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REVIEW

REVIEW: Kane Brown displays country’s broad range

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Kane Brown

Kane Brown performs at Battery Park in Sioux City on Thursday.

Country music has become so eclectic it’s impossible to say what it is today.

Thankfully, there’s a space for Kane Brown, who made a strong case for a rap contingent that mixes things up as much as Post Malone does in pop.

Playing to the largest crowd in Battery Park history Thursday night, the 25-year-old kicked it right out of the gate, getting his one-two punch from “Baby Come Back To Me” and “What Ifs.”

Dressed in a black T-shirt (with Gucci on the back), strategically patched jeans and a swag cap, he stretched his range with “Weekend” and “Used to Love You Sober,” proving he has the skills to do heartfelt, melodic songs, too.

Willing to open a vein, Brown talked about his childhood (which included an abusive stepfather) and the bullies he ran into at school. Launching into “Learning,” he had the crowd in his corner from the first words and made you want to cheer for every bit of his success. “That’s why I’m learning how to let it go,” he sang.

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He dedicated his next single, “Homesick,” to the military – a song that captures all the longing soldiers overseas must feel. It was one of the most traditional country songs in his repertoire and, yeah, it had the kind of presentation just made for a flood of tears.

Brown kept the emotions high with “Live Forever” and then got into his party vibe with “Short Skirt Weather.” The bouncy ditty played to yet another segment of the crowd.

That range is what could give him the longevity others only dream about. If there’s an adjective for the chart topper, it’s diverse. He has the ability – and the heart – to reach a multitude of fans.

Thursday’s concert was a perfect summer starter and a great way to get into the Kane zone.

Meanwhile, opener Ryan Hurd demonstrated why he has written for a herd of people in Nashville. Boasting an eclectic catalog that runs the gamut from soul to reggae, he showed he, too, can’t be put in a box.

Offering up a song he did for Luke Bryan (“Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset”), he showed how a different spin can make it sound, well, better.

Hurd did a number of his own country radio-friendly cuts (opening with “Her Name was Summer”) and talked plenty about wife Maren Morris.

He wrote “Love in a Bar,” a song that recounted their courtship, and “Diamonds or Twine,” a perfect wedding number that covered the good and bad times and the love that endures. It was a moving tribute that made you want to know Hurd better.

Dressed in a striped tank and black jeans, Hurd was extremely gracious, saying the crowd was the largest he has played to on a Thursday night.

A nice, easy-going performer, Hurd has a soothing, attractive voice that could bode well for the long haul.

The one-two punch was just what Siouxland needed this time of year.

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