The Bro-est yet: Luke Bryan at the Linc

Posted: August 18, 2014

The sold-out, four-act concert headlined by Luke Bryan on Friday at Lincoln Financial Field was likely the most definitive showcase of "Bro Country" that the City of Brotherly Love has yet seen.

It was even more representative of the subgenre than the "Bro-C" fest powered by major stars Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line over at neighboring Citizens Bank Park two weeks prior.

Friday's spectacle was altogether bigger, longer, and, yes, more Bro-loaded, in terms of numbers, execution, styles (less country, more pop/rock) and those repeated thematic tropes: parties, pickup trucks, and beer. (Of commercial note: Whereas Aldean only had a Coors Light decal on his acoustic guitar, the personable Bryan ran around and splashed out the contents of many prominently displayed cans of Miller Lite.)

Aldean's headlining set at the Bank culminated in video-screen fireworks, capping his big-hit finale of "She's Country." In contrast, Bryan's climax to his 19-song performance included repeated launches of real-deal bombs-bursting-in-air pyrotechnics while he waggled his hips like a male stripper and the backing band pounded out a 14-minute maxi-version of his smash "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)."

Earlier, Bryan brought out the night's opening act, Cole Swindell, to do "This Is How We Roll," the party-down anthem that both artists co-wrote with the two Florida Georgia Line guys. Perhaps aided by Swindell's sporting an Eagles jersey in the home of the Birds, the tune was received even more wildly than the rousing take FGL did opening for Aldean.

By the time Bryan had ignited his show with his current tour's namesake song, "That's My Kind of Night," there were 50,000 folks in the Linc. Most were standing and loudly singing along as the lanky native of Leesburg, Ga., 38, power-crooned from atop the cab of a truck parked out on a stage ramp extending into the crowd, its headlights blinking, surrounded by a ring of fire.

However denigrated Bryan may be by some as shamelessly pop, it's obvious that many are content to be easy marks for his canny showmanship.

Two weeks earlier, Florida Georgia Line had its Delaware Valley bassist rap some of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Theme)." Friday, Bryan did that Will Smith bit also, but sandwiched it with some of Boyz II Men's "Motownphilly" and "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." Crowd roars ensued.

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