As a college student who just got back from the sandy beaches of spring break, I was stunned when I heard the news that Luke Bryan is calling an end to his domination as the spring-break-southern-state-country-music-concert-phenomena. After seven years on the spring break concert scene, Luke Bryan says it is time for him to let it go of his infamous spring break series, now that he is nearing forty years old (I don’t care what he thinks, I would see him in any concert any day no matter how old he is).
I was shocked by this news because of the hype I realized he received while on my freshman year spring break trip, just two short years ago. Some friends and I had road tripped all the way down to Gulf Shores, Alabama and the entire car ride my friends played Luke Bryan’s 2013 Spring Break album Here to Party. To this day, I hear one of those songs and I can’t help but smile at the memories of lying on the beach and touching my toes in the Gulf of Mexico for the very first time. While I never got the chance to see any of his spring break concerts live, the song “Just a Sip” from that 2013 album will always bring me back to that very sunny trip to Alabama.
Luke Bryan’s reign as a country music spring break all-star started in 2009 with his album With all my Friends. From there he went on to have six more albums, and with each album came concerts in places like Gulf Shores, Alabama and Panama City, Florida. The next six album tours were Spring Break: Hangover Edition, It’s a Shore Thing, Suntan City, Here to Party, Like We Ain’t Ever, and Checkin’ Out. His songs have been an anthem for students travelling down the beaches of America while they escape from the reality of school, homework, tests, and real life for just one week. And now, although his reign his over, those anthems will be sure to live on.
While it is always sad to think of the end of an era, it may just be a positive transition for Luke Bryan in to a new artistic light. He’s criticized with being “too bro country” for country music, but this could be a turning point in his career. He is gifted with a good voice, a pretty face, and the ability to make people want to sing along to his catchy songs. I would love to see some more out of him than just the party anthems he is most famously known for. Recently, he has dabbled in to some more somber themes that reflect on some of the hardships in his life, such as the song he sings about the loss of someone close to him “Drink a Beer.”
Although it is a bit bittersweet that Luke Bryan is ending his era as the Spring Break tyrant, I think that there are good things that lay ahead for him. I’m a Luke Bryan fan ‘til the end, and will remain loyal to him through whatever bro-country controversy that he may bring upon himself. But it is my hope that he now takes this newfound maturity at the age of almost 4 decades to reach out to more listeners with his music and show how talented he truly is.