CMA Fest Crowd Goes Wild As Luke Bryan Takes The Stage With ‘But I Got A Beer In My Hand’

The country singer has a long history with CMA Fest.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

July 19, 2023

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Luke Bryan performs at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, June 11 during CMA Fest 2023 in downtown Nashville; Photo Courtesy CMA

Luke Bryan brought the party to CMA Fest on ABC with a performance of his chart-climbing new single, “But I Got A Beer In My Hand.” 

Sporting an all-black ensemble topped off with an army green denim jacket, Bryan delivered an energetic performance of the feel-good summer anthem on the CMA Fest stage. 

Bryan is known for his show-stopping live performances and his appearance at CMA Fest 2023 proved once again why he’s a two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year. 

Luke Bryan performs onstage for night 4 of the 50th CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium; Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA
Luke Bryan performs onstage for night 4 of the 50th CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium; Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA

Making his way around the stage, Bryan belted out the lyrics, which center around shaking off heartbreak with a night on the town.   

“But I got a beer in my hand, and I got it raised up high / I ain’t got a give in my damn right, I can do this all night / Country done came to town, this town don’t stand a chance / I’ll holler at the ladies, dancing like crazy, new Luccheses, fresh up out the deer stand / Feeling this high, wasn’t part of my plan / Wasn’t even gonna try / But I got a beer in my hand,” he sings. 

“But I Got A Beer In My Hand” was co-written by Chase McGill, Matt Dragstrem, and Geoff Warburton and co-produced by Bryan’s longtime collaborators Jeff Stevens and Jody Stevens. The song was released in May ahead of the launch of Bryan’s Country On Tour.  

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Bryan has been performing at CMA Fest since the start of his career and says it plays a special role in his life and career. 

“I mean, I think a crucial thing with me is early in my career, I feel like I got out there and earned my fans one by one. And I think, I mean, after CMA Fest week, I think I had to lay in the bed for three days. I hit every booth, I hit every truck parking lot signing, and I just worked it. And I worked it, and I played this and the softball games and all that. And I think I just really worked hard to get my name out there and get my fans,” he explained, and later added, “I always set goals. I would want to play River Stages and for two years and then come over here and play the stadium. So it was just a big motivator for me, and I just think it’s a exciting time in Nashville too.”

Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The three-hour CMA Fest special was hosted by Dierks Bentley, Elle King, and Lainey Wilson and aired on ABC on Wednesday, July 19. 

Dubbed “the music event of summer,” the special featured 30+ performances and surprise collaborations from some of Country music’s hottest stars, including Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Jordan Davis, Vince Gill, HARDY, Tyler Hubbard, Jelly Roll, Cody Johnson, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Avril Lavigne, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Darius Rucker, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban, and Lainey Wilson.  

CMA Fest marked its 50th Anniversary with a record-breaking celebration in Nashville, June 8 through June 11. 

Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Elle King; Photo by John Shearer, Getty Images for CMA
Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Elle King; Photo by John Shearer, Getty Images for CMA

The four-day event hosted an estimated daily attendance of over 90,000, a 12% increase from 2022, according to the Country Music Association. Additionally, the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium saw 10% growth from 2022.

The festival also hosted fans from all 50 states as well as a record-breaking 51 countries.

“What a weekend! As we’ve spent the past year reflecting on this milestone celebration, one theme has persisted—the incredible connection between Country Music fans and the artists,” Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer, shared in a statement. “It’s magical because it still matters after all these years. From first-timers to legends, so many artists started as fans—some as far back as Fan Fair. Almost every artist who performs during the festival has had their own experience as a fan, so for many of them, taking the stage at CMA Fest is a full-circle moment. We only get the chance to celebrate our 50th anniversary once, and to do so in such an impactful way has meant the world to us. Thank you, Country Music!”   

Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley and Elle King.; Photo by ABC/Robby Klein
Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley and Elle King.; Photo by ABC/Robby Klein

More than 300 acts took part in CMA Fest this year, including performances at the Chevy Riverfront Stage, Dr Pepper Amp Stage, Chevy Vibes Stage, Maui Jim Reverb Stage and the Hard Rock Stage as well at Fan Fair X inside Music City Center. 

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.