Luke Bryan Plays it Again

On Sept. 10, Luke Bryan performed all his hit songs in Tinley Park at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater.


Photo taken and provided by Stacey Weber

Sarah Kueking, Managing Editor

Luke Bryan’s songs have been blasting on country music radio stations for as long as I can remember. I used to speed-skate to his songs at the roller skating rink near my house all the time. So when I heard that my friends were attending his concert on Saturday, Sept. 10th, I couldn’t fathom not tagging along. The show, which took place at the Hollywood Casino Ampitheater in Tinley Park, Ill, was a part of the past American Idol judge’s Raised Up Right tour and followed the 2020 release of his most recent album, “Born Here Live Here Die Here.” 

The venue won me over immediately. Security was easy to get through and the staff were friendly. My friend had snagged four tickets for actual seats (not standing on the lawn) with an unobscured view for only $90 each. The merchandise was also cheaper than I had seen at other concerts. We bought T-shirts for $35 each, which might sound expensive, but I had just paid $40 for a shirt at Morgan Wallen’s concert on Aug. 27th at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Mo. 

Luke Bryan’s concert kicked off with two openers – Mitchell Tenpenny and Riley Green. Although nearly everyone in the audience spent the openers’ times onstage complaining it was taking too long for Bryan to saunter into sight, having openers at concerts is vital for new artists to be heard before becoming rich and famous.

First up at 7 p.m. on the dot was Tenpenny, a 33-year-old Nashville native who abandoned football to pursue his dream of becoming a professional country-pop singer and songwriter. The only song I had heard of Tenpenny’s before was “Truth About You,” one of his more recent releases. I enjoyed parts of his performance, but due to his mediocre enunciation, it was difficult to make out the words to the rest of his songs.

After that, Green took the stage. Green, also 33, is a country singer from Jacksonville, Ala. I had never heard any of his songs before, but I liked his performances more because I could understand the words he was singing much better. He even joined Bryan onstage later on in the night to sing with him.

Then, Bryan came on, and it was about time. Due to the excessive waiting period between performers, Bryan did not even walk out onto the stage until after 9 p.m. It’s understandable that the bands and equipment needed to be switched, but that was only supposed to take up to 15 minutes on each occasion. Between Green and Bryan, we waited much longer than 15 minutes. My friends and I were really starting to get impatient, but at least we had time to go to the bathroom and get refreshments.

The experience was well worth the wait. By the time Bryan walked out onto the stage, the other audience members were so happy they leapt out of their seats with joy. For the rest of the time he sang, the people in the stands never stopped dancing, whether they were seated or on their feet. The energy was absolutely contagious. Everyone loved Bryan so much he barely even had to talk between songs to get the audience to cheer for him.

Not only was the experience great, but so were the songs Bryan chose. Bryan performed some of his classic hits in addition to some of his newer songs from “Born Here Live Here Die Here.” Some old favorites he sang included “Country Girl,” “That’s My Kind of Night” and “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset.” From his newest album, Bryan performed “One Margarita,” “Knockin’ Boots” and “Down to One.” I don’t know Bryan’s music as well as I know other artists, but I still had a blast listening to all his songs, and the enunciation issue that hindered Tenpenny was not at all a problem for Bryan. 

My favorite part of the entire concert was when Bryan sat at the piano and sang his sweetest, yet most sorrowful, ballads. The two I remember most were “Strip it Down” and “Drink a Beer.” In “Strip it Down,” Bryan begs for an old flame to “Let it fade to black…like it used to be” when they were together. On a darker note, in the song “Drink a Beer,” Bryan mourns the loss of a loved one, commenting how it’s “Funny how the good ones go / Too soon, but the good Lord knows / The reasons why…Right now it don’t make sense.” Although I had never heard either song before, both brought tears to my eyes. 

The last songs Bryan sang as I followed my friends out of the Amphitheater were two songs I’ve known for years, “Play it Again” and “I Don’t Want This Night to End.” I didn’t want the night to end, either. I loved being introduced to Tenpenny and Green, but Bryan far exceeded my entertainment expectations. I would see him again tomorrow if I could.

Although not with Bryan, I will be playing it again when I see Keith Urban at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24th at the same location (the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Tinley Park). Hopefully it won’t take over two hours for Urban to show his face. If anyone is interested in attending Urban’s concert this weekend, tickets are on sale online at Depending on the concert-goer’s distance from the stage, available tickets for Urban’s concert range from $29.50 to $79.50 each. 

For readers more into rock than country, tickets for the bands Five Finger Death Punch, Megadeth and The Hu concert in Tinley Park on Sept. 30th can be purchased here. The Five Finger Death Punch tickets cost upwards of $48.