On Sept. 17, American singer and songwriter Kane Brown performed at Pinnacle Bank Arena after postponing the concert twice due to COVID-19.
Downtown Lincoln was buzzing with concert-goers for the evening. After having to postpone his performance not once, but twice because of the virus, Kane Brown and his openers, Restless Road and Chris Lane, put on a show that had the crowd excited and on their feet from beginning to end.
Outside of Pinnacle Bank Arena, country music lovers lined the sidewalks to get inside the building long before the show was scheduled to start. The buzz of the crowd could be heard from several blocks away. Inside, people were preparing themselves for the show, buying merchandise, snacks and beverages. As people began taking their seats, a hum of excitement filled the room.
As 7 p.m. rolled around, the lights in the half-empty arena went down. Although many of the seats weren’t yet filled, loud screams of exuberance filled the room. When the lights came back up and music started playing, the three members of Restless Road were in the center of the stage. The Nashville, Tennessee band brought energy to the room and to the audience members present for their performance.
The band played several of their own songs, as well as a cover of “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard and a reimagined version of “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver. As their set went on, the crowd began getting more involved with the music, clapping along and singing the lines they could pick up on. Towards the end of their performance, the band made a Tik Tok with the crowd that they posted to their account with two million followers. They successfully got the crowd warmed up and enthusiastic.
After a brief intermission to rearrange the set-up for the next performer, the lights went down again. This time, most seats were filled and the eager screams from the crowd were much louder than before. A video started playing to introduce the next singer, which increased the sense of anticipation because the crowd knew he’d soon appear on stage. All of a sudden, Chris Lane strolled out from behind the stage as the audience erupted in screams of exuberance.
Lane captivated the audience with his act because of his energy and engagement with the fans. He danced around the stage, working the crowd and getting many people up on their feet, clapping and dancing along with him. He played a few of his most popular songs including “Take Back Home Girl,” “Fill Them Boots” and “Big, Big Plans,” during which he helped a man in the audience propose to his girlfriend. Everyone in the arena cheered for the couple when she said yes. Although Restless Road had increased the crowd’s energy with their performance, Lane took it to the next level. There was intense exhilaration all throughout the room at the end of his performance.
After another intermission to prepare the stage for Kane Brown, the lights went down once more, and this time the screams of anticipation were deafening. A video of Brown played on the big screen in the middle of the stage. There were bright green and white lights flashing around the room as the bass reverberated in surround sound. The excitement was so potent, it could be felt in your throat.
When the lights finally came up, Brown was standing on a beam near the ceiling. Hooked up to a harness, he jumped off the beam and landed safely on the stage. There was a controlled fire burning on either side of him when he got down. The heat from the fire could be felt and smelled all around the room when flames shot up from the stage. Before he even opened his mouth to sing, he had already captured the attention of the whole arena.
Throughout the night, Brown played a mixture of both new and old songs, making sure to include all of his most popular hits. The songs that got the biggest reactions from the crowd were “Heaven” and “What Ifs,” which were the last songs to be played. During both numbers, he let the crowd sing without him for a few lines, and they didn’t disappoint, shouting the words out loud together.
In addition to the upbeat songs the crowd revealed in the bright lights, fire and smoke that added to the show, Brown slowed things down and took a moment to be more serious and vulnerable with the audience. He shared a hard part of his life story during the songs “Learning” and “For My Daughter.” Both revolve around the idea of being abused by his father when he was young, but growing up to be a better man, as well as someone who’s achieved something in life. He told the audience, “If you have a dream to do something, anything is possible.”
Throughout the entirety of the concert, the audience was engaged and appeared to be having a great time. People were dancing, singing, clapping and cheering for each of the performers. When Brown took over the stage, he seemed to hold the attention of the crowd effortlessly because they responded to his every word. It was clear that the people who went to Brown’s concert were satisfied with how they chose to spend their Friday night.