Florida Georgia Line rocked thousands at a sold-out concert at the Hillsdale County Fair Wednesday.
For Kelly Stewart, it was worth an all-nighter waiting in line so she could get tickets.
“I waited 16 hours and 61 days for Florida Georgia Line,” Kelly Stewart said, bouncing in and out of her seat.
Her daughter made a neon-green poster brandishing the words, “I waited 16 hours and 61 days to see Florida Georgia Line.”
Wes Stevens said he saw Florida Georgia Line when they opened for Montgomery Gentry a year ago.
“Florida Georgia Line was so much better,” Stevens said. “I left because Montgomery Gentry was a letdown.”
Most fair-goers were still in shock that the now-famous band made its way to Hillsdale County.
“I mean, this is the middle of nowhere,” Angie Foreman said.
Seth Peleeuw, a native of Jonesville said this was the biggest thing to hit this area.
“When do you get 4,500 people at one venue in Hillsdale?” he asked.
Concert-goers donned their best country garb – plaid shirts, blue jeans and cowboy boots. A few creative fans made hats out of empty beer boxes.
When the opening band, Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys, walked onstage, the crowd was greeted by a group of rockers with a country twang. Flashing v‑necks, long unruly hair, bandanas, unbuttoned shirts, and electric guitars, Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys desperately wooed the crowd until Florida Georgia Line took the stage. Before the main event began, the qausi-rock-n-roll band shouted urgently into the throes of screaming fan-girls, “Always free hugs! And kisses for $5.99! Plus tax!”
After transitioning the stage for Florida Georgia Line, fans lifted hundreds of smartphones into the air, hoping to capture a picture of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly as they emerged from the smoke-obscured stage.
“It feels so good to be back in Michigan, y’all,” Hubbard shouted.
Interspersed between their own country songs, Florida Georgia Line sang covers including “Party like it’s your birthday,” Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop,” and Bruno Mars’ “Grenade.”
The tattooed back-up guitarist ripped off his shirt, inviting screams from the ladies. His fellow band member invoked the same reaction with his hip-shaking.
“I love how they get the crowd involved,” a fan said. “The hair – I love the hair!”
Hubbard gave a shout-out to the hard-working country people of Hillsdale and the men and women overseas who are fighting for freedom.
In order to entertain the fans, the band replaced the lyrics in, “Round Here,” from “It’s a feelin’ alright Saturday night” to “Wednesday night.”
“I was a fan before they were big. I think it’s great they are doing small venues instead of being sell-out cool,” Brandon Dewitt said.
As expected, the band wrapped wup the night with their hit song, “Cruise.” There were lights and screaming, as the crowd sang along to its favorite song.
It was a great way to end the night at the Hillsdale County Fair, with the fans singing “Come on girl, get those windows down and cruise.”