"To feel the energy and then have it reciprocated back from the pool, that's what we've missed. That's the drug we live for that we haven't had," he tells PEOPLE

By Mark Gray
June 07, 2021 03:41 PM
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Dustin Lynch
Credit: Al Powers

With a full house of deprived music-hungry fans watching him, Dustin Lynch took to the stage over the weekend for the first time since March 2020. The adrenaline rush from that moment, he says, was like "a drug."

The coronavirus pandemic, of course, altered the touring schedule for every music artist, so to be back out there - in this case, performing at a pool party in Las Vegas with a temperature reading 104 degrees - brought back memories of a pre-Covid era.

"To feel the energy and then have it reciprocated back from the pool, that's what we've missed. That's the drug we live for that we haven't had," he told PEOPLE following his Encore Beach Club performance, which came as part of his three-day weekend festival in Vegas, The Pool Situation.

Dustin Lynch
Credit: steve worster

"We haven't done a show in a year plus. The heart rate was high. So I'm dealing with new emotions that I forgot about," Lynch added. "The adrenaline rush and just what we live for is that connection of being all on the same wavelength to celebrate and forget about the real world and just live in the moment."

Not only did he perform a two-hour set at a pool party on Friday afternoon, he also hosted a nightclub party with Brandi Cyrus, hit golf balls and did an hourlong impromptu meet-and-greet at Top Golf and also turned up for a surprise performance alongside Hardy at another outdoor pool on Saturday.

Metaphorically speaking, he burned the whole place down.

"Our mission of this is we want to give our fans the best weekend possible that they go home and talk about all year, and they want to come back and do again," he said, while teasing plans to make it an annual festival in Las Vegas and elsewhere in North America. "Year one, we're throwing darts in the wind, but it looks like we're hitting a few bulls eyes here and there. And so we'll see what happens."

Dustin Lynch
Credit: Al Powers

The pause in live music notwithstanding, Lynch has been on a roll.

His Tullahoma album, which was released just two months before the pandemic, has charted three top 5 songs with "Good Girl," "Ridin' Roads" and "Momma's House." New music, he says, will also "trickle out" this year, much like "Tequila on a Boat," which he recently released with Chis Lane.

"My whole goal this past break has been to keep the momentum. How can we keep building it? How can we get back to it?" he said. "With 'Thinking 'Bout You,' that's just organic luck. The stars have aligned."

"It's going to be a fun year," he added.