Luke Bryan serenades crowds on the farm
Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 13:10
Packed like sardines and dealing with elbow shoving and intermittent shrieks may not be an ideal atmosphere for listening to music, but for an intimate evening with one of country music’s brightest stars, anything goes.
This weekend, country singer Luke Bryan embarked on his annual Farm Tour for the fourth time, with this year being his first Farm Tour visit to Florida.
The concept of the tour comes from Bryan’s farm background. Each concert is held in a farm community in
cities like Tallahassee, Claxton, Auburn and Macon, and proceeds from the tour go toward scholarships for
students from farm communities.
With a $30 flat charge that included parking, the Farm Tour was an affordable alternative for fans of Bryan who weren’t able to attend his most recent tour with fellow country star Jason Aldean.
At 2 p.m., fans piled into the parking lots of Tallahassee’s tour venue, the Automobile Museum. Concertgoers quickly filled the vast parking lot and late-arriving fans were forced to park at a church a mile from the museum.
With general admission and no seating available, crowds lined up at the gates that opened at 5 p.m., huddled together in hopes of standing close to the performers. Two sections were created — one for fans who brought chairs for themselves, and a second that surrounded the stage for fans who had no plans to sit.
A DJ entertained fans with music — both country and other genres — during the two hours following the opening of the venue. Fans slowly packed the “standing-room only” area, aiming to get closer to the stage as anticipation increased.
Finally, at 7 p.m., the first opening act took the stage.
Chancie Neal, a budding 17-year-old country singer who has toured with Bryan for the last three years, opened the concert with covers of popular country songs. She was followed by Cole Swindell, another up-and-comer, who made way for Dallas Davidson, a member of the Peach Pickers, who are responsible for writing some of Bryan’s most popular songs.
At last, after more than two hours of opening acts and screaming fans, the stage went dark, signaling the arrival of the main act. After a short clip discussing the importance of the farm tour, Bryan emerged to the tune of his smash-hit single, “Rain Is A Good Thing.”
With Bryan’s introduction came the inevitable push to get closer to the stage, squeezing together the already tight quarters and leaving little room for movement.
After a short set of songs on the main stage, Bryan trekked to the smaller front stage, walking past fans lined up by the walkway and setting the desperate crowd ablaze.
The 36-year-old Georgia native did not limit himself to his own songs, or even to country music in general. When a piano emerged from underneath the stage, Bryan treated the crowd to a rendition of Adele’s
“Someone Like You,” rapped multiple verses of popular songs and ventured into rock with a Metallica classic “Enter Sandman.”
Bryan ended the night with the lead single from his newest album, “Tailgates and Tanlines,” and what may be his most popular song, “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).” His performance lasted nearly two hours — a span of screaming, elbowing, shoving and battling from the awe-inspired crowd.
Though it was a unique concert experience that may not appeal to all, the Luke Bryan Farm Tour was not
lacking in theatrics, crazed fans and fun.