Florida Georgia Line’s Saturday performance at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA made a chilly, September night seem like it was mid-July and 75°. The duo’s dynamic effect has that influence on their audience members and general fan base. Country is a popular music genre that can seem unoriginal at times, but Florida Georgia Line’s success stems from their ability to be different in a sea of similar country artists.
“The thing about people from Boston man… they’re proud as hell to be from Boston.” –Florida Georgia Line at Xfinity Center concert 9/12/15.
There is no common genre called “hard country” like there is hard rock. However, the duo is paving the way for that possibility. Florida Georgia Line rocks hard. Their twang and country lyrics certainly stick to Southern roots, but the intensity of their guitars and overall sound outweighs a lot of mainstream country music. Last night, they played the majority of the set off of their new album, Anything Goes, promoted for their "Anything Goes" Tour. Every song from “Anything Goes” to “Sippin’ on Fire” could be felt all the way in the lawn as the artists used streamer machines and pop-up entrances to capture the audience’s attention. Not a single person in the crowd was mute; Florida Georgia Line performed hit after hit, and the upbeat atmosphere was palpable.
Thomas Rett and Frankie Ballard, Saturday’s two openers, also put on notable performances. Both artists have hits huge on both country and mainstream radio, including Rett’s “Crash and Burn” and Ballard’s “Young & Crazy.” It certainly kept the crowd on their feet, an admirable feat in itself for any opener. They both interacted with the crowd, signing cowboy hats and taking selfies. The triple lineup was nothing short of a triple threat in regards to country male excellence.
Florida Georgia Line’s “hard country” persona that has exploded in the recent years derives from their wild, fun vibe as people and as artists. Both Tyler and Brian sported casual attire that showed of a plethora of tattoos and later added sunglasses to their outfits as they performed the summer perfection, “Sun Daze.” They made a toast onstage to the Boston crowd with *no surprise* solo cups and a small handle of Fireball. It’s as if the duo pulled their lyrics into the active performance. As Tyler and Brian were “sippin’ on fire” and “feelin’ alright [on] Saturday night,” the crowd was summer-level crazy. The answer to their lyric, “I brought the songs and who brought the party?” was clear. Every fan was swaying to the music as 19,000 filled the Xfinity Center capacity.
One particular song was left until the very end. After the encore cartoon video of Tyler and Brian, after “Sun Daze” with sunglasses, after the duo’s inspiration ‘mixtape’ mash up. When Florida Georgia Line began singing, “Baby you a song,” it sounded just as good as the radio version. Not only can they bring a solid performance; their vocal abilities match what fans hear on the records. “Cruise” is so iconic as their breakout song, including its rap remix, because it began to pave the way for the unique combination of hip-hop and country. Florida Georgia Line is a subtle genre blender and bender. Their success is rooted in an ode to country music with an exciting twist. Tyler and Brian will continue to stamp out hits that will make fans want to roll their windows down and cruise.