Shared from the 2017-05-01 Chattanooga eEdition

Concert review

Florida Georgia Line brings bro-country to Knoxville

Whether you love them or not, country duo Florida Georgia Line knows how to put on a show.

The pair, composed of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, skyrocketed to success in 2012 by combining country, pop and rap music into catchy songs like “Cruise,” “Get Your Shine On” and more. Their work has been pretty polarizing since then, drawing both fans who can’t get enough and critics who dismiss it as cookie cutter bro-country music.

Despite the criticism, Florida Georgia Line’s fan base is impressive and passionate, and thousands of Knoxville fans packed Thompson- Boling Arena Saturday night to hear them perform.

The country duo had an explosive start to their set. While performing their 2012 hit “This Is How We Roll,” Hubbard and Kelley were lowered from the ceiling as bursts of fire shot up from the stage.

Those effects coupled with Hubbard and Kelley’s commanding stage presence kept their fans entertained for almost two hours throughout their set. While the pair doesn’t have the most impressive vocals, they make up for it in the connection they can form with the audience in a matter of minutes.

They make their fans feel like family and don’t hesitate to share personal details about themselves.

While they sang “God, Your Mama and Me,” a video with footage of Hubbard and Kelley’s weddings played on a screen behind them and gave fans a glimpse into their personal moments.

Their show had a few more touching moments including when they signed a guitar and gave it to a young fan and when they went to the back of the arena and played acoustic versions of “H.O.L.Y,” “Sipping on Fire” and “Here’s to the Good Times.”

Those moments felt sincere, but they went by too fast.

The duo’s more upbeat party songs ruled the night as Hubbard and Kelley danced and jumped around on stage. They turned Thompson- Boling Arena into a giant party, and they could do no wrong in their audience’s eyes.

“Thank you for letting us do what we love,” said Hubbard,” as their Knoxville concert came to a close.

As their fans responded with screams that reverberated through the arena, it’s clear the duo won’t have to stop doing what they love anytime soon.

Before Florida Georgia line took the stage, Knoxville’s Morgan Wallen came out sporting a Tennessee football jersey. He sang songs from his 2016 EP “The Way I Talk.” While his set during the concert was short, Wallen’s charisma was infectious as he skipped across the stage, wore a huge smile and executed his songs effortlessly. His time in the country music scene is just beginning, but this show gave a promising glimpse of what’s ahead for him.

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