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Concert review: Luke Bryan shows Fort Wayne the love

It's the second time he's played a sold-out show here in less than a year

Friday, February 22, 2013 - 12:14 pm

Luke Bryan makes my heart go boom boom – and I'd guess most of the other female concert-goers at his show Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum.

This is the second time he's sold out here in less than a year. The first was back in May with Jason Aldean.

He really showed Fort Wayne the love, in a set that lasted 1 hour, 45 minutes. And Fort Wayne loved him right back, with probably three-quarters of the sold-out arena on their feet the entire show.

And really, how can you stay glued to your seat when a song like "Drinkin' Beer and Wastin' Bullets" comes on?

From the time he came out at 9:30 p.m. Bryan was a writhing bundle of energy. Dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans with a black ball cap, he danced, jumped, ran and cavorted all over the stage, smiled that gorgeous smile and flirted with the girls.

Those who paid for pit tickets may have been disappointed, because Bryan spent a lot of time on an extended part of the stage that jutted out halfway into the arena. It was shaped like a cross, so he was all over, playing to all sides of the arena. So being right up front didn't necessarily get you any closer access to him.

He played to the audience, interacted with the audience, flattered the audience. "There ain't nothin' like playing country music in the great state of Indiana," he said.

He lifted two little girls onstage and let them sing with him. It was adorable. Endearing.

He took people's cell phones and took pictures of himself, then handed them back.

Sounding more rock than country a lot of the time, he tore it up with songs like "Muckalee Creek Water," a tribute to his south Georgia roots, and "If You Ain't Here to Party," a tribute to spring break.

Then he took a bit of an interlude, gathering band members around in a circle in the middle of that big cross that bisected the floor. A piano slowly rose up from the floor, and they settled in for what Bryan described as some "pickin' and grinin'." He passed around a Mason jar with what he said had moonshine in it.

They played a few quieter songs, including "Dirt Road Diary," which coincidentally is the name of his tour.

Then the piano receded back into the floor and the pace picked right back up, with "Drunk on You" and "All My Friends Say."

For his encore Bryan sang "I Don't Want this Night to End" – a fitting song to end the concert – except it didn't.

Because what would a Luke Bryan concert be without "Country Girl (Shake it for Me)"?

Of course he sang it, accompanied by his signature hip-swaying, booty-shaking moves, and The. Crowd. Went. Wild. At least the girls did. Old Elvis the Pelvis had nothing on Luke Bryan.

He even came down off the stage and up into the seats to shake it with some women in the audience. Lucky broads.

Then he was back onstage, bowing, waving, smiling, saying his goodbyes, and poof – it was over. The night did have to end, after all.