To some, Luke Bryan is a TV personality, namely a judge on "American Idol" (for the past six seasons) and co-host of the CMA Awards (for a third time next month). To some, he's the singer of 26 No. 1 country songs and two-time CMA entertainer of the year. To Minnesotans, he's the first — and only — act to headline all three of Minneapolis' new stadiums, Target Field as well as the Vikings and Gophers football palaces.

The ever-popular Bryan decided to scale back this year to an arena, sold-out Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

"It's been too long since I've been here," Bryan said early in the evening. Five years to be exact.

Since the last time at the Twins ballpark, he has lost his crowd-pleasing wiggle (it's now just a sway), gained a few biscuits (haven't we all?) and unleashed his humor (we all should do likewise). Thank you, "American Idol" for liberating his personality.

When Bryan, 47, promised to jump into the stage pit Saturday to pose for a photo with a woman whose husband is deployed overseas, the singer suggested that everyone in the arena video this because he might split his pants. (He didn't.)

When Bryan complained how the Minnesota weather felt like the first day of winter to someone raised in Georgia, he shared, "My nipples are already chapped."

When Bryan tried to shake it like he used to during "One Margarita," he broke out laughing at his middle-aged foolishness.

Enough with the jokes.

Even without the exaggerated dance moves, Bryan put on a highly entertaining two-hour show, perfect for a beer-drinking Saturday night for 14,000 fans. This time, he was less dependent on elaborate production gimmicks (no pickup truck surrounded in flames), though his stage, lighting and video columns were stylish and complementary (especially appreciated the yellow, green and orange laser projections during "Drink a Beer"). Moreover, the superstar spent most of the night on the end of a runway, amid the crowd instead of on the main stage, lending a more intimate feel (as much as an arena can feel intimate).

A better entertainer than singer, Bryan combines confidence, humor, romance, a touch of bro-ness, a bunch of drinking songs and a party attitude to appeal to a broad audience. He pointed out in song and video that his definition of country is open-minded and inclusive. In "What Makes You Country," he mentioned cowboys in Texas, Georgia pines, peanut dust, churchgoers and fans of the band Alabama and declared, "I can't judge. Just be proud of what makes you country."

On Saturday, Bryan's kind of country included R&B touches ("I Don't Want This Night to End"), a bluegrassy hoedown ("Rain Is a Good Thing"), a heartbreaking ballad ("Games"), beach-y vibes (the Chesneyesque "One Margarita"), a taste of rock 'n' roll (the final section of "Huntin' Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day"), poignant reflections ("Drink a Beer") and full-tilt partying ("All My Friends Say").

And, despite having a jukebox full of No. 1 Nashville tunes, Bryan threw in a couple of country covers to showcase his opening acts — Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" with Hailey Whitters and Jordan Davis' "Buy Dirt" with Chayce Beckham and Conner Smith.

All three warmup acts had previous connections to Bryan. Whitters, 34, originally from tiny Shueyville, Iowa, and a former regular visitor to Mall of America, once waited on Bryan at a Nashville steakhouse. She sparkled Saturday on her prideful hit "Everything She Ain't" and the new single, "I'm in Love."

Smith, 23, was playing in a high school baseball game with Bryan's nephew seven years ago and met the country superstar, who took the time to review a 50-page publishing contract the aspiring songwriter was offered and to give him advice. Smith, who showed more swagger than quality songs on Saturday, didn't reconnect with Bryan until this tour.

Beckham, 27, was the 2021 champion on "American Idol," on which Bryan gave him plenty of feedback. The newcomer distinguished himself Saturday with an appealing voice and promising material, including the twangy rocker "Whitehouse Road" and the minor hit "23" about too much youthful drinking.