I was this close to making a really bold Luke Bryan prediction, but he's about four years earlier than I thought. So consider this my #ThrowbackThursday admission that I'm not always right.
Back in June of 2008, Bryan was opening for Kenny Chesney at Chicago's Soldier Field. And I covered that show for the Chicago Tribune. Because I had word counts and space issues (oh, the struggles of print media!) to consider, I only gave Bryan two sentences out of my 475-word limit.
Here's what I wrote:
"Bryan, the show's opener, was every bit as engaging as Chesney was. So should the tables turn in another decade, Bryan could very well be tackling Soldier Field himself."
I was essentially saying that if he played his cards right, Bryan might end up headlining at Soldier Field in 2018. And yet, this Sunday (Aug. 31), that's exactly what he's going to do.
Before that 2008 show, I'd written a preview story, as well. I interviewed Bryan about what he told me he considered the "Super Bowl of country shows."
And when you pull some quotes from that article, Bryan sounds like the exact same guy he is today.
"It's hard to drag fans away from that parking lot vibe into the arena where beers are more expensive," he said. "But I will entertain every butt in those seats."
He was so right about that. And way to look out for our wallets, Luke.
"Everyone loves singing my hits 'All My Friends Say' and 'Country Man,'" he said. "And I may even do some old John Anderson covers."
He did "Money in the Bank."
"I'm a sucker for Kenny's 'Back Where I Come From,'" he added. "I love when LeAnn (Rimes) does 'Something's Gotta Give.' And I'm an insane Gary Allan fan, so whatever he's doin', I'm diggin'."
Sounds like Bryan was influenced by every artist he ever opened for.