Two years and four months ago I walked into the Music Farm with two close friends to see Corey Smith (blog post). We rounded the merchandise table for koozies to hold our beers when we noticed a “FGL” logo. I remember saying “What the hell is FGL?” I didn’t get a response. So we grabbed our koozies, beers, and headed towards the stage for a good spot. Intro music came on for the opening band, who I hadn’t bothered to look up, and two guys busted out from backstage to the lyrics *you can party with the Florida Georgia Line!” Then I saw the FGL logo on the guitar of who I’d later find out to be Tyler Hubbard. It finally clicked! I didn’t know any of the words to any of the songs but I learned them quickly. I didn’t want their set to end. I downloaded their first EP from iTunes before I left the parking lot and listened to it nonstop. Every time I talked to someone in the local radio business I begged them to help bring Florida Georgia Line back to Charleston. I actually had to travel to Atlanta last year because they still had not returned to Charleston yet. But finally, FGL announced a Summer Series this year at minor league baseball fields and Charleston was on the list. A few close friends and I grabbed up our tickets as soon as they came on sale and then had to wait the 2 months or so until the concert date finally got here.
I will admit, there was one thing I was more excited about than FGL finally coming back to Charleston. Chris Lane. I was introduced to his music about two years ago and have been trying ever since to work out a trip to see him. It was so exciting when I spotted him walking around on the field before his opening set.
Chris Lane launched onto the stage which such high energy that lasted through his entire set. He performed mostly newer songs, such as “Saturday Night“ and “Everybody Wants To Party“. He covered a few rap songs which was completely badass! Chris ended his set with his brand new single “Broken Windshield View” which came out Tuesday and already soared to the Top 10 in the Country genre. I wish I could have made it over to the Music Farm for the official after party. I would have loved to hear more of his performance. I can only hope he had a great time in Charleston and will come back soon!
I’m not sure how I didn’t get any pictures of Nelly’s performance. I think I was in shock when he first came out. I’m not sure what song he was rapping to but it was awkward. I’ve been so involved with country music the past few years that I’ve forgotten how to appreciate other music genres. But then he broke into his older songs that we all knew and loved. I hadn’t realized Nelly has been around for 15 years. I was 10 when “Country Grammar” came out then. And he tested us. He wanted to see how many of us had been around since the beginning and my group knew every word of “Country Grammar”. I have a feeling none of the younger crowd knew what was going on. Nelly had a few humble speeches towards the end of his set. He was so grateful that country music fans accepted the “Cruise Remix” and made him feel welcome on the tour with Florida Georgia Line and Chris Lane. He also told the crowd to chase their dreams like he had before ending the night with “Just A Dream“.
I pre-apologize for the lack of Florida Georgia Line pictures. Between all the lights and the smoke I could not get a good picture on my phone. The crowd went wild when the stadium went dark and the intro started. Out burst Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard to “It’z Just What We Do“. The second song of the night was a drinking song, “Tip It Back“. If you haven’t played it yet, every time they say Tip It Back you have to tip it back. It’ll take a beer and a half or two. Only a few songs in the boys had a surprise for us. I knew Thomas Rhett was in town. I knew he was at the show. I was hoping he would come out. What I didn’t realize was that he wrote FGL’s third #1 “Round Here“. I hadn’t seen Thomas Rhett in about a year since he came to Charleston on the Night Train Tour so that was an exciting surprise.
Tyler had us all turn the flashlights on our cellphones on for “Get Your Shine On“. The rest of the night was a blur of “Party People“, “Here’s To The Good Times“, “Stay“, “Take It Out On Me“, “People Back Home“, “This Is How We Roll“, “Tell Me How You Like It“, and “Dayum Baby“. I only wish they’d perform some songs from their very first EP like “Backwoods Beauty Queen” and “You’re Country“. Then it came time for the encore. It’s so shocking how people still don’t get the concept of an encore. People were leaving. Hello! They still haven’t played “Cruise” yet. And you know it’ll be the remix since Nelly is there. I can’t remember the first song of the encore but the second was my favorite Alabama song “I’m In A Hurry.” And finally… The “Cruise Remix” with Nelly, although I think Nelly’s mic was turned down, complete with fireworks.
I don’t know how I’m able to speak today. I screamed every word to every song last night. Dear Florida Georgia Line, please don’t wait another two years to come back to Charleston. Dear Chris Lane, you are welcome to Charleston anytime. Come on back! Soon please!