Onstage moment at Luke Bryan Hartford concert brings healing to two boys: ‘needed this’

Stacy Sicari's youngest sons sang "Drink a Beer" onstage with Luke Bryan at the singer's concert in Hartford's Xfinity Theatre.

Stacy Sicari's youngest sons sang "Drink a Beer" onstage with Luke Bryan at the singer's concert in Hartford's Xfinity Theatre.

Stacy Sicari / Contributed Photo

Eleven-year-old Robert LaFranchise III has been listening to his favorite Luke Bryan song, “Drink a Beer,” on repeat for the past few months. On Saturday, he sang it onstage with the county singer himself.

At Hartford’s Xfinity Theatre Saturday evening, Luke Bryan invited brothers Nash Sicari, 15, and LaFranchise to sing “Drink a Beer” with him to help honor the boys’ late father, Robert LaFranchise, Jr., who died from a heart attack at 48.

The boys had been holding up a T-shirt saying “Our Dad died. Can we sing Drink a Beer together?” which prompted the country singer to bring them up to the stage and put on the T-shirt. Multiple fans posted videos of Bryan putting his arms around the boys and wiping away Robert's tears during the performance. One TikTok video has 2.8 million views as of Aug. 2.

@tanya.tck Luke is so awesome @LukeBryan #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #country #countrymusic #concert #lukebryan #raiseduprighttour ♬ original sound - Tanya

Stacy Sicari, the boys’ mother, said that memory of the concert is helping her heal after losing her husband on May 12, 2022.

“I think it’s starting the healing process. I know they say each person is different. But I think [the boys] needed this,” she said.

“Drink a Beer,” which describes the reaction of learning about the death of a loved one, was the first song of Bryan's LaFranchise listened to and has been his favorite of the artist's ever since, he said. 

Sicari said the track has been the family’s “go-to song” when they’ve lost someone close. But ever since his dad passed away, LaFranchise has been listening to it non-stop.

“He literally replays that song over and over,” she said. “Every day. He will go to sleep and keep it on replay.”

LaFranchise discovered Bryan's music from his mom, who loves country music, and he often played the artist's songs in the car with his dad. It's just one of the memories they hold on to.

The boys' father, Robert LaFranchise, Jr., liked roller coasters and fishing and would spend time with his kids playing video games, going to arcades and bowling, Sicari said. According to LaFranchise, he was "the best." 

Robert with his dad, Robert LaFranchise Jr. 

Robert with his dad, Robert LaFranchise Jr. 

Stacy Sicari/Contributed photo

In February, Sicari said she proposed that they go to a Luke Bryan concert, but they never went. LaFranchise brought up the idea again later and asked if the rest of the family could come with them. Sicari then got pit seats and made custom T-shirts since the theatre doesn't allow banners. The oldest brother and Nash brought their T-shirts, but LaFranchise left his at home, assuming Bryan wouldn’t see it.

As soon as Bryan walked onstage, the boys were holding up their T-shirts from the back of the pit. The people standing in front of them noticed the words on the shirt, but Bryan still couldn’t read it, Sicari said.

“Yep, it's not gonna happen. I'm not gonna get to meet him. This is just how it's gonna go. It is what it is mom,’” LaFranchise said.

“Don't say that," Sicari said. "Because I'm telling you right now, it's gonna happen."

When Bryan started performing “Drink a Beer,” the second to last song of the concert, the people standing in front of the family started pushing LaFranchise and Nash toward the stage. Sicari told LaFranchise to throw the shirt onto the stage and Bryan picked it up.

“These boys have been holding this shirt up all night since I walked out on stage tonight,” Bryan said.

Luke Bryan wears the custom shirt Stacy Sicari bought for the concert in Hartford, CT.

Luke Bryan wears the custom shirt Stacy Sicari bought for the concert in Hartford, CT.

Stacy Sicari/Contributed photo

By that moment, Sicari said she was already crying, and she was shaking when Bryan invited them up on stage. When the singer wiped away LaFranchise’s tears, she said she cried even harder. For LaFranchise, it was all a shock.

“I wasn’t expecting any of this,” he said.

Bryan signed the shirt and returned it to the boys, who went back into the crowd after the song. LaFranchise cried for about 20 minutes following the experience, Sicari said. 

“I was like, ‘I told you, someone was helping.’ And Bobby’s like, ‘I know. Dad was there helping and looking down,’” she said.

After the concert, around 20 people offered their condolences to the family, she said. The following day, Sicari was tagged in a TikTok video. She downloaded the app and ran to tell her son he was TikTok famous.

While that moment from the concert is helping the family heal, Sicari said she sympathizes with others who are grieving and offers her support to those dealing with the loss of a loved one.

“It's gonna take time. Just to be strong. Be there for one another. Lean on family and friends,” she said.

Stacy Sicari and her family at the Luke Bryan concert in Hartford, CT.

Stacy Sicari and her family at the Luke Bryan concert in Hartford, CT.

Stacy Sicari/Contributed photo

Bryan — who, in the past several decades, experienced the deaths of his brother and sister — recorded the song in memory of his siblings, according to country music website Taste of Country. For Sicari, it helped that the boys were able to sing with an artist who can relate to their situation. And while she didn’t get to speak to Bryan, she said she wants to thank him for the kindness he showed her sons.

“Thank you for making them smile. Because it’s been a long time since I've seen Bobby smile,” she said.