BBMAs 2018

Luke Bryan Fights the Elements, Wins the Crowds as 'Farm Tour' Rolls Into Alabama

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Luke Byran performs during the Luke Byran album release party at iHeartradio Performance Theater on Aug. 6, 2015 in New York City. 

Luke Bryan’s annual Farm Tour hit Twin Creeks Farm in Tuscaloosa, Alabama last night, and the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year was happy that the weather was not an issue, with a perfect autumn night in the south. “Thank the Lord,” he told Billboard. “Obviously, I preach that rain is a good thing,” referring to his hit from 2010, “but when you’re trying to do shows, it makes things a little difficult.”

The weather has made for scheduling havoc, Bryan explained, but he says it is all working out. “This has certainly been our most challenging year, but it’s also been our biggest. Every Farm Tour stop that we’ve added has been amazing. When we did our Indiana show, we just had this idea it was going to be a crazy year. The next day, we had to postpone Lexington because we had five or six inches of rain,” he said.

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Bryan stated that he hates to reschedule any shows, but the conditions left him no choice. “We pulled off the pavement, and every tour bus and truck literally started sinking. We had to get tow trucks to get us out. People obviously weren’t going to be able to park their cars. Then, we had to reschedule Knoxville, and Columbia, South Carolina, of course. Now, we’ve got the dates rescheduled. We’re going to make it up to the fans every way we can,” he assured. All in all, he said the unpredictable nature of the Farm Tour is what makes it special. “The fun thing about it is that there is no complacency because it throws you curve balls every year. It keeps everybody on their toes.”
 
From a production standpoint, pulling the Farm Tour off is quite a feat, as there is much more to consider than a usual appearance. “An arena show is a cakewalk as opposed to setting up a fully operational tour in the middle of a field. With the Farm Tour this year, I’ve got seven shows in a row -- seventeen shows in twenty-one days. There’s a lot of nostalgia involved too when you realize that two weeks ago these places were just pastures and hay fields, and now we have 15,000 to 20,000 people out here having a good time.”
 
The Farm Tour allows the Leesburg, Georgia native to give back to the neighborhoods that host him. It’s something he doesn’t take lightly. “As long as we leave their farm better than we found it, that’s the important thing. When we postpone shows, we can’t let people come out and tear people’s farms up or dump football fields of gravel on their hayfields and crops. We give out a scholarship to a kid from an agricultural community to the University of Alabama. We do that with every town at the local college. We really try to give back to those areas.”
 
The singer has a little bit of help from his sponsors, as well. “We’ve got Red Gold Tomatoes and Bayer CropScience. Bayer has agricultural chemicals and they are giving out a $5,000 voucher of chemicals to a local farmer, and we’ll give that out on stage. It’s a pretty cool thing.”

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Concert-wise, Bryan was in top form for the 20,000 plus in the land of the Crimson Tide. Kicking off his set with “Kick the Dust Up,” the singer gave fans a heavy dose of his hits including “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” “Roller Coaster,” and “I Don’t Want This Night To End.” He also sampled a couple of the songs that he listened to on the farm growing up – “Mountain Music” by Alabama, as well as “Where The Green Grass Grows” from Tim McGraw. He left fans wanting more, with “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” and “That’s My Kind Of Night” sending fans home more than satisfied -- leaving little doubt why Bryan is the front runner to repeat as the top winner from the CMA in less than three weeks!
 
Opening the show for Bryan was Warner Brothers’ Chris Janson who delighted the audience with a rambunctious set that include his high-flying hit “Buy Me A Boat,” and MCA’s Sam Hunt -- who showed why he likely won’t be an opening act for long, with a performance that included his blockbuster hits “Leave The Night On” and “House Party.”
 
Luke Bryan Farm Tour Dates:
Oct. 9 -- Macon, Georgia
Oct. 10 -- Valdosta, Georgia
Oct. 11 -- Columbia, South Carolina
Oct. 12 -- Knoxville, Tennessee