Luke Bryan's stop at RodeoHouston on Thursday night (March 10) was a big one: The country superstar took the stage, for the fifth time in his career, in front of a sold-out crowd; with 75,082 in attendance, Bryan's show became the 10th-largest ever at the rodeo.

Although Bryan has played RodeoHouston a number of times before, he tells The Boot that the excitement never fades.

"The excitement is always really at an amazing, high level. Not many times throughout the year do you get the opportunity to play in front of -- I don't know of any opportunity where you necessarily play in front of 80,000 people, being essentially on the 50-yard line of a football field and in the center of the rodeo," Bryan shared prior to his set. "I remember the first time I did it. It was something that, growing up as a kid, you heard about all the pageantry and the history of the rodeo, and to finally get to do it and to be selling this thing out is a amazing. It is something that I certainly do not take lightly."

Bryan took the stage on Thursday night wearing jeans, a black graphic T-shirt, and a black baseball cap. After playing a few songs, he told the Texas audience, "I want to thank you guys. Every year, we come out here, [and] this is one of the most exciting shows. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for selling this place out on a Thursday night."

When it was time for him to play his newest single, "Huntin' and Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day," Bryan made sure to shout out the hunters, fishers and lovers in the audience. The somber smash "Drink a Beer," meanwhile, was met with thousands of glowing cellphones; the emotional song clearly struck a chord, as the crowd sang along at an almost-deafening level.

"Thanks for changing my life with that song," Bryan said.

Not having a duet partner with him didn't stop Bryan from singing his newest No. 1 song, "Home Alone Tonight;" rather, he relied on the audience to sing Karen Fairchild's part. During "Country Girl," the singer got up close and personal with concertgoers, walking around the perimeter of the rodeo's dirt floor, giving out plenty of high fives and showing off his dance moves.

Fittingly, Bryan chose "I Don't Want This Night to End" to close out his show. But before he hopped into the bed of a waiting pickup truck, he covered the Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face."

Bryan's set at RodeoHouston was a solid indication of what makes the artist Entertainer of the Year material. In early April, he'll be competing against fellow RodeoHouston performer Miranda Lambert, as well as Garth Brooks, Eric Church and another RodeoHouston performerJason Aldean, for that trophy at the 2016 ACM Awards.

"... Anytime you get the Entertainer nomination, it is a huge deal, and you know you are always going to be in there with the best of the best, and certainly all of the other nominees are that," Bryan says. "It is always an exciting moment of the night; the big Entertainer portion of the show is pretty crazy stuff."

RodeoHouston 2016, which runs throughout March, offers a star-studded concert lineup, including Keith UrbanBrad Paisley and more. Billy Currington will take the stage on Saturday (March 12).

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