The Carrier Dome in Syracuse held it’s largest country music concert to date with Luke Bryan and his Kill The Lights Tour, featuring Grammy award-winning performers Little Big Town and rising star Dustin Lynch this past Saturday night. Fans from all across the country traveled to the Salt City to attend the event and indulge in some of country’s most popular music. As the chilled spring evening got underway, the halls and seats began to fill with enthusiastic concert-goers dressed to the nines in jeans, boots, plaid shirts, cowboy hats, and ball caps.
With no time to spare, the house lights dropped as the sound system started thumping, synchronizing with blue pulsating stage lights. Dustin Lynch and his band invaded the stage for their brief set and kicked off the night with “To the Sky,” from his latest release Where It’s At. Strapped with his Taylor acoustic and cowboy hat, the Nashville-born singer warmed up the eager crowd with more of his hits including “Cowboys & Angels,” “Mind Reader,” and topped off with “Hell of a Night.” Bearing a smile the entire time on stage, Lynch frequently thanked the audience for helping him feel welcome to their town.
Four-part vocal group Little Big Town, began their set with an a cappella version of Dolly Parton‘s “Jolene,” giving nod to the accomplished female singer. The full band joined in with “Little White Church,” an upbeat single led by elemental vocalist Karen Fairchild, who donned a Ramones tee and sparkling silver coat. Their hip-swinging summer anthem “Pontoon,” allowed the energy to settle a bit before building up again with their latest title track “Pain Killer.” Kim Schlapman took to the catwalk with her flashy gold dress while she led vocals on “Sober.” The memorable moments of their set were embellished by crowd participation in Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain,” the disco ball lighting during “Girl Crush,” and the unified whistling of “Day Drinking” before ending with the classic homage to their hometowns, “Boondocks.”
After an extended intermission, the house lights dropped one final time and the audience erupted as green lasers beamed through the hazy interior. The host and star of the evening, Luke Bryan, kicked off his set with “Rain is a Good Thing” as he appeared at the top the LED-lit steps and danced his way the down to the stage with a video montage of stormy landscapes in the background. Bryan took his “signature” pelvis-shaking moves down the catwalk to heat up the crowd during “Kick the Dust Up.” Bryan and his band continued to shake the sold-out Carrier Dome with more of his hits including “Crash My Party,” “Play It Again,” and “Roller Coaster,” before rising up through the catwalk with Karen (Little Big Town) for a intimate vocal duet on “Home Alone Tonight.”
Sparing little time, Fairchild and Bryan hustled back to the stage to welcome the remaining members of Little Big Town for a mash-up of Ed Sheerans‘ “Thinking Out Loud” and Marvin Gayes‘ “Let’s Get It On,” all while toasting each other with celebratory shots of liquor. Luke stepped up his game with having tour opener Dustin Lynch join him for a rockin’ rendition of Brooks & Dunn‘s “Play Something Country.” Moments after, the 2016 CMA Entertainer of the Year directed the crew to turn the stage lights out and asked the audience to light up the dome with their cell phones, displaying a beautiful fluorescent glow upon the dome’s white canopy. Luke delicately sang “Drink A Beer,” while strumming his acoustic at the edge of the catwalk and asked the crowd, “If any of you out there have lost a loved one that you used to drink a beer with, lets take a sip right now and think of them,” while holding his Miller Lite can up high.
With the recent passing of country legend, Merle Haggard, Bryan wouldn’t let the evening go by without paying tribute to him with his 1982 classic “Big City.” As the historical evening started to wrap up, the country star busted out a few more popular hits like “All My Friends Say,” “That’s My Kind of Night,” and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” before ending with “I Don’t Want This Night to End.” Bryan recognized and thanked Syracuse consistently throughout his performance, for making this night so special to him and his band.
Luke Bryan Setlist: Rain Is a Good Thing, Kick the Dust Up, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, Move, I See You, Crash My Party, Play It Again, Roller Coaster, Strip it Down, Home Alone Tonight, Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran)/Let’s Get it On (Marvin Gaye), Play Something Country (Brooks and Dunn), Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day, Drink a Beer, We Rode in Trucks, Big City (Merle Haggard), Drunk on You, All My Friends Say, That’s My Kind of Night
Encore: Country Girl (Shake it For Me), I Don’t Want This Night to End/Can’t Feel my Face (The Weeknd)
Little Big Town Set:
Jolene (Dolly Parton), Little White Church, Pontoon, Front Porch Thing, Pain Killer, Sober, Pavement Ends, Tornado, Stay All Night, Save Your Sin, The Chain (Fleetwood Mac), Day Drinking, Girl Crush, Boondocks
Dustin Lynch Set:
To the Sky, Halo, Cowboys and Angels, Where it’s at, Small Town Boy Like Me, Mind Reader, Hell of a Night