Luke Bryan, Dustin Lynch and Friends Close Crash My Playa

All good things must come to an end and Luke Bryan's Crash My Playa 2016 is no different. The positive news is that Crash My Playa will return during the same time next year. 

Written by Annie Reuter
Luke Bryan, Dustin Lynch and Friends Close Crash My Playa

All good things must come to an end and Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa 2016 is no different. The positive news is that Crash My Playa will return during the same time next year as Bryan revealed during his headlining set last night (Jan. 25).

“Because of you guys spending your hard earned money down here and making it such a success, we’re gonna do this next year and the year after that,” he said several songs into his set. “Thank you so much for making this the best week of my year so far.”

Many artists shared the same sentiment including returning Crash My Playa alumni Dustin Lynch, who said he was introduced as the Ambassador of Crash My Playa at his surprise pool party performance earlier in the week.

“I didn’t realize it was my title until that point,” he told Sounds Like Nashville with a laugh. “It’s all about the fan experience. We have fans from all over the place here. It’s kind of like CMA Fest to me. There’s not a stage and the crowd. It’s a resort. It’s a beach. It’s fun interacting with all the fans and getting to know where they’re from and a little bit about them too.” An admirer of Bryan, Lynch said he has watched every show of the singer’s while on the road with him last year during the Kick the Dust Up Tour. “He’s one of my favorite entertainers, even before I toured with him. I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned from Luke is just to be comfortable with who you are and not take yourself too seriously and that’s allowed me to connect with the crowd and goof off a little more on stage,” he explained. “Because of that I’m having more fun playing shows and I think my interaction with the crowd has become a lot more enjoyable for me which I would assume is more enjoyable for them.” That fun is exactly what Lynch brought to his set last night. He talked to the crowd as if they were friends hanging out, telling them of a song written about a girl who put him in the friend zone with “Middle of Nowhere,” bringing out a cooler full of beer to pass out and sharing his New Year’s Resolution with the audience.

“Anybody ever crank a tractor on a beach in Mexico?” @dustinlynchmusic asks before “She Cranks My Tractor” #crashmyplaya

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“We were on the Kick the Dust Up Tour last year with Luke Bryan and somebody taught me how to dance. At least when I get a few beers deep I think I can dance,” he confessed. “My New Year’s Resolution for 2016 is to dance more on the stage which is really awkward unless the girls in the crowd dance with me. The only thing we can take with us in life . . .  it’s not money, it’s memories. Thank you guys for making this an amazing memory for me in my life. I’m gonna take it with me. This is a song about making memories with your friends.”

And with that he segued into “All Night” off his debut album which details nights driving around with friends and those memories you’ll never forget. He then segued into a medley of songs the audience will never forget as he transported the beach crowd back to the 1990s with covers of Joe Diffie’s “John Deere Green,” Diamond Rio’s “Meet in the Middle” and Brooks & Dunn’s “Boot Scootin’ Boogie, which he introduced by saying, “It’s time to scoot some sandals in the sand.”

Other highlights included the sexy, slow paced “Sing It to Me,” a high energy performance of new single “Mind Reader” and the always poignant “Cowboys and Angels.”

“Thank you guys so much for letting us have fun this week,” he said before he introduced his first single. “You’ve changed our lives over the past few years. You’ve given us jobs. Thank you so much for supporting our music. We’re gonna play you a song that changed our lives in 2012.”

A song inspired by his grandparents who were high school sweethearts and recently celebrated 61 years together, “Cowboys and Angels” was a tender moment during a set of high energy and plenty of dancing, which adequately showed Lynch’s ability as a songwriter and performer.

But we don’t want to “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” Luke Bryan!! #crashmyplaya

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Bryan took the stage shortly after 9:30 for a nearly two-hour performance that spanned his hits and several surprise guests. While the set didn’t deter too much from his gig earlier that weekend on the beach stage, his energy skyrocketed with each song he played. “We’re gonna welcome to the stage one of my best friends in the world who co-wrote this song,” Bryan said five songs into his set as he introduced “Roller Coaster.” Cole Swindell and Bryan then traded verses as they ran around the stage shaking fans’ hands. That wasn’t the only surprise guest during the last night of Crash My Playa though. Lynch returned for a cover of Brooks & Dunn’s “Play Something Country” as Bryan took a swing of tequila before Craig Campbell joined on a medley of songs including crowd pleaser, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ In the Dark.” While the covers kept the crowd energized and singing along the most memorable moment was when Chris Stapleton joined Bryan for a song he co-wrote, “Drink A Beer.” “I want to welcome back to the stage one of the best writers in the world and one of the best singers,” Bryan said as he introduced Stapleton. As the wind picked up and the palm trees swayed in the background, the emotional song had the crowd mesmerized. “I know you all out there lost someone that you used to drink a beer with,” Bryan said. “Sing it with us.”

@acmawards co-hosts @lukebryan and @dierksbentley sang @thetimmcgraw’s #wherethegreengrassgrows together…and it was EPIC! #crashmyplaya

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Later, Dierks Bentley would also appear for a joint cover of Tim McGraw’s “Where the Green Grass Grows.” As he left the stage Bryan quipped, “So that’s my new ACM co-host because Blake Shelton broke up with me.”

Before he closed his set with danceable tracks “That’s My Kind of Night” and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me),” Bryan had some advice for the audience on their final evening in Mexico. “This is the last night you better make it count, Mexico,” Bryan said. “We’ll see you same time next year.”