Partying with Florida Georgia Line
My friend Christy (with whom all of my avid blog readers should know well by now) and I have been following the band Florida Georgia Line for some time. Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, along with their band, put on an absolutely amazing show. How they have not won Entertainer of the Year yet, I honestly have no idea. Although they sometimes get a bad wrap for not being traditional “country,” their music is fun and upbeat, and their concerts are a place to let loose and have a good time. They may not be the ABSOLUTE BEST vocalists in the world (still pretty good though) but they put on one hell of a show.
We’ve made a lot of memories with Florida Georgia Line, like our first show when Christy was forced into a bar fight with a VERY drunk girl while trying to protect me from her flailing arms. It’s a long story, but basically this girl pushed her way up to the front when she shouldn’t have, security didn’t take her out of the crowd when Christy called them, and she got mad that Christy tried to have her removed. During the band’s third song, she reached up out of nowhere and grabbed Christy’s hair, yanking her head back and giving her pretty significant whiplash. The crowd literally parted (like on TV) and the two of them were “fighting” in the middle of a circle of people right in front of the stage while the band was still playing. And by fighting, I mean that the girl held on to Christy’s hair bending her over sideways in her four-inch heels while Christy smashed a beer can into the side of her head (luckily Christy has really long arms). Needless to say, security (and the entire band) saw the whole thing, the girl got arrested, and we got VIP tickets to our next show at that venue. Like I’ve said before, Christy is more than a concert buddy. She’s also a pretty awesome friend and body guard! To this day, Florida Georgia Line still remembers that night, back when they only had two singles on the radio.
After that crazy night, we became totally hooked on their music and followed them whenever we could. A few years later, we got to go on their music cruise out of Miami, where they had bands playing all over the cruise ship for 4 PM to 2 AM on multiple stages. Thomas Rhett, Tyler Farr, Cole Swindell, Colt Ford, the Cadillac Three, and several others were also on the ship. It was absolute insanity. I think I slept about twelve hours in four days, but I’ve never had so much fun in my entire life. I love cruises and I love concerts, so this was the absolute perfect vacation for me. I do hope they decide to do it again at some point.
Although I cherish all of the memories we’ve made with Tyler and Bryan, perhaps the most special happened just a few months ago in Orange Beach, Alabama. FGL played two nights in a row a the Wharf, and outdoor ampitheater on the water. We knew it would be super hot, but we couldn’t pass up seeing the guys two nights in a row. The first night we won meet and greet passes through their Old Camp Whiskey instagram contest, and it was great to be able to say hi to them and catch up a little bit. We told them how much we liked their new Old Camp, and how much we were looking forward to the weekend. They seemed genuinely happy to see us, and put on a fabulous show (as usual).
The second night started off totally normal. We got to the venue early to be the first ones in the gates so that we could get our same spot as the night before. It was hot and the crowd was wild, but we ended up with nice people around us, and everything was good. The guys came out, opened with “Anything Goes” (one of my favorites), “Itz Just What We Do,” and “Round Here“ (which is ironically the song they were playing when Christy was fighting with that girl). At the end of “Round Here,” Tyler throws his guitar across the stage to his tech, and then they usually start “Smile.” But not tonight… (Yes, I know. It’s bad. I know the setlist and every word to every song.)
After “Round Here,” Tyler stopped the show and called back to his guitar tech to bring him that guitar back. He turned and pointed at me from the stage and said:
“I just want to take a minute to call out this girl down here. She’s a longtime fan, and she’s been here two nights in a row in the same spot singing every word to every song, drinking her Fireball and Old Camp Whiskey.”
He went on to say how much he and Bryan appreciate fans like us, and that he wanted to do something special–he wanted to give me an autographed guitar.
Y’all. I. About. Died.
I have this vivid memory of turning to Christy with my mouth hanging wide open as they were signing the guitar, and Christy mouthing, “HOLY SH*T!“ We both almost cried. I was SHOCKED. I had absolutely NO idea that was coming, and it was just so special. Apparently I was on the big screen, but I totally missed that. I was 100% freaking out.
Tyler then said, “Here you go, and learn how to play it.” Tyler, really? Dude, I love you an all, but the thing is bigger than I am. I’m not exactly sure how that would work, but I will definitely cherish it forever, and it makes me smile every time I see it in my room. It brings me back to one of the best nights of my life with one of my favorite bands, best friends, good music, and plenty of Fireball. What more can a girl ask for?
I know Tyler and Bryan aren’t traditional country, but you know what? That’s okay! Music changes over time, it evolves. That’s one of the things that is so great about it. Tyler and Bryan are good people, talented song writers, and fabulous entertainers. They care about their fans. They are gracious. When you meet them, they want to know you name and where you are from, and they thank you for spending your hard-earned money on one of their concert tickets. To me, that’s what makes a good performer, not whether or not they fit into a particular genre of music 100% of the time.
Thank you Tyler and Bryan for being such great people. Thank you to the band as well (especially Dan and Sean!), because without y’all, the show would not be the same. And of course, thanks Christy for another amazing night. Cheers to many more!
Who brought the party back? That was Florida Georgia Line.
Side Note: Of all the concerts Christy and I go to together, that night at the House of Blues was the ONLY time she has EVER gotten close to getting in a fight. That is certainly NOT a regular occurance, but Christy handled it super well. I know that she always has my back!