PANAMA CITY BEACH, Florida — The spring break concerts for twenty-somethings from all over the nation are a tradition made famous first by Kenny Chesney in 2009 and then Luke Bryan, who passed the torch this year to his buddy Cole Swindell.
During Wednesday’s (March 10) show at Spinnaker Beach Club in Panama City Beach, Swindell worked the crowd using a set list which included a mix of his own hits (“Chillin’ It,” “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey,” “Hope You Get Lonely, “Let Me See Ya Girl”), songs he’s written for other artists, (Florida Georgia Line’s “This Is How We Roll” and Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That”) and some cover tunes that fit the mood (Dierks Bentley’s “What Was I Thinkin’,” Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Happen Twice” and Tim McGraw’s “Something Like That”).
Sporting shorts and a tongue-in-cheek T-shirt reading, “Netflix and Chillin’ It,” Swindell fit in perfectly with the crowd of 5,000 from all over the nation crammed into the club and on what’s touted as the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.”
“I want to thank you all for coming out!” he told the crowd. “Here’s a spring break song I wrote for Luke called ‘Just a Sip.’”
“Hey Y’all” and “Here for the Beer” followed.
The energetic Georgia native spent more than a few spring break holidays in Panama City Beach before becoming a Nashville chart-topper. The crowd erupted when Swindell explained, “This is a song I wrote about Panama City. Luke Bryan recorded it and took it to No. 1,” he told fans as the band kicked off “Roller Coaster.”
The only time the standing-room-only audience simmered down was during Swindell’s performance of “You Should Be Here,” his fastest-rising single yet. The title cut from his upcoming album, it’s a personal and emotional song written after his father’s death in the 2013. The album will be released on May 6.
The second of two free concerts is taking place Thursday at Spinnaker Beach Club.