It’s official. After Saturday (Aug. 27), the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Blackhawks all have something new in common: Luke Bryan has played his music in all of their iconic homes.
“Wrigley Field! Saturday night! What a dream come true. This is a night I’ll never forget,” Bryan told the sold-out crowd from the stage about halfway into his set. “Because of you guys, I’ve had the opportunity to sell out Soldier Field, the United Center and now, Wrigley Field.”
It was Bryan’s first time playing the baseball field. But in October 2015, he played two nights at the United Center, the home of the Chicago’s Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. And in 2014, Bryan played the Chicago Bear’s football stadium for 60,000 people, breaking attendance records previously set by Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.
Bryan opened Saturday’s show with three of his most massive crowd-pleasers right out of the gate: “Rain Is a Good Thing,” “Kick the Dust Up” and “I See You.” And the rest of the night was more of the same, hit after hit after hit. He set aside some of the classics off his 2007 debut album to make room for the newer stuff that felt like it fit the night just right.
After slowing things down with his sultry “Strip It Down,” which he sang with one hand on the microphone and one hand casually in the pocket of his jeans, the mood was then set for his duet with Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, who joined Bryan for their No. 1 duet “Home Alone Tonight.”
Little Big Town had their own turn on stage before Bryan, with a 14-song set and a robust response from the fans.
Even after all the non-stop music, and a fast-approaching noise curfew of 11 p.m., Bryan took the time to give the fans a little lesson in finding love at a country show.
“All right, Wrigley Field, I wanna preach to you real quick. Guys, I want you to look around real closely. You are outnumbered 10 to one. And I’m not a mathematician. I’m just a good observer,” he said.
“So if you cannot hook up tonight, if you cannot make out with anybody, then you have zero game,” he joked, “especially with what Phillip is fixin’ to make happen.”
Which was when Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet covered Ed Sheeran’s heartfelt ballad of enduring love, “Thinking Out Loud.”
And that was right around the time that it started to feel like the seventh inning of the show, when a baseball crowd would start the obligatory “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” So Bryan, Sweet and Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook gave the unofficial baseball anthem a go.
“Not sure that’s the right groove,” Bryan admitted, as he eased into something more suitable, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”
And then it was time for Bryan to get back to business with his final five songs, closing the night with the fan-favorite, “Country Girl (Shake It for Me).”