At times Luke Bryan’s WE Fest set felt like an intimate backyard barbecue, with thousands of friends and — oh yeah — country music's hottest male artist. The singer's charisma and ability to reach every fan is what separates him from his contemporaries.

Bryan opened with "Move" and hardly stopped. "That’s My Kind of Night," "Rain Is a Good Thing" and "This Is How We Roll were amongst those that made up the first half of his nearly two-hour set on Saturday night (Aug. 5) in Detroit Lakes, Minn. Between songs he spent time taking shots, mugging with fans and just being Luke. Brett Eldredge was right when earlier in the week he told Taste of Country that his current tour partner makes everyone feel comfortable.

Even intimate moments felt light and breezy on a cool, clear night still fresh with the afternoon’s unexpected rain showers. “Play It Again,” Strip It Down” and “Drink a Beer” were expected and welcome. Soft ballads often create a hole for the party crowd to slip away to the beer tent or bathroom. Few did because covers of Alabama’s “Mountain Music” and Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” let you know another unexpected turn was waiting. Indeed, Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City” helped close the show.

Yes, Bryan danced and swiveled his hips to the delight of the many female fans. It’s a goofy sort of turn you really can’t be mad about, even if your girlfriend is the one ogling. While his mid-section often gets the most attention, it's the 41-year-old's impressive catalog of hits and straight-down-Main St. covers that make his a coveted concert ticket. The headliners in 2018 will certainly have to pass over a high bar if each hopes to best him.

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