HOLMDEL, NJ—For a second year in a row, I’ve had the privilege of covering the Florida Georgia Line show at PNC Bank Arts Center. This time around, Ryan Hurd, Chris Lane and Nelly were the supporting acts. A hot day full of tailgating followed by the perfect, breezy night was the best way to watch this lineup of talent.
Chris Lane’s set was full of covers like, “Let Me Love You,” “Livin’ On A Prayer,” and his hits, “Fix,” and my absolute favorite, “For Her.” This guy is going to make it big. I’m calling it now — you’ll be seeing him headlining PNC dates soon!
Now, if you ever told 8-year-old, Band-Aid-on-face wearing me that I would be seeing Nelly in 2017 and loving every second of it, I’d probably believe you. I think Nelly was a staple in us Millennials’ upbringing, and I know I wasn’t the only one super stoked to be seeing him kill it on that stage. He opened his set with, “Party People,” and continued with throwbacks like, “E.I.,” “Air Force Ones,” “Country Grammar (Hot Shit),” “Ride With Me,” and if I name any more throwbacks, this will be too long of a sentence. You get the point.
Nelly, of course, brought it back to his country roots with a cover of Thomas Rhett’s, “Die A Happy Man,” and Nelly’s song originally with Tim Mcgraw, “Over And Over.” The whole set was a feel-good time to reminisce on the early 2000s with throwbacks, and that’s exactly what the crowd did through their excitement when each song started playing.
As for the stars of the night, Mr. Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, Florida Georgia Line put on a great show as always, comparable to last year’s in some ways, and completely different in others. The banner displaying the duo’s whiskey brand, Old Camp Whiskey, dropped as they performed, “Anything Goes,” “Round Here,” “Smile,” and “Smooth.” Now what reminded me exactly of last year were the trees that blew up all across the stage for the song, “Dig Your Roots,” but don’t get me wrong, that is not a complaint! I don’t think that tradition should ever be broken for this song — it sets a really cool vibe. The night carried on with the FGL songs that everyone loves and sang along to, and Tyler and Brian raised a toast to those in uniform before continuing to perform, “Sippin’ On Fire.” Again, “H.O.L.Y.” was performed on piano, and beautifully I must add.
Later in the set, “God, Your Mama, And Me,” was sung while the duo’s wedding videos and home videos with their wives played for the crowd — definitely a beautiful tribute and my favorite part of the whole set. Seeing who their songs are about really make you fall in love with Florida Georgia Line even more. The guys brought out their opening acts to rock along with them to “Sun Daze” before the iPhone lights all went on for, “Get Your Shine On.” Another favorite moment of mine! Nelly came out and performed “Hot In Herre” with FGL, of course followed by “Cruise (Remix).” It was a really cool time seeing how Nelly and FGL interacted on stage — total bromances there. It was really cool to see two completely different genres put on such successful night while everyone in attendance thoroughly enjoys the night. I sure did!