Multi-platinum recording artist Kane Brown gets generally classified as a country singer, but there’s much more to his art than just that country swagger that’s landed him hits like One Mississippi, Heaven and Like I Love Country Music. Anyone at his Budweiser Gardens concert in London on Dec. 3, got the full Kane Brown experience, complete with fire bombs, smoke and lasers. He is certainly not your granddaddy’s country music.
Joined by openers Mackenzie Porter and Chris Lane, fans were treated to three styles of country music. Mackenzie performed a short, sweet set of acoustic tunes, Chris gave off an arena rock vibe and Kane was the big show.
Along with hits like the above-mentioned chart toppers, Kane Brown showed off all sides of his sound and gave fans a little bit of his background as well, including a story on how he discovered he was a young boy of colour.
He reached into the classics by pulling out covers of Sean Kingston’s Beautiful Girls (for him) and Stand By Me (for his mom), and tossing in a special performance of Thank God (only the third time ever) performed with his wife Katelyn – that was a special moment indeed. And for the women in the building, when he removed his shirt at the end of the show to reveal a well chiseled body, the cheers were deafening.
You could tell Kane gives it his all; by the end of his 75-minute set, he seemed exhausted and satisfied that it was everything he could offer. He charges across the arena stage from side to side, pounds his fists in the air, prances and shakes and touches hands with as many people as he could. And for the fans, it seemed just as satisfying. No one cared that there was no encore built into the show and the smiles and cheers were relentless as fans walked out to the streets.
His band was tight and the music was hot and for some reason, this felt like we all witnessed the coming future of what being at a country concert means. Performers like Kane can out rock the rockers and provide as much fire, smoke and lasers as bands like Ghost. Everyone there was happy to welcome that future into their lives.
Chris Lane’s show was nearly the same length as Kane’s, but it felt more like an arena rock country show, a little grittier and more in tune with what we’d see at a country festival. This felt a lot like a busting out party because Chris was performing as if he was ready for the next level of his career. With his name proudly behind him, he utilized the catwalk and interacted with fans, bring up on stage both a young girl at her first concert and a couple who got engaged right there on the catwalk.
With hits like Big, Big Plans, I Don’t Know About You and Fix, there’s a lot of country to take in at his shows. His last album was 2018’s Laps Around The Sun, so he’s due for a fixin’ of new music and by the cheers and appreciation he got from the crowd, it’s time.
Mackenzie Porter is a sweetheart. Her smiles and personality are traits that draw fans in – me included. For this performance, she elected to perform acoustic with just a single accompanying guitarist. This made for an opportunity to hear her songs at their basics – naked and unafraid. Songs like Seeing Other People and Drinkin’ Songs really shined. The emotions of Seeing Other People was really special and the audience participation with Drinkin’ Songs shows why she’s a favorite at country festivals.
Kane Brown / Chris Lane / Mackenzie Porter
December 3, 2022
All photos by Dan Savoie