Yesterday Luke Bryan held a press conference in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena with Live Nation concert promoter Brian O’Connell to announce the That’s My Kind Of Night 2014 Tour, with supporting acts Lee Brice and Cole Swindell. This will be Luke’s first-ever tour that includes stadium dates. Get the tour details >>
After the announcement, Luke stayed to answer questions from the press. Here’s part 1 of his Q&A — check back tomorrow for part 2!
Q: How did you know your career had reached the level of playing in stadiums?
A: We operate off ‘gut.’ What do we feel in our hearts? What do we feel fans telling us? What are we seeing happening online?
Q: Are there any regional differences in the way that fans react to you?
A: What’s amazing is when you go into these markets. Quite frankly, when I moved to Nashville and I would do shows in Philly, I would wonder, ‘How are they gonna respond to a kid from Georgia?’ And going into these markets and seeing hard-working country music fans that are more passionate than the fans that I grew up playing [for] in college bars, it’s really such an uplifting experience. I remember calling my dad saying, ‘I’m playing in downtown Philly tonight’ and he was like, ‘Really?!’ It’s very inspiring.
Q: When did you start dreaming about playing stadiums?
A: I guess I dreamed about it for years. Picking the right time in your heart to go do it…I had some wise people tell me when I moved to Nashville, ‘Aim for the stars.’ So I guess that’s when I started dreaming about stadiums. When you’re watching the guys that paved the way and opened country music up to stadiums…I remember being a kid going to see George Strait at a stadium and looking around, going, ‘This is amazing. What can I do one day to hopefully arrive at this moment?’ So the dream has been there for years. And since that dream started, it’s been all about growing it gradually to the point where you feel like you can go after it.
Q: Can you describe the “bells & whistles” of the tour?
A: We’re seated on a circular stage that will be out in the middle of the crowd [Luke points down to the stage where he held the press conference.]. Under all of this are set pieces that change. During the show, there will be eight or nine guys under here the whole show. We were joking because they’re going to have to have hard hats on. I will spend some of the show under here too. I’m not gonna tell all of the surprises and secrets, but we’re excited about this element.
[Luke turns around and points behind him to the video screens.] You can see we have quadrupled our video screens. It may be even more than quadrupled. We know the quality of video. Every year, growing your tour is a by-product of your fans’ support. I will continue to grow the tour and give the fans something new every year. My main thing is, ‘More lights, more speakers, more video, more camera guys. More things to make it a very special interactive experience with the fans.
Check back tomorrow for part 2 of Luke’s Q&A!