Photography by Laura Ord
Saturday night marked the close of the first day at Railbird Festival in Lexington, Kentucky. Boasting a stacked line-up, lucky fans had already been treated to sets from some of Americana's (and even indie rock's) finest, including Sheryl Crow, Charley Crockett and Weezer. But as the evening drew in, the buzz in the air was all for Zach Bryan's headlining set.
Bryan has had a stratospheric rise to fame over the last couple of years, playing shows throughout the USA and UK to his cult-like audiences, and his Railbird set was no exception. But what made the night particularly special was the rich nostalgia in the air, both for fans and Bryan alike.
"I just want to say a massive thank you", he shared in reflection. "It was me and this same band that played at Railbird two years ago on the Burl Stage. Now to be up here on the big boy stage, it's incredible. I love you guys so much".
Admittedly, his crowd was truly remarkable. Fans were packed in their thousands nearly to the back of the festival grounds, a chorus of shared vocals echoing vibrantly around the site. Many of the Kentucky natives in attendance shared the same sentiment, having watched his progression since the 2021 edition.
After beginning his set with 'Open the Gate', Bryan rolled through a generous set of hits, including fan-favourites 'Dawns', 'Condemned', 'Something in the Orange', 'Burn, Burn, Burn' and set-closer 'Revival'.
Emotions were running high throughout the audience, as is usual for a Zach Bryan concert - he's certainly got a special knack for uniting fans of all ages and backgrounds in heartfelt moments.
A drone picture taken from above circulated the next day, capturing the sheer scale of the night. If his set at Railbird was anything to go by - as the picture shows - it's safe to say that Zach Bryan's career is going to remain leading the top ranks of the genre (and likely beyond) for a long time to come.
Zach Bryan - Setlist
Take from his live performance at Railbird Festival 2023, Lexington, Kentucky - Saturday June 3rd:
Photography by Laura Ord.
For more coverage on Railbird Festival 2023, see below: