The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Kane Brown transforms Bridgestone Arena into a honky-tonk paradise

Kane Brown, LOCASH and Dustin Lynch celebrated a night of many musical firsts on the “Drunk or Dreaming” tour.
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Barrie Barto
Kane Brown performs for a sold-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena, as photographed on March 31, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

Bridgestone Arena was transformed into a honky-tonk paradise by Kane Brown on March 31. Brown was accompanied by country music heavyweights LOCASH and Dustin Lynch, who took the stage for an unforgettable night of twangy guitars, soaring vocals and plenty of good old-fashioned country charm. The concert was a celebration of all things country, with droves of fans decked out in cowboy boots, hats and plenty of flannel and fringe. 

The concert was a masterclass in live performance with stunning visuals, a talented backing band and Brown’s unmistakable voice bringing the music to life. Fans sang along to every word and waved their hands in the air to soak up the infectious energy of the performance.

Dustin Lynch performs for Bridgestone Arena, as photographed on March 31, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)
Dustin Lynch performs for Bridgestone Arena, as photographed on March 31, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto) (Barrie Barto)

LOCASH started off the night, who noted that this was their first time playing at Bridgestone. They did not disappoint with their fusion of rock and country with “I Love This Life.” A perfect combination of a memorable chorus and a catchy guitar riff got the crowd singing the background vocals in addition to the main chorus. LOCASH also made a tribute to Nashville’s resilience with “Three Favorite Colors,” while the crowd began clapping, holding down the beat. 

Next up was Dustin Lynch, who ran out in full “Party Mode,” sporting his signature cowboy hat and boots. The energy was electric as Lynch jumped around on stage, even getting the crowd involved by inviting a few lucky fans on stage to play beer pong and choosing a few “señors” and “señoritas” to give out drinks and cowboy hats. I felt like I was in a country music video as Lynch kicked off the night with a mix of his biggest hits, including “Small Town Boy” and “Stars like Confetti,” which had the crowd on their feet from the first note. The crowd roared in excitement when Lynch brought out MacKenzie Porter for their hit single “Thinking ‘Bout You” and didn’t miss a word of their duet.

The crowd was fully primed for Kane Brown’s entrance when he emerged from the darkness and was illuminated by shooting flames. Brown brought his own unique swag to the mix, blending country with R&B and Hip-Hop to create a soulful sound that had the whole venue buzzing. 

Brown captivated fans with a mixture of new songs and old hits including “What Ifs” and “Bury Me in Georgia,” showcasing his unbelievable vocal versatility and dynamic stage presence. The visuals were spectacular, especially when the crowd’s LED bracelets lit up in a quick succession of red, white and blue — reflecting the lights of a police car when Brown referenced his friend

Jason the sheriff from “Famous Friends.” Fans couldn’t get enough of Brown’s infectious energy, and the whole venue was finishing his lyrics with a roar.

The spotlight was on Brown as he delivered a raw, acoustic performance of “Heaven” and “Memory.” Even considering the sheer size of Bridgestone, Brown masterfully curated an intimate vibe by being candid with the audience about his experience with mental health. He related to the audience with experiencing anxiety before pouring his heart out in “Memory,” which tackles living life while worrying about when things will come crashing down.

At one point, Brown suddenly disappeared. Next thing I knew, the stage opened up to reveal Brown accompanied by his wife Katelyn Jae Brown. Brown’s commitment to his family was on full display as he performed a duet of “Thank God” with her, and later a rendition of Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” in honor of raising his own young girls. 

At the end, Brown, Lynch and LOCASH all came out together for the anthem “One Mississippi,” standing in a line with their arms around each other. It was special to hear their individual spotlight moments during the song, each with their own stylistic changes. 

The concert was more than just a showcase of Brown’s musical talent — it was a testament to his humble roots and his deep connection to his fans. Throughout the night, Brown took time to share his gratitude for the opportunities music has brought him ever since first posting covers on Facebook years ago. He noted that growing up, he and his mom were often homeless, but he has now found a home in music and in Nashville. 

“This is what it’s all about, y’all,” Brown said to the crowd. “This is my first time solo headlining in Nashville, so thank you. I love you guys.”

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About the Contributors
Geetika Komati
Geetika Komati, Staff Photographer
Geetika Komati ('26) is majoring in economics and music performance and minoring in business in the College of Arts and Science. She is from Livingston, N.J. Geetika loves photographing sports games and getting in on the live action. Apart from the Hustler, some of Geetika's favorite things are traveling, boxing, and cheering on the New Jersey Devils. She can be reached at [email protected].
Barrie Barto
Barrie Barto, Editor-in-Chief
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with neuroscience and communication of science & technology minors in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Photography Director. When she's not strolling around campus with her camera, you can find Barrie cheering on the St. Louis Blues or tracking down the best gluten-free food in Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].
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