Luke Bryan Looks Forward to Las Vegas Residency, New Tour and Strives for Balance at Home

Luke Bryan says his sons "have a good understanding" their privileges in life come with sacrifices their parents have to make

Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan. Photo: John Shearer/2021 CMT Awards/Getty

When Luke Bryan opens his Las Vegas residency at The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas later this month, fans shouldn't expect 45 dancing girls to run out on stage. He doesn't need them — his audience will do the dancing.

"The thing for me is to keep it real authentic to what I have always been, but just use the technology behind me to really have moments where fans can be wowed," Bryan says.

Bryan, a five-time entertainer of the year and judge on American Idol, will be in residency at Resorts World Theatre Feb. 11-12, 16, 18-20, 23 and 25-26. He says his show will be a different pace than the others in the space before him, noting that Carrie Underwood and Katy Perry set the bar pretty high. Underwood was the first artist to play the theater in December.

"The girls are able to really make it more theatrical," he explains. "My thing is, I'm gonna throw my band on stage."

Don't be fooled by his seemingly simplistic, awe shucks approach. Bryan built his multi-platinum selling country music career, then crossed into pop culture with little more than sheer charisma, tight jeans, and undeniable, sing-along anthems. He's accessible, vulnerable and his audiences find themselves in his story. As long as the crowd can see him — and they'll be able to with Resorts World Theatre's multiple screens and the tallest performance stage in Las Vegas — he's got them. But Las Vegas isn't his typical audience in middle America. His residency will have to compete with the blackjack table.

"When you're in the entertainment capital of the world, you don't wanna go up there and lay any eggs," Bryan, 45, says. "I'm going to come out there and deliver the energy, deliver the entertainment. I think in Vegas, I've always been able to get away with really being myself, being free, and reacting with the fans in the moment. In Vegas, you can get away with that a little more than some conservative country music markets across the country."

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He plans to divide his show into segments that mimic his career path, including stages that range from stadiums to Spring Break and farm shows to acoustic moments. Resorts World Theatre boasts massive, interchangeable, moving screens that Bryan plans to flood with visuals to elevate his performance even more.

"The backdrop of the stage and the ability of the sound and lighting is way bigger than what we're able to do in arenas and amphitheaters," he says. "When fans see it, that's the first thing that really hits you is the size of the stage."

When he's finished with his residency, Bryan will load up and go on tour. He revealed plans Monday to launch his 30-plus city tour June 9 in Charleston, West Virginia, alongside Riley Green, Mitchell Tenpenny and DJ Rock. His Raised Up Right Tour will wind through the US until autumn, when it concludes Oct. 28 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Bryan is anxious to start crisscrossing the country to see his fans — but he also recognizes that as his sons get older, his family needs him at home. The "Up" singer frequently played more than 150 shows a year early in his career. These days, he's striving for balance. Bryan started the interview a bit groggy and fumbled to make himself an espresso. The call came the day after the end of duck season, and the country singer spent the weekend braving the cold temperatures in a duck blind with his nephew Til.

"We sit there and talk about life like grown-ups," Bryan says. "We have fun, and we're buddies."

The singer says his sons, Bo, 13, and Tate, 11, are "growing a foot a week." Bo wants to go to football camp, which is complicated by Bryan's tour schedule. The realization is tough for the 45-year-old dad, but he says, "the boys have a good understanding that so many of the amazing things that they get to do in life is all about the sacrifices that me and Caroline have to make."

"It's just having a nice balance," Bryan says. "I can get out there and have fun with my band and my crew and keep everybody working and play the new music. Seeing how the fans react to it and always having them on the road inspires the whole process for me. It makes me wanna write the songs for the next album. That's what makes this whole thing so exciting, and it still is. That never goes away."

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