Luke Bryan Calls Out Newspaper Critic Who Called His Show A Mess: “The Sold Out Crowd Had A Great Time”

Luke Bryan country music
Scott Legato/Getty Images

I guess you can’t please ’em all.

Luke Bryan‘s music may not be my style, but even I can admit that he puts on an entertaining show. He has some good songs, sure, but he’s also pretty funny on stage. Whether it’s realizing his fly is down in the middle of the show or doing a shot that some guy snuck in next to his balls, you never really know what you’re going to get from Luke.

But apparently a critic and reporter from the St. Paul Pioneer Press didn’t really enjoy the show – and after he posted a scathing review, Luke called him out.

The review of the show at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center written by Ross Raihala said that Luke came across as “distracted – listless, even” during his performance, and said that the singer was “aimlessly wandering” on the stage while being “far less animated and physical than previous shows.”

Raihala questioned in the review whether Luke Bryan has “peaked,” and whether country fans are more interested in new names like Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen or Zach Bryan.


Well after Raihala tweeted the column about the show while calling Luke “kind of a mess” (without tagging Luke in the tweet), Luke responded with a review of his own – of the coverage that he’s received from the publication:

“Wow. I’ve never received one positive review from y’all’s publication since I’ve been to the twin cities area in my whole career. The trend continues. The sold out crowd had a great time.”

Shots fired.

Well Raihala then decided to go back to his previous reviews of Luke’s shows and point out the good things that he’s said about the country music star and American Idol judge:

Of course the critic chose only the most flattering lines to make his point, and there were definitely some jabs at Luke in the reviews that he posted to prove that he had given him positive reviews. For example, in one review Raihala wrote:

“At first glance, it’s tempting to ask, “Him? Really? Him?” He’s got a big, if not that distinct, voice and wobbly guitar skills he joked about on stage Saturday night. He’s blandly handsome and masculine but not aggressive, like the male lead of a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie.”

That same review also called Luke’s choruses “sometimes irritating.” And in another review (again, posted by Raihala to prove that he’s given Luke positive reviews), he had this somewhat backhanded compliment for the singer:

“While Bryan’s material tends toward the banal, he seems like a nice enough guy.”

And then there was this line from another review:

“If it all sounds ridiculous, it was. None of it was particularly original, either, with Bryan borrowing heavily from the arena-rock bluster of Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks.”

Although, my favorite line from his reviews wasn’t a critique of Luke’s headlining set: It was actually about his opener, Florida Georgia Line, and it was so funny that I have to include it here:

“Seriously, dude, these guys are responsible for the Patient Zero of bro-country, “Cruise,” a 2012 smash that has been certified platinum nine times. Much like Nickelback was at their peak, Florida Georgia Line have a golden touch at crafting supremely annoying radio hits.”

Ok, that one’s hard to argue with.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock