ones and having a good time with your friends, but he showed during “Drink A Beer” how a song can also remember a loved one who has passed away.
Bryan not only sings well, but can play guitar with the best of them. During “Drink A Beer” he played while sitting on the pier and had the crowd singing along.
Playing popular hits like “Drunk on You” and “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” Bryan had the Fargodome rocking all night long. He would often put Fargo or North Dakota in his songs to specialize them, and that had the crowd going crazy.
Bryan brought Brice and Swindell back on stage for “If You Ain’t Here to Party” and the trio’s cover of Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us,” had the crowd excited and jumping up and down.
Bryan, the reigning American Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year, commanded the stage, but also showed off his band throughout the night.
When Bryan seemingly finished the show singing “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” he had the Fargodome going crazy. Luckily, he came back on for an encore, during which he sang “That’s the Only Way I Know,” a song that Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Bryan collaborated on that became a hit last year. Bryan finally gave his fans what they wanted when he finished the night with “Country Girl (Shake it for Me).” During this song he showcased his hip swaying and had the mostly female crowd going crazy.
From his bright smile to his ability to “shake it” for his fans, Bryan left his mark on Fargo, and showed why he is one of country’s leading guys right now. With the crowd singing along to most of the songs, Bryan gave the fans what they wanted: a Friday night with a country superstar that did not disappoint.