Editor’s note: CMT Hot 20 Countdown will premiere its 300th episode from Bryan’s 10th annual Farm Tour on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 6-7) at 9 a.m. ET..
It was only five years ago that Jon Langston was one of the thousands of fans watching Luke Bryan’s show at his Farm Tour stop in Athens, Georgia. Langston was 22, and was at the show with his college buddies.
But it wasn’t his first rodeo. “When I was in high school, I’d go see Luke at the Georgia Theater in Athens. Then in 2012, for my birthday, my aunt got me front row tickets to see him at the Lakewood Amphitheatre in Atlanta,” Langston told me when we caught up before Bryan’s show in southern Illinois on Sept. 28. “Then in 2013, I went to his Farm Tour, and I remember being in that crowd, watching the show and thinking it would be awesome to be on that stage someday.”
And that someday is now.
After an injury sidelined Langston’s college football career, he said it was like God closed one door and then Bryan opened another. “Luke started following what we were doing, and he came down and saw our show,” he said. “And when I saw him side stage? That was a crazy surreal moment: to have a guy you’ve looked up to be watching you perform. I’d watched him so many times, and then the tables were turned. That was nerve-wracking, but turned out great.”
Earlier this year, when Bryan gave Langston the good news that he was signing him to his brand new 32 Bridge Entertainment record label, he said he had no idea the news was coming. “Until I saw that big ol’ grin of Luke’s, and I almost blacked out. Luke said, ‘I want to take you under my wing.’ Having him in my corner like that was exactly what I wanted. Man, I want to be like him. I want to follow him. I want to be entertainer of the year one day. He’s been the perfect role model, and I gravitated to that.”
Langston’s first single is “When It Comes To Loving You,” although the crowd at this Farm Tour show lost their minds when he played “Forever Girl,” the unofficial first song he recorded in his friend’s basement and released on YouTube.
What he told me about sharing that song with the world is that he was anxious about it, but it was good anxiety. “I was so nervous. Because no one had ever even heard me sing. But by putting myself out there,” he said, “I just fell in love with that feeling.”
Langston has two more Farm Tour shows this weekend, in South Carolina and Georgia, then will head out for his own Prob’ly at a Bar tour with dates through the end of the year.