Country music star Lee Brice came to Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium prepared for an arena concert.
Three screens gave people in every part of the venue’s 2,000 seats a chance to see the fun on stage through high-quality videos. There were shots of the crowd and the musicians, who took on crafty solos.
Brice was packed with electric guitars that were swapped out throughout the show that started at 8 p.m. Thursday. But guitar straps and baseball caps weren’t the only items Brice wore; a smile never left his face for the duration of the performance.
“We are so thankful to get to do what we do, to perform and write songs then come hang out with you all,” Brice said.
Brice performed all of his top hits, including “Parking Lot Party,” “I Drive Your Truck,” “Hard To Love,” “Love Like Crazy” and his first No. 1 “A Woman Like You.”
Olivia Jones, a freshman studying exercise physiology, sang along to every lyric, she said. Jones saw Brice perform last summer, but this performance in particular had a “big atmosphere,” she said.
Audience participation was a must for his song “Beer.” When the title of the song appeared on the big screen behind Brice, the audience yelled the word. People raised their cans of Bud Light and cheered.
Kelci Kinsey, a sophomore studying health services administration, thought the production was well-organized.
“I think it’s really hype that MemAud has concerts like that,” Kinsey said.
Brice wasn’t afraid to branch out and sing other artists’ songs, including Garth Brooks’ “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til The Sun Comes Up).” He also took on a song he wrote for another band, a hit called “Crazy Girl” by the Eli Young Band.
“This one is one that I did write and didn’t sing on the radio, but some friends of mine did,” Brice said before performing the No. 1 song on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.
After performing his new hit, “Rumor,” the lights dimmed, and it seemed the set was over. Then Brice’s wedding video started playing, he stepped up to the piano and played “I Don’t Dance.” But it was the closing song that got the crowd most excited.
Throughout the night, the audience called for “Drinking Class,” and Brice delivered at the last minute. Fans in the balcony seats leaned over with their drinks held high and pointed toward Brice. When the stage went black, concertgoers were still screaming.