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Thursday night at the Houston Rodeo wasn’t just another night of country music magic – it was a special celebration of the volunteers who made the whole event possible. In honor of the inaugural Volunteer Appreciation Day, rodeo royalty Luke Bryan took the stage, bringing his signature high-energy performance to a crowd of 66,170 fans.

Despite battling a bit of a cold, Bryan delivered a powerful show that solidified his status as a Houston Rodeo favorite. The energy from the crowd and a sea of cowboy hats and boots was electric, proving that country music still reigns supreme in Texas.

But before Bryan kicked things off with a bang (with pyrotechnics during the opening number “Kick the Dust Up”), the night rightfully belonged to the over 35,000 volunteers who dedicated their time and passion to the rodeo.

These volunteers, spread across 110 committees, are the lifeblood of the event. From organizing the livestock shows to running concessions, their hard work ensures a smooth and unforgettable experience for every rodeo attendee.

Bryan’s setlist was packed with his greatest hits, keeping the crowd pumped throughout the show. Fan favorites like “Play It Again,” “Huntin’ Fishin’ Lovin’ Every Minute Of It” and the ever-popular “Drink a Beer” had everyone singing along.

A special moment came when Bryan debuted a brand new song, “Love You, Miss You, Mean It.” The slower ballad showcased Bryan’s smooth vocals and sentimental side, prompting the crowd to sway back and forth, holding up their cell phone lights and creating a magical scene in the stadium. 

The night culminated with the iconic “That’s My Kind of Night,” leaving the audience singing long after the final notes faded. It was a fitting conclusion to a night that celebrated not only country music but also the dedication of the volunteers who make the Houston Rodeo the success it is.

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