John Lamb, Published October 02 2013
Country duo Florida Georgia Line lives life in the fast lane
On Saturday the pair pulls into Scheels Arena for a show that sold out its 5,000 seats in less than 30 minutes. Many of the dates on the group’s “Here’s to the Good Times” tour have either sold out or only have limited seats left.
Singer/guitarists Brian Kelley (from Florida) and Tyler Hubbard (from Georgia) teamed up in 2010 and released a six-song disc on a small label by year’s end.
In May of 2012 they released a five-song disc, “It’z Just What We Do,” that included “Cruise.” The disc created enough buzz that they signed to a bigger label in July.
They got a taste for the big time when they played an early slot at WE Fest 2012. Two days later, “Cruise” was released, and while it quickly caught on, it took until December to hit No. 1. The tune revved up again a few months later when Nelly’s remix of the song made it a pop crossover.
On a recent tour stop in Salt Lake City, Kelley talked about the past year and the future for the group.
How have things changed for you guys in the past year?
It has been crazy, man. It’s been a whirlwind. A lot of things have changed, but Tyler and I are the same guys that started writing songs on the back of his tailgate of his truck. You try to take one day at a time because you get pulled in a lot of different directions. We’re having the time of our lives. It’s a dream come true. We’ve got the most amazing fans in the entire world, so it’s a dream.”
What were things like for you a year ago?
It was crazy a year ago too. This time last year, we were about to hop on the CMT tour with Jake Owen. We were in a sprinter van and now we’re in a few buses. In a couple of weeks we’re about to be in three buses and three tractor trailers.
What was it like to work with Nelly?
Man, it was incredible. Nobody saw “Cruise” coming and we knew we had something special, but never of this magnitude. It’s been like a blessing. Our fans have assembled like a dang army and spread our music like a wildfire. It’s really cool to see. The Nelly remix definitely brought another life to it. He definitely killed it. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We wanted him on it. We’re big fans of him since middle school… He’s kind of become like a mentor.
What does it mean to you to have the Fargo show and some others sell out so fast?
Man, it’s amazing. It’s our dream to headline a tour, but to have them sell out that quick, it’s humbling and mind-blowing. It makes us want to work that much harder and continue to make the show the best it can be and go out every night and rock our faces off and give every crowd our best.
Are you feeling any pressure for a follow-up, to have something bigger than ‘Cruise?’
Not at all. You can’t compare anything to ‘Cruise’ and we’re not trying to write another ‘Cruise.’ There is no pressure on album two whatsoever. We’re just going to go out there, get with our team and pick the best songs and write the best songs we can and see what happens. Me and Tyler have been playing music for a long time and got to be on tour with a lot of amazing artists we got to learn from. We’re just ready for one of the biggest parties of the fall.
What are your recollections from WE Fest last year?
It was amazing. We played earlier in the day and got to watch Alabama, Sawyer Brown and Eric Church. That was just a dream come true to see Alabama play in front of 40,000 people from side stage. We played another show at midnight. It was just an epic night.
You’ve already been announced for next year. So what does it mean to come back to WE Fest two years later and in a better slot?
We can’t wait. We were dreaming of it then and it’s going to be great to be back for sure. The fans are incredible there. You go around the campgrounds there, man, it’s electric.
If you go
WHAT: Florida Georgia Line, Colt Ford and Dallas Smith
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Scheels Arena, 5225 31st Ave. S., Fargo
INFO: Tickets are sold out.
Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533