MUSIC REVIEW: Kane Brown does more than ‘one thing right’ at Times Union Center in Albany

Kane Brown
Kane Brown

ALBANY — Kane Brown descended to the stage on a rope, singing “Lose It,” for the start of his show at Times Union Center on Friday night, a flashy entrance harkening back to the late 1980s when David Lee Roth would rappel to the stage from a rope suspended from the ceiling.

Who is Kane Brown, you might ask? For anyone outside the pop country world, the 26-year-old Brown isn’t exactly a household name, but the rising singer-songwriter won the American Music Awards title of Male Country Artist for the last two years. His Albany arena show, featuring special guests Chris Lane, Russell Dickerson and Restless Road, was sold out.

A recent mini documentary called “Velocity” traces Brown’s rise to stardom on the basis of good looks, a golden voice, and a humble demeanor. Brown first drew attention for posting his homemade videos on social media, which eventually went so viral that he sold out his very first club performance. An opening slot on a Florida Georgia Line tour further cemented Brown’s burgeoning celebrity.

For his “Worldwide Beautiful Tour” at Times Union Center, Brown thrilled fans with a 20-song set over 75 minutes long, including hits like “Found You,” “Last Minute Late Night,” “What Ifs,” “Used to Love You Sober,” “Short Skirt Weather,” “Weekend,” and “Like a Rodeo.”

The tattooed country star, dressed in a black track suit, also debuted two new tracks: “Vodka Cranberry” and “Be Like That.”

Wearing a black hat imprinted with the word “Miracle,” Brown played his most recent single, “Homesick,” a song currently climbing the country radio charts, which has a heartwarming video showing military members returning home from service to reunite with their families.

Less stereotypical than some “bro-country” stars, and a bit more wholesome seeming, Brown dedicated “Better Place” to his wife, Katelyn, and talked about how growing up without a father made him want to be the best dad possible to his young daughter, Kingsley.

Brown performed an unlikely mash-up of Dobie Gray’s 1970s soft-rock hit “Drift Away,” and Soulja Boy’s 2007 smash, “Crank That (Soulja Boy).” Then he brought out Restless Road, a promising young band recently signed to Brown’s record label, for “Take Me Home.”

Russell Dickerson, one of the night’s three openers, came back onstage to perform “Pull It Off,” as purple and blue lasers shot from the stage. (In Dickerson’s high-energy opening set, featuring songs like “Billions” and “Every Little Thing,” he pointed out family members in attendance to the right of the stage and talked about his own humble beginnings playing in less than glamorous settings like college dorm room lobbies.)

Brown’s delicate ballad “Heaven,” about finding paradise on Earth, was a final highlight before he closed with “One Thing Right” and the encore “Good as You.”

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