Ashley McBryde plays to Tortuga during the “Golden Hour” to a massive crowd

By Dave Parsons


The Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, the picturesque venue for the Tortuga Music Festival, was getting to that “golden hour” on its first night of the 2024 event. As the sun began to set, casting a golden hue over the Atlantic Ocean, the crowd gathered, many known as her TRYBE were settled in to see the dynamic Ashley McBryde.

Known for her authentic storytelling and powerful vocal delivery, McBryde took the stage and opened her set with Blackout Betty, and One Night Standards, and combined with her commanding stage presence, it was clear that McBryde was there to put on a show. 

One of McBryde’s greatest strengths as a performer is her ability to connect with her audience. Between songs, she shared stories and anecdotes that offered glimpses into her life and creative process. She spoke candidly about the inspirations behind her songs, weaving personal narratives that resonated deeply with the crowd. When she introduced “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” a song about defying naysayers and pursuing dreams against all odds, the crowd erupted in cheers. While many in the audience were visibly moved by its message, McBryde’s voice broke with emotion more than once. The view of thousands of people standing in the sand, who are there to see you, (she was the last performer on that stage that day) seemed to still leave McBryde in awe of the places she gets to perform, even after a decade or so of doing it.  

Throughout her set, McBryde showcased her versatility as an artist. From the sublime and delicious ballads, she included some upbeat bops that have become classics among her fans.  Her performance of Betty Get Your Bra On provoked someone to toss their bra on the stage at her feet.  Apparently, it had happened before, as McBryde tossed the garment back into the crowd, as her drummer opened an entire box of bras behind the riser and started throwing them on the stage.  One particular prop, several sizes larger than McBryde wears appeared in bright red.  She not only showed it off, but strutted down the runway with it on, and proceeded to take it off and pretend to slay the audience with it, much to the delight of those in attendance.

Ashley McBryde’s songwriting is often praised for its depth and authenticity, and her live performance at Tortuga was a masterclass in storytelling. Each song painted a vivid picture, drawing the audience into the world she created with her lyrics. From the regretful First Thing I Reach For, to the powerful Sparrow, McBryde’s ability to tell a story through song was on full display.

As the set headed for the end, McBryde saved some of her most beloved songs for last. One of them, A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega, was her first radio hit, and the crowd singing along to every word. The song’s uplifting message of finding joy in unexpected places was the perfect way to sum up the night. 


Photo Gallery : Ashley McBryde – Tortuga Music Festival (04.05.2024)

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