[email protected] Rides Through Madison with @BrantleyGilbert #LetItRide Tour Review

October 16th started off as a quiet night in Madison, WI until one hell of a tour rolled through. The Brantley Gilbert brought the Let It Ride tour to Madison with his friends Aaron Lewis, Chase Bryant, DJ Hish, and Brian Davis. With a lineup like that, the night was bound to get a little rowdy.

As the crowd filed in to the Alliant Energy Center, DJ Hish was doing his thing behind the turntables. His mix was the perfect combination of pop and country to get the crowd ready for the night. Brantley would later point out that Hish has freedom to play what he wants…as long as it’s not “All About That Bass.”

At 7 o’clock, Brian Davis jumped out on stage with guitar in hand to get the vocal performances started. It’s hard to imagine what BD would sound like with a band backing him up because with just a guitar he was able to get the crowd ramped up. He shares a fan base with Brantley and frequently cowrites with the platinum selling artist.  He has three cuts on Brantley’s latest album and is on the road working on Brantley’s next album.


Next up was the young in on tour – Chase Bryant. Recently signed with Red Bow Records, the 22-year-old played songs off of his debut EP. Although the Brantley crowd wouldn’t normally be seen at a Chase Bryant concert, the crowd did seem to enjoy the newcomer. Whether it was his Top 20 hit “Take It On Back” or the his heartfelt “Change Your Name,” the crowd was all ears.

The best surprise of the night for me was when Aaron Lewis took the stage. Aaron is best known for his time in the rock band Staind, but that didn’t mean anything to the country crowd that was in the Alliant Energy Center for the night. Like a true rock star, Aaron Lewis didn’t walk out to his most well-known or lively hit. Instead, he walked to the center of the stage, took off his hat, and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, saying “Let’s get this started right.”


Aaron’s stage presence wasn’t anything to give him Entertainer of the Year, but it’s the simplicity of his act that kept the crowd on their toes the entire set. Lewis was backed by a band, but his stage presence was predominantly placed simply center stage with a microphone and his guitar. He didn’t run around and high five fans, but he did keep the crowd entertained. He sang songs from his first two country attempts including “Granddaddy’s Gun” and “Country Boy.” The song that really got the crowd ready for Brantley was a new song, “North of the Mason Dixon.” The Wisconsin crowd was hootin’ and hollerin’ as Aaron sang about us rednecks up north. The set ended with his massive hit with Staind, “It’s Been a While.” There wasn’t a person in the crowd (other than those too young to know the song) that didn’t join Lewis to close out his time on the stage. He had entered the stage like a gentleman and left in the same manor, changing the final lyrics to the song to “And it’s been a while / since I said Thank You.”

Of course it was Brantley Gilbert that closed out the night. The rock-country star built his career on bars and small venues and made his way up to his headlining tours. It’s no surprise that with the work he has put in that he has perfected his show. The crowd had already been listening to music for two and a half hours by the time Brantley took the stage, but that didn’t tire ’em out. The crowd stood the entire performance as Brantley ran around the stage making sure everyone in the audience felt just as close to him. There wasn’t a hit left out of the concert including “Country Must Be Country Wide,” “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” or “Bottoms Up.” Throughout his performance, Brantley also invited the openers back to join him on stage. He performed “Dirt Road Anthem” with Aaron Lewis and welcomed back Chase Bryant and Brian Davis for “Small Town Throwdown.” By 11 o’clock, the crowd as just as excited as at the beginning of the night. There wasn’t a person leaving the venue that wasn’t impressed by the night; it was definitely a night to remember.


The Let It Ride tour continues with dates in California, Virginia, Kentucky, and Nashville with special guests Tyler Farr and Chase Bryant.

Aaron Lewis is currently touring on his own all across the nation. He has shows booked through spring. Check out his website to find out where you can see him.

Aaron Lewis | Twitter, Facebook, Web
Brantley Gilbert | Twitter, Facebook, Web


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Author: Country Cadre

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