When I found out Luke Bryan was coming to Conway Township to play in front of about 20,000 people, I thought I was in for a surprise.
It was like a dream: filling a cornfield with a stage, 20,000 fans and country music superstars. As a country music fan since kindergarten, I always go to concerts, even if it's for work.
Over the past year, my friends and I have been playing country concerts at Pine Knob Music Theater, formerly DTE Energy Music Theater, and The Fillmore.
In the country music scene we have seen big names like Brad Paisley, Randy Houser, Joe Nichols, Brooks & Dunn, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban and Florida Georgia Line. We saw new artists like Parker McCollum, Lauren Alaina, Shy Carter, Hardy, Lainey Wilson, Chase Rice, Walker Hayes, Tyler Rich, Tenille Townes, Scotty McCreery, Jordan Davis, Conner Smith, LoCash and Ingrid Andress.
Now add Jameson Rodgers, The Peach Pickers and Riley Green, who warmed up for Bryan on Saturday night at the Kubiak family farm near Webberville.
Over the years I have also seen Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Eli Young Band, Olivia Lane, Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys, Jordan Rager, Drew Baldridge, Chris Lane, Chris Young, Frankie Ballard and Dustin Lynch; To name a few.
This concert is different.
In open spaces like Pine Knob it's hard to tell how many people were there, but in Conway Township you can clearly see a seemingly endless line of cars, people playing beer pong and cornholes, loud music and fun on a sunny day. . . spicy
The chemistry is electric, like a big party in the middle of a cornfield. Everyone is nice and having a good time.
Although Saturday night's party was held in the cornfield, it looked familiar, knowing that it would all be gone the next day. Thousands of people, including myself, stood in long lines for about two hours while the sun shone down on us, but the crowd was quiet, despite wanting to get in. The beer flowed to strangers and the crowd cheered as the door opened.
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They all entered and walked through the gardens, some with chairs in hand. No designated seating, of course, but plenty of portable toilets.
The longer it is, the more crowded the room is. As the sun went down, we all stood shoulder to shoulder with people raising their glasses in the air and shouting the lyrics at the top of their lungs.
Jameson Rodgers performed his hit "Cold Beer Calling My Name" with Luke Combs and fans enjoyed beer and other beverages. It also featured Chris Lane's hit single, "I Don't Know About You," as well as her first single, "Some Girls," which was a hit.
It wasn't Rodgers, Riley Green, or even Luke Bryan that impressed me. It was Peach Pickers with dads Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip.
The trio sang 12 different songs they wrote or simply wanted to cover, including "What's Your Country Song?" By Thomas Rhett, "Runnin' Out of Moonlight" by Randy Houser, "Honeybee" and "Boys Round Here" by Blake Shelton, "Dirt on my Boots" by Jon Pardi, "Silverado For Sale" by Morgan Wallen, "Small Town" Boy "Dustin Lynch", "Backroad Song" by Granger Smith, "That Ain't My Truck" by Rhett Akins and "One of Them Girls" by Lee Brice.
Riley Green delighted fans with the arrival of Luke Bryan, but the crowd sang the lyrics to his and Thomas Rhett-penned "Half of Me," along with their hit "There Was This Girl." The hour wait led to Bryan's arrival and the whole room shook with excitement as he sang "I Don't Want This Night To End" from 2011's Tailgates & Tanlines and "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye".
He sang the chart-toppers "Kick The Dust Up" from 2015's Kill The Lights, "Knockin' Boots" and "One Margarita" from 2020's Born Here Live Here Die Here, and "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset" from 2017's "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset". the album What makes you a country?
As a fan, ever since I heard "All My Friends Say" from her 2007 album, I'll Stay Me, I've been excited to see her in person and she delivered. I hope to have the chance to do it again next year when Kubiak of Conway Township decides to return to the family farm for the third year in a row.
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Patricia Alvord at [email protected].
This article originally appeared in the Livingston Daily: Alvord: As a country fan, Luke Bryan is a lot of fun