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Brown's 'Live Forever' tour packs REA

Photo by Shawna Schill Country singer Kane Brown interacts with the audience during his performance Sunday at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks. 1 / 2
Photo by Shawna Schill Granger Smith sings during his set Sunday at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks. Smith performed as part of Kane Brown's "Live Forever" tour.2 / 2

A packed house at Ralph Engelstad Arena heard country music star Kane Brown play chart-topping songs, but also heard a message about a hard life the singer said taught him valuable lessons.

Brown played The Ralph Sunday night, along with opening acts Jimmie Allen and Granger Smith.

A native of Georgia, Brown told a hushed audience about growing up in an atmosphere of racism and violence, and also about an abusive step-father. He then offered an inspirational footnote.

"I've been through so much," he said. "But you can do whatever you want. It's your life."

Brown then powered through a series of his hit songs. That the concert — part of Brown's "Live Forever" tour — was held on a Sunday night didn't seem to bother the crowd. The tour made a stop Saturday in Brookings, S.D., and now heads east, with the next show scheduled for Thursday in Manchester, N.H.

Brown, just 25, has come on the national scene with a flurry, with numerous high-ranking singles and albums. Late last year, his album "Experiment" debuted No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. Also in 2018, his single "Lose It" reached No. 1. He had two No. 1 singles prior to that.

Allen opened the night with a quick set, followed by a longer set by Smith. All three artists interacted with the crowd, and especially noted the weather.

"Texans are not quite used to this weather, but I understand this is like a spring day (in North Dakota)," Smith said. "But we enjoyed it. There are good people in North Dakota."

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