Jun 15, 2017
What do you get when you combine an up-and-coming country music duo with a big-name record producer and a hip hop artist? You get a pop version of the most downloaded country song in music history. The artists, Florida Georgia Line and Nelly, come to town with relative newcomer Chris Lane for a sold-out show Friday at Darien Lake.
Dubbed The Smooth Tour, you can expect to see Nelly and Florida Georgia Line to share the stage and perform the remixed version of the massive hit, “Cruise,” which charted on pop and country music charts in 2013.
The pairing of a hip hop artist and a country music duo on a remix is unusual, but pairing the two genres on a major headlining tour is unprecedented. The pairing has resonated with music fans because the show is sold out. Tickets from re-sellers are running over $100 a ticket for lawn seats.
In just five years, Florida Georgia Line has gone from a band that opened for Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift and recent Darien Lake headliner Jason Aldean, to a major headliner, due in no small part to “Cruise” and the duo’s brand of “bro-country,” a sub-genre the duo inspired that combines country and hip hop along with lyrics about pickup trucks and pretty women.
Florida Georgia Line’s duo is Brian Kelley from Florida and Tyler Hubbard from Georgia. While they have yet to match the success of “Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line has become a staple on country radio thanks to songs like “Stay,” “This is How We Roll” with Luke Bryan, “H.O.L.Y.” and their latest single, “God, Your Mama and Me,” which features The Backstreet Boys.
All three of Florida Georgia Line’s albums have hit number one on the country music charts. You can expect a good selection of songs from all three albums on Friday.
Nelly’s chart success pre-dates Florida Georgia Line’s by a decade. Ironically enough, his first album and major single is entitled “Country Grammar.” Like Florida Georgia Line, his first album is his most commercially successful.
In addition to a slew of successful singles including “Ride wit Me” featuring City Spud, “Dilemma” featuring Kelly Rowland and the massive hit “Hot in Herre.” Nelly also had a hit with another country artist, “Over and Over” with Tim McGraw, which peaked at number three on the Billboard charts in 2004.
Nelly is also a three time Grammy Award winner, an actor and entrepreneur. He is also the fourth highest selling rap artist of all-time based on Recording Industry Association of America’s sales figures.
Along for the ride with Florida Georgia Line and Nelly is Chris Lane. This is Lane’s third time out with Florida Georgia Line, dating back to 2015. His highest charting song is “Fix” back in 2015. Lane also had a minor hit with “For Her” last summer.
If you are lucky enough to have tickets, it should be a raucous Friday night at Darien Lake, so prepare to be caught in some traffic and watch out for people who may be having a little too much fun.
By THOM JENNINGS, Batavia Daily News