By Lars Dalseide | February 10 2014 13:22

Gilbert Lets it Ride as Hell on Wheels tour hits Harrisburg Outdoor Show

CMA Top New Artist Brantley Gilbert hooking the crowd at the NRA Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - When Brantley Gilbert leapt to the stage of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex Saturday night, he did so with the confidence and swagger of a man who's got it made. There's good reason for that. He does.

Fresh off his anointment as the Academy of Country Music's 2013 Male Vocalist of the Year, Gilbert is primed for superstardom. But the accolades never meant much to Gilbert. His focus is on the music.

"I never try to put myself in any of those platforms," Gilbert told Marcus Schneck of The Patriot-News. "I just do what I do. I try my best to be so much transparent. What you see is what you get. That's just the easiest way for me to live and the easiest way to be real, just to be me."

Starting with acoustic laden gigs at the local clubs in his hometown of Jefferson, Georgia, he eventually developed a harder, funkier, country-rock-soul sound that left audiences wanting more. That want eventually found its way to Nashville and a jump to the big time.

Four years later and Bradley Gilbert is just about the hottest country commodity around. He's toured with Willie Nelson and Tim McGraw, written four #1 singles, and released his third album. But all of that success doesn't mean he's ignoring his other passions.

Brantley Gilbert banging out tunes at the NRA Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

"I'd rather hunt whitetails than anything else I've hunter so far. I've loved it since I was a kid growing up in Georgia," he told Schneck. "Any song that references family or my hometown, hunting was always a big part of that, so it definitely shines through in a lot of the songs I write."

Perched atop a front line of speakers while the band belted out a Guns and Roses inspired intro, Gilbert and the boys started Saturday night's concert with a signature high-adrenaline rocker. The girls squealed, the boys cheered, and the arena was lost for the night.

Giving his band a respite in between songs, he took a moment to scream out a "How about the NRA!" to the crowd's delight.

Running about the stage, practically posing between verses and riffs, fist bumping the crowd as he runs into the pit, Gilbert was in complete control. Like a conductor with his orchestra. Like a pitcher during a no hitter. Like a man who's got it made.

The perfect choice for NRA's inaugural NRA Country Concert at the Great American Outdoor Show.

Country Music superstar Brantley Gilbert tearing it up at the NRA Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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