Florida Georgia Line's Rodeo Pizzazz Trumps Clichéd Music
Photos courtesy of Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo
Florida Georgia Line NRG Stadium March 18, 2015
"There's only one time a year when we get to play in front of 75,000 people," said vocalist Tyler Hubbard 15 minutes into Florida Georgia Line's performance Wednesday night at RodeoHouston.
"And we didn't come all this way not to make a toast to all these amazing people," added Brian Kelley, the modern-pompadoured second half of the chart-topping bro-country duo. "It's an honor."
The two singers then raised a bottle of Fireball toward the crowd, alternating swigs from the whiskey du jour before launching into the final chorus of "Round Here" as fans chanted along in unison.
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"What time is it, brother?" Kelley then asked his counterpart.
"I think it's time we light this place up," Hubbard responded. "Houston, if you've got a cell phone, if you've got a lighter...you look beautiful, and it's time to get your shine on, baby!"
NRG Stadium was filled with light almost immediately as a myriad of attendees lifted their phones into the air, producing quite the sight to accompany to the music. And so the night went, with one radio hit after another until the fireworks went off.
Their religious backgrounds notwithstanding, FGL have come a long way from where they met in, believe it or not, Tennessee.
Formed through a campus worship group at Nashville's Belmont University, Kelley and Hubbard eventually partnered with Nickelback's producer to craft the pop-country, rap-infused songs that are now regularly broadcast on radio stations throughout the nation.
Wednesday night, the duo brought their fledgling show to Houston with a professional flair, captivating 75,015 people (official paid attendance) with their generic, upbeat blend of bro-country.
Man-tanks and faux-country getups abounded as the duo sang of Fireball whiskey (by name), Bob Marley, Harleys, Air Jordans, getting laid and putting a ten percent down payment on a nice house.
As a whole, Florida Georgia Line's music is an amalgam of many genres, distilled to their most generic forms. Making their second straight RodeoHouston appearance, the Southern duo and their merry band performed an hour of their catalog and, while the music itself was lacking in originality, their performance was airtight.
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Walking offstage, Hubbard and Kelley made one final lap around the stadium, a consolation for only visiting one side of the crowd earlier in the evening, and tossed a beer onto a group of adoring fans as they made their exit.
So was it country? Kind of. It was clearly influenced by the genre, if only loosely. But was it entertaining? Sure. And my opinion aside, Florida Georgia Line sold over 75,000 tickets last night, which means mine was the minority vote.
Personal Bias: I'm a masochist, apparently.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Let us strap your kids to livestock and call it entertainment."
Random Notebook Dump: If you bring your infant to a concert without headphones, we're all gonna have a bad time.
SET LIST Every Night Party People Round Here Get Your Shine On It's Just What We Do Anything Goes Stay Sippin' on Fire Dirt You Ain't Even Gone How We Roll Sun Daze Cruise
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