Bayou Country Superfest, one of Baton Rouge’s largest country music concerts, descended on LSU’s Tiger Stadium last weekend. With a chance to experience my first country music concert, I was game for a music-packed Friday night.
The beginning of Friday night was filled with LED cowboy hats and a crowd that was still filing into Tiger Stadium, but the first couple of bands didn’t let the still-sparse stadium influence their performances. I missed the first act, Randy Rogers Band, but coming in at the tail end of the performance, it seemed as if the group was well received by the audience.
Little Big Town opened with an a capella version of “Jolene” before launching into full-band songs. One of the more pop-sounding acts of the night, you should enjoy Little Big Town even if you don’t normally listen to country music.
Music aside, the band’s style was tremendous. Karen Fairchild donned leather pants and a multi-colored top, while Kimberly Schlapman wore a futuristic jumpsuit with her signature blonde hair.
I’d actually heard a few songs by Lady Antebellum before Friday night, but the energy of the band’s performance made those heartfelt lyrics even more relatable, and overall the performance made me want to add the band to future playlists.
Luke Bryan owned the night with a host of songs that every audience member seemed to know, and while his version of country music isn’t necessarily my favorite, his connection with the crowd was immense and was interesting to watch. An obvious ladies’ man, Bryan played up his persona throughout his performance.
But the overall sentiment felt throughout the concert was that of a strong community. When a member of Lady Antebellum gradually lost his voice during the band’s set, members of Little Big Town filled in. When members of Little Big Town danced onstage, one shouted “Gimme your best Luke Bryan!” referring to Bryan’s habit of sensually moving his hips during performances.
There were a number of songs throughout the evening played with accompaniment from other band members. And each band made a consistent effort to include the crowd in their performances. I’ve been to my fair share of rock shows, and while audience participation is common, it didn’t happen as often as it did during my first country music experience. At one point, Lady Antebellum paused for the crowd to re-sing a chorus.
I think my first experience with live country music was a good one. It made me want to listen to more of the genre and showed me what a strong community some country music performers have.