LIVE: Kane Brown @ Times Union Center, 3/6/2020
To call Kane Brown‘s rise to stardom meteoric would be an understatement. Five years ago he was posting videos online. Three years ago he played to a sold out show at Upstate Concert Hall. Last summer he was opening for Jason Aldean at SPAC. Friday March 6, 2020 he brought his “Worldwide Beautiful” tour to Albany’s Times Union Center and played for a full house. The 26 year old singer is not only a country artist. He has crossed over to pop radio with collaborations with artists like Marshmello, Khalid and Camila Cabello. Brown brought Restless Road, Chris Lane and Russell Dickerson along for the ride.
Trio Restless Road opened the show with a short set. Their tight harmonies started the night off right. Two of the three members of the band, Colton Pack and Zach Beeken were contestants on the X-Factor with Kane Brown during season three. All were eliminated. Pack and Beeken, along with Garrett Nichols were recently signed to Brown’s label. Brown features on their current single “Take Me Home.”
Chris Lane opened his set with “Fix.” He quickly took command of the entire stage including a large catwalk. His high energy set was high on hits and low on banter. He made the most of his time on stage. Video screens allowed him to perform his hit duet “Take Back Home Girl” with a recording of singer Tori Kelly. Two highlights of his set stick out for me. He found a young girl in the front row and brought her on stage, set her in a chair and sang his hit “For Her” for the the girl. When the song was over, a road crew member brought out a new sweatshirt and a sharpie. Lane signed the shirt for her and walked her back to her spot in the front row. It is always refreshing to see artists go out of their way for their fans. The other highlight, for me was his cover of Mario’s 2004 R&B hit “Let Me Love You.” I have always loved the song and to hear it flipped and countrified was a treat.
Starting his set perched behind the drum riser, Russell Dickerson wasted no time. He kicked his set off with one of his biggest hits “Every Little Thing.” Slinging a white on white Fender Telecaster, he smiled from ear to ear as the fans sang along. He was clearly having a good time. Dickerson played Times Union Center back in September. There were a large number of fans wearing his merch. They seemed to be return customers. Dickerson closed his set with his first radio hit, the ballad “Yours.” The arena lit up with hundreds of cell phones. The sound of the crowd singing along threatened to drown out the band on stage. Dickerson stood at the end of the catwalk with a look of true gratitude at the end of his set.
Brown made his entrance in true rock star fashion, descending from the rafters on a harness. The audience loved it. Opening with the upbeat “Lose It,” Brown made his way to elevated risers on either side of the stage, making sure he sang for every fan. He didn’t quit stalking the stage until he sat for an acoustic set. The video screens showed video and photos of Brown as a child. Then videos of Brown with his new baby daughter came on. Brown told the crowd about growing up without a father. He then sang the song “For My Daughter,” singing “Yeah, I grew up without a dad, I’m gonna be the best one I can be.” During “Shirt Skirt Weather” the video screens became a super sized karaoke monitor, with the lyrics displayed so the fans could sing along. A mashup of Dobie Gray’s 1973 hit “Drift Away”, “Crank That” by Soulja Boy and “Hot Girl Bummer” by Blackbear got the audience dancing. Brown cleaned up the lyrics a bit for the younger kids in the audience. He brought Restless Road back out to sing “Take Me Home.” Lane and Dickerson also made an encore appearance for “Pull It Off.” The set was closed out with three big hits in a row. The ballad “Heaven” was followed by the Marshmello collaboration “One Thing Right” ended the set before Brown returned for “Good As You.”
From 1,000 folks at Upstate Concert Hall to 14,000 plus at Times Union Center in a span of a few years? Not bad for a kid from Chatanooga.