Despite the threat of thunderstorms, country fans showed up ready to rock at the Country Rocks the Beach concert June 22. The show featured Craig Morgan and special guests Dustin Lynch and The Lacs.
The gates at Ybor Alvarez Outdoor Sports Complex opened at 3 p.m. and several opening bands played as fans poured in.
The Lacs, a band from Georgia that has gained recent notoriety in 2011, played some of their hits including their first single, “Kickin’ Up Mud.” They played their set all while sipping on beer and taking swigs from a Jagermeister bottle.
Soon after, Dustin Lynch took the stage, performing all his well-known singles including “She Cranks My Tractor.” The single, which debuted in the Top 50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs list, pumped up the crowd, especially the girls as he swayed his hips in his tight black jeans.
After these two outstanding opening acts, the crowd was ready for Craig Morgan to come on. As soon as the sound of the tractor played over the loud speakers, Morgan appeared and began singing his single, “International Harvester.” The song from his 2006 album, "Little Bit of Life," is one of Morgan’s most popular hits.
Morgan continue the party by performing some of his other well-known songs like “Redneck Yacht Club” and “That’s What I Love About Sunday.” Both of these songs are from his album, "My Kind of Livin,’ " which was released in 2005.
He played all seven of his top-10 hits, including his single “Almost Home” from his 2002 album, "I Love It." Not only did it top the country music charts, this song earned him a Songwriter’s Achievement Award from the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International and also Song of the Year at the Broadcast Music, Inc.
Morgan sang his most popular songs, but he also let the crowd be part of his history by performing a new song never before played in public. Although he didn’t give the song’s title, he did ask the crowd for their opinion of it. When it was all sang and done, it seemed that it’s going to be the next hit on country radio.
Overall, the performers stayed true to their country roots and rocked the beach. However, the goal of the concert was to benefit nonprofit organizations such as the Jacksonville Down Syndrome Association and the Boys and Girls Club. Before Craig Morgan came on, it was announced that more than $105,000 was raised for these organizations.