Since their song “Cruise” blew up and became a national sensation in December 2012 Florida Georgia Line has had numerous awards and played in front of packed venues, like the crowd that packed the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis to see them Saturday night can attest to.
It was the final show to the 2015 season at the amphitheatre.
In town nearing the end of their hugely successful Anything Goes Tour the duo (Brian Kelly and Tyler Hubbard) admitted that it was in Saint Louis, while opening for Jake Owen at The Pageant the week the song took off, that they realized they had a lot of fans who started coming out to see them. Though they couldn’t agree on the date (and they actually said they were opening for someone different) the fact of the matter remains, they gained realization here that they would make it big. (I was there and can attest to the fact the crowd was in a frenzy for them.)
Who can blame them for being confused? It has been, after all, an incredible run in the three years since then. What with over 15 major awards from the CMA’s, ACM’s, Billboard and CMT there has certainly been a huge response to the sound that they produce. Love them or hate their brand of “bro-Country” their popularity cannot be denied.
They burst on the stage Saturday to open their show like they did in the music world, via a catapult propelling them up onto the stage on the back risers. They started off with “Every Night” and “It’z Just What We Do” while playing to the crowd like seasoned veterans. They had no troubles as their harmonizing was spot on, as were their backing band.
Throughout the set they touched on all eight of their Top 5 singles (Billboard Top Country) along with some that haven’t tracked or weren’t released as singles like “Confession” and “Smoke”. But the majority were songs that everyone already knew, whether it was from them or a cover of someone else’s songs.
The duo didn’t focus on one genre for the evening (as was evidenced by their opening lineup alone) as they touched on rock (with their version of Black Stone Cherry’s “Stay”) and rap (“Forgot about Dre” and “We Dem Boyz”) and more “traditional” country with a cover of Alabama’s “I’m In a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)”.
But it is their undeniable catchy hooks and crowd friendly stage presence that have fans flocking to see them night after night. Or maybe it was for the beer they were tossing out from their motor coolers they rode onstage for “Sun Daze”. Either way, they band is winding down this tour to head back and record their third album to follow up 2014’s Anything Goes. If the crowd on Saturday was any indication they will eat up the band’s next effort, happily.
Opening for FGL was Drew Castle, a pop/R&B/Rap guitarist/songwriter/singer whom FGL noticed on Instagram and signed to their new publishing company, Tree Vibez Music.
Frankie Ballard’s set was a full on blues/rock/country assault designed to wake up anyone who thought about napping before the show.
Ballard prominently displayed his prowess on guitar and made that a center piece of his set. With nimble fingers and a raspy-soulful attitude Ballard delivered a rousing set that included his hits “Sunshine and Whisky”, Helluva Life” and “Young and Crazy” with a 50’s style rock star attitude.
Ballard’s set has a Bluesy style and rocking feel and he certainly showcased that with his uptempo covers of ZZ Top’s “La Grange” and Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” to end his set. The set certainly made me want to check out one of his solo shows next time he is in town.
Thomas Rhett mixed in a series of rock, pop, and R&B with his set. Looking rather dapper with a green suit and black tee, Rhett’ performance and stage setup was something not normally seen by a support act.
With a 45 minute set that included his hits “It Goes Like This” “Get Me Some of That” and “Make Me Wanna” in front of a set that looked like it belonged with Justin Timberlake, Rhett was not bridled to just one genre as his set seemed more like a pop/rock show than a country set. He also did a surprisingly good rendition of Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”. The crowd was certainly, and not surprisingly, immersed in what Rhett had to offer. (Another star from this lineup waiting in the wings for his sure-to-be big break).
Florida Georgia Line Setlist:
It’z Just What We Do
Get Your Shine On (with Drew Castle)
Sippin’ On Fire
Bumpin’ the Night
Party People (with Frankie Ballard and Thomas Rhett)
Hell Raisin’ Heat of the Summer
Hands On You
Here’s to the Good Times
I’m In a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why) – (Alabama cover)
Stay – (Black Stone Cherry cover)
This is How We Roll
Friends in Low Places – (Garth Brooks cover)
Forgot About Dre – (Dr. Dre/Eminem cover)
Chattahoochee – (Alan Jackson cover)
We Dem Boyz – (Wiz Khalifa cover)
This Is How We Do It – (Montell Jordan cover)
Cruise – (with Nelly)