Luke Bryan Was “100 Times More Nervous” Six Years Ago

Catching Up With the Superstar Backstage at Chicago's Soldier Field

Luke Bryan played for approximately 60,000 fans on Sunday night (Aug. 31). You’d think he would’ve been nervous about that.

But when I talked to him a couple of hours before he took the stage in the end zone of Chicago’s Soldier Field, he said he was much more anxious the first time he performed at the venue.

“I was 100 times more nervous going out there with Kenny (Chesney) because I’d never even remotely seen anything like this,” Bryan told me about the show he opened in the exact same spot in 2008. “So the fact that we’re here now, it’s amazing. It’s still just as exciting and fun.”

Bryan may not get stage fright or nerves anymore, but that may be because he’s learned how to make his days on the road as stress free as possible.

“I’ve learned how to kind of chill during the day and take it easy and gradually get ready for the show,” he said. “I’ve got good routines and good practices. And I stick to them.”

Bryan’s must-haves for a show day include:

1. A workout. (However, he admits he doesn’t work out as rigorously as Tim McGraw does.)

2. A good night’s sleep.

3. Some songwriting.

“I try to sit on the bus and write a song or listen to songs because when I’m out here, I can really immerse myself in music,” he said. “When I’m home, that’s a little tougher with wanting to kind of catch up with the boys and do things with them during the day. It’s a little easier for me to be all about music out here.

“I’m always typing ideas into my phone. Sometimes I’ll even sing the ideas into my voice recorder. The main thing is: ’Why did you have the idea? What made you think it? What inspired the idea?’ That’s how you can really capture that for a song.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.