The night before Luke Bryan played Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Billy Joel had packed in a sold-out crowd at the iconic baseball field.
And by the time Joel’s road crew was finished loading out early Saturday morning (Aug. 27), it was time for Bryan’s crew to load in. And it was pouring rain.
So when I had the chance to ask Bryan what that was like to be the boss of a massive crew when times were tough, he admitted he can only do what he does because of what they do.
“My guys, man, sometimes I don’t know how hard they work,” Bryan replied.
We talked about everything that goes on behind the scenes while he’s getting ready for the show, and how far he’s come since his debut album was released nine years ago.
Before that, it was just Bryan and his band on the road going from gig to gig. No crew of hundreds. No convoy of buses. And certainly, no venues like this one.
That’s not lost on him, either.
“We make sure we thank everyone for going the extra mile, every night,” he said.
“A couple years ago, I wouldn’t be able to sleep before these big shows. I would’ve woke up early, started coffee and checked on everything. I’d run myself down that way,” he said.
“At this point of the game, though, knock on wood, we’ve dealt with every hurdle you can deal with and we’ve learned how to overcome whatever we need to overcome,” he said about how he can be so confident that everyone is doing their job — and doing it well.
Which means he can now be a little more hands off and not involve himself in every little detail.
“It’s nice to be relaxed in this role,” Bryan said.