We knew going into last night’s Anything Goes Tour stop in Manchester, NH that it was going to be a hell of a night. After snowy weather in Nashville postponed the show from last Wednesday to last night, it was clear just from the walk into the arena how excited the fans were to watch their favorite artists perform. A lineup that featured three of the hottest young stars in country music and the singers of the two most recent number one radio singles offered a night fun of singing, dancing, and screaming.
Frankie Ballard kicked things off with his usual “I Came To Get Down” attitude. Despite a separated shoulder, broken rib, and ligament damage in his arm Ballard moved about the stage well allowing those who got there early a chance to connect with the Michigan native. With time for just five songs Ballard was sure to make things count, singing all three of his radio singles and potential summer party anthem “Drinky Drink.” As is often the case at a Frankie Ballard concert, the highlight of the set came during “Sunshine & Whiskey” when the crowd came to it’s feet in support of the rising star. After thanking the crowd for it’s support Ballard exited the stage allowing the crew to get things ready for Thomas Rhett.
The Valory recording artist has been on a roll of late. He just scored his third number one hit as an artist with “Make Me Wanna” and was named a finalist for the ACM New Artist of the Year award. That roll continued through last night in what Rhett went on to call the best night of his career. Rhett, who performed ten songs, gave the Verizon Wireless Arena everything he had despite battling a fever earlier in the day. It didn’t matter if he was introducing the sold out crowd to new tracks such as “South Side” or “My T-Shirt” or leading a sing along to any of his now three number one hits the crowd was loving it.
After a short break that included a magic show. Yes, a magic show. The house lights dimmed and the bass began bumping. Before the crowd knew what hit them the giant curtain hiding FGL’s expansive stage dropped, and up flew Brian and Tyler from beneath the stage. It didn’t take long for the two to come together, high five, and launch into what would be ninety minutes of partying.
The duo launched this tour to support their sophomore record Anything Goes, and did they ever. Opening their set with two new tracks before returning back to their third number one hit “Round Here.” It was here that the small percentage of fans in attendance who only knew the hits, came to life giving the arena an extra jolt of energy.
FGL fed off this energy and cranked things up themselves by dancing – jumping – around on their expansive stage. If BK was shaking it, Tyler was sliding side to side, if Tyler was jumping around, BK was shimmying about. Incredible, is really the only way to describe the duo’s chemistry on stage. Despite having a stage that took up about a third of the floor, they seemed to always where and what the other was doing. Sure, you can contribute some of that to practice and years of performing together, but there’s no denying their bro-bond plays a vital role. Often playfully-criticized for their high-fiving, they do so nearly every time they pass by one another, the act serves more as way to get synced up and make sure they know that they’ve got each others back. In other words what any best friend would do.
The rest of the duo’s set included a mixture of songs from their debut album Here’s to the Good Times and their new one, Anything Goes. Highlights included a heartfelt rendition of what they called their favorite song they’ve ever record, “Dirt” a nearly perfect performance of “Sippin’ on Fire,” which they informed the crowd would be their next radio single and thanked country fans everywhere for taking “Sun Daze” to the top of the country charts a couple weeks ago. As the duo sang the brand new lyric video played in the background allowing fans unfamiliar with the song to pick up on it quickly and sing along by the last chorus.
A short break after “This is How We Roll” revealed an outfit change into appropriate “Sun Daze” attire. BK and the band dawned board shorts while Tyler returned with a backwards hand, shades, and a local Manchester Monarchs tank top, drawing a nice roar from the crowd. Another short break allowed for a drum solo and the introduction of tour mates Thomas Rhett and Frankie Ballard who would help FGL perform the concert favorite, “Party People.” The new found addition of singers on stage allowed the duo to pause for “selfies” and autographs with those closest the the stage.
Florida Georgia Line closed their set out with a five song medley meshing classic country, throwback rap, and modern pop together in a way that only they know how and their multi-platinum smash “Cruise.” The nearly ten minute medley performance included a number of laugh out loud moments. Tyler got his “swag” tangled causing BK to stop the song and ask his buddy if he needed any help, he didn’t. Shortly there after the duo and their guitarists came to the foot of the sang to slide back and forth to the beat of Bruno Mars’ “Treasure.”
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