Written By | Hannah Robinson
On Wednesday the 21st of March, Florida Georgia Line brought quite the part to a sold out Rod Laver Crowd for their Can’t Say I Ain’t Country tour. Opening up to this adoring audience were American country artists Morgan Wallen, followed by Thomas Rhett.
The seats were not full but steadily filling as Morgan Wallen took the stage. The 25 year old, Tennessean captured the room with his crowd favourites such as ‘Whiskey Glasses’, ‘The Way I Talk’ and ‘Up Down’, which had many people up out of their seats and dancing along. As ‘Up Down’ features Florida Georgia Line on Wallen’s album, If I Know Me, later on during their set they called Morgan back on stage to perform the song once again with them. Wallen also connected with the crowd emotionally as he introduced his “special, personal song” called ‘Chasing You’ telling of how he wrote the song about something he was going through and how he “kinda needed to write it”.
Next up to keep the night going was 28 year old, Georgian, Thomas Rhett. Throughout his set Thomas talked of how he had visited the Australian tourist attraction The Twelve Apostles, which he really loved, sang ‘Life Changes’ while carrying around a red solo cup and after playing guitar for most of his performance, jumped on the drums to bust out a killer solo. Rhett sang his song ‘Craving You’, originally a duet with Marren Morris, asking the ladies in the crowd to sing her part, and they were happy to oblige. Towards the end of his set Rhett called a fan named Leigh out of the crowd to sing ‘Friends In Low Places’ by Garth Brooks with him, but not before they skulled a beer together.
I don’t think the crowd saw it coming when Florida Georgia Line took the stage as they began their set with the band playing along to Travis Scott’s ‘Sicko Mode’ as they entered the stage along with Morgan Wallen, Thomas Rhett and many other band and crew members, parading around waving to the crowd, drinking shots from a man who was carrying around a tray of them. To say they were ready for a good time would be an understatement. They then had a team huddle before most walked off stage and Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley launched into their first song ‘Colorado’. Hubbard and Kelley spent the night singing their hearts out, dancing around, high-fiving fans, and playing guitar. For lovesong ‘H.O.L.Y” a beautiful white grand piano was rolled onto stage which Tyler Hubbard played as he and Brian sang the track, dedicated to their wives. The two men also talked about how they’ve learned about “bogans”, which they proudly claim to be, as back in the US they’re called hicks and hillbillies. Brian Kelley wanted to display his boganess so he finish up the set with a shoey, which is an Australian tradition where one removes their own shoe, pours a beer into it and then continues to down the beer straight from the shoe.
With lights and pyrotechnics, a talented band, a setlist packed with fan favourites and their sweet fun-loving personalities with a dose of southern charm, Florida Georgia Line gave Rod Laver Arena a party to remember. The hands were clapping, the beers were flowing, the people were dancing and Melbourne country music fans couldn’t have asked for a better night.