“I Don’t Know About You,” but Chris Lane is definitely one to look out for as a rising country star. Lane took the stage at iPlay America in Freehold, NJ on November 8th; which happened to be the day before his 35th birthday. Though he broke into the country scene in 2016 with his debut hit “Fix,” Lane is working to diversify himself in various genres. Unlike other country artists, Lane delivers a far more dynamic show than just singing his country songs. With covers such as “I Want it that Way” by the Backstreet Boys, “Sugar We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy, “Let Me Love You” by Mario, “Ride wit Me” by Nelly and “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan, Lane demonstrates his ability to smoothly shift from singing country, to pop, to R&B and making each cover his own.
The diversity of the crowd definitely showed his appeal to the young and old alike, from groups and couples of 20 and 30 year olds, to families with young kids, to even seniors. Throughout the night, Lane kept waving and smiling to young fans, even bringing a young girl with special needs on stage who was rocking out on an air guitar to surprise her with a signed acoustic guitar. Lane also brought up two other young girls who were under the age of ten and serenaded them with his hit “For Her,” and gave them each a custom made tour denim jacket to wear and keep.
Between each song, Lane eagerly connected with fans sharing some personal stories, such as how he met his bandmates as a teenager and became super close with them, what life was like growing up with an identical twin brother (fun fact: he’s the drummer in Lane’s band!), and how he met and proposed to his wife, Bachelor alumna Lauren Bushnell (second fun fact: Lane and Bushnell are newlyweds; they recently tied the knot on October 25th!). His recent single “Big, Big Plans” is his love/proposal song for Lauren. Pictures would pop up on the screen behind the stage to accompany his stories and songs. For the encore, Lane sang fan favorites “I Don’t Know About You” and “Take Back Home Girl.” Lane finished off the night mounting the barriers to take selfies and touch fans’ hands.
Emerging artists, Earnest and Gabby Barrett also gave dynamic performances as Lane’s opening acts. Earnest brought a taste of his hometown, Nashville, fused with some tropical island vibes to the stage (think a country version of Jimmy Buffett), singing songs from his debut album, Locals Only. Earnest, also a songwriter, explained that most of his inspiration comes from the islands, drinking and his wife. His feature song “Locals Only” was his and his wife’s wedding song. Although Earnest was new to the audience, they were still bobbing their heads along to his feel good songs. Earnest also covered two songs he wrote for country singer Morgan Wallen, “If I Know Me” and “Heartless (ft. Diplo).”
Season 16 American Idol alumna, Gabby Barrett, brought some pop-rock and country sounds to her set. Also a newlywed like Chris Lane, (she’s married to her fellow American Idol contestant from Season 16, Cade Foehner), Barrett explained how her song “The Good Ones” was inspired by their relationship. For only being 19 years old, her deep and powerful voice carried stunningly throughout the venue, especially while covering Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty,” Maren Morris’ “My Church,” and Guns and Roses’ “Paradise City.” Barrett also covered Shania Twain’s “Man I Feel Like a Woman” and Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon.” Barrett ended her compelling set with her hit single “I Hope.”
Catch Chris Lane, Earnest, Gabby Barrett (select dates) and Blanco Brown (select dates) on the Big, Big Plans Tour running now through February 2020 in a city or town near you. Following his headlining tour, Lane will open up for Kane Brown on his Worldwide Beautiful Tour running from February 2020 to May 2020.