Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 22, 2014

Rocking the two Virginias

BLUEFIELD — The artists who performed Saturday evening and night at Mitchell Stadium welcomed the Summer Solstice with a twang and a thump as a crowd of more than 10,000 people showed their love for great country, rock and urban music.

Austin Edwards and Santana Thomas — both of Matoaka — attended their very first Second Chance Rocks the Two Virginias concert with different favorites.

“I’m just waiting for Nelly,” Thomas said. “I like their music.”

“I’m here for Florida Georgia Line,” Edwards said. “This is all pretty cool.”

Each time Tyler Hubbard, the Georgia side of Florida Georgia Line, called “West Virginia,” on stage, all 10,000 or more people responded with a heart-thumping cheer. Hubbard and his Florida native partner, Brian Kelley, seemed to feed off the reaction from the crowd, and throw more energy into the songs that everyone in the house seemed to know by heart.

“I want to thank you, West Virginia, for allowing us to be in your house tonight,” Nelly (Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) said near the end of his high-energy concert. “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

The crowd was diverse — reflecting the make-up of the community itself — yet regardless of race or creed, everybody ... everybody seemed to know all of the lyrics of all of the songs.

“When I was younger, I didn’t listen to much rap music,” Rodney Kasey, a native of Smith Mountain Lake, Va., said. “My parents gave me an appreciation for all music.” Kasey works for the town of Bluefield, Va., in the Parks and Recreation Department, but has attended all of the Second Chance concerts. “Two years ago, I worked selling beer out of one of the coolers,” he said.

Nelly and his group, the St. Lunatics, brought three young ladies from the audience up on stage and made them part of the show. Ashley Mullins, 19, of Clintwood, Va., got the chance to dance on stage as Nelly performed. Nelly serenaded Nicole Marcello, 20, of Burnsville, N.C., with a ballad while Phillipe Jackson, 29, of Bluefield sang a duet with the rap star.

“It’s unreal!” Mullins said. “I’m still in shock. When he asked me to strut on stage, I gave it all I had to give.”

“I was so excited!” Marcello said. “I have been dreaming of this ever since I got (Nelly’s) first CD. He is such a gentleman.”

“I was amazed,” Jackson said. “I’m still shaking. I’ve been a fan of Nelly’s since he first came out. This is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before in my life.”

Kent Martin of Roanoke, Va., based SRO Productions was excited about how the audience received Florida Georgia Line, Nelly, Chris Lane and Clare Dunn. “We capped it at 10,000, and there may be a few more comp tickets in here, but the reaction of the crowd has been great,” Martin said.

Dunn hung around backstage to enjoy the show. “It was really great of (Florida Georgia Line) to bring me along here to perform for an audience of 10,000 people,” she said. “I’ve performed at this concert before, and I love the audiences here in Bluefield.”

Dunn said her new release, “Get Out,” is climbing upwards in the charts. “You can pick it up on iTunes,” she said.

The crowd absolutely went wild when Florida Georgia Line emerged on stage. Smoke shot up from the floor of the stage and a video camera captured the incredible performances of the musicians, feeding those scenes as well as the fans packed in the Mitchell Stadium stands enjoying the show.

“This is what we do, baby,” Hubbard sang, as everyone there sang the same line in unison. “Bluefield, West Virginia: Are you ready to rock?” The answer to that question was obvious.

Erik Robinson, executive director of the Second Chance Learning Center, expressed his appreciation to the concert sponsors and to all of the people who attended the show.

“I’ll smile in a couple of days,” Robinson said.

Sgt. M.D. McPherson of the Bluefield Police Department said the crowd was generally well behaved. “It seemed to go pretty well,” he said.

— Contact Bill Archer at

Text Only
Local News
  • U.S. shipping coal overseas

    July 28, 2014 1 Story

  • Firefighters worked scenario nearly identical to tunnel incident

    David Thompson Sr., chief of the Green Valley-Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department said on Sunday that regional emergency responders had met in Wytheville, Va., in June to discuss a emergency response that was similar to the real life emergency that occurred Friday afternoon in the northbound lanes of the East River Mountain Tunnel.

    July 28, 2014

  • Elite eight... Eight inducted into Tazewell High School Hall of Fame

    The Elite Eight were honored by the Tazewell High School Hall of Fame Saturday.
    Eight honorees — Glen Riddle, Charles Grindstaff, Whitney Davis, Carol Green Robertson, James “Robbie” Colley, Ralph “Moon” Mullins, James Farley and Don Necessary, Sr. — were inducted Saturday at THS in the seventh annual presentation coordinated by chairman Lawrence (Debo) Johnson. They join 50 previous honorees in the select group of former graduates, supporters and friends of THS as chosen by the HOF committee.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Jays Sunday Danville nips Bluefield in 12 innings

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Practice scenario nearly identical to real-life tunnel fire

    July 27, 2014

  • Crash... Two transported from Route 460 wreck

    Two people were transported to a Mercer County hospital following a two-vehicle wreck Sunday afternoon on U.S. Route 460 at the intersection with Willowbrook Road.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo


    July 27, 2014

  • Active warrants in Tazewell County July 27 Active warrants in Tazewell County July 27

    The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking the following individuals. Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of these individuals can call the sheriff’s office at 276-988-1167 or the Tazewell County 911 Center at  276-988-0902.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_4822.jpg All tunnel lanes open

    Traffic on Interstate 77 was still backed up about 14 miles in Bland County, Va., Saturday evening, but the Virginia Department of Transportation reported at about 6 p.m. that both northbound lanes of I-77 through East River Mountain were open to traffic.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 2 Slideshows

  • First on scene... Firefighters’ story: Working together put the fire out

    Lights in the southern end of the tunnel illuminate an odd design beside the catwalk near the left lane of the northbound tube of the East River Mountain Tunnel that transports I-77 from Virginia into West Virginia. Two firefighters who made the initial assault through the total darkness of the soot and smoke-filled tunnel left those marks as they slid their arms along the catwalk wall on their journey back to the light.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

National and World
Newspaper Deivery Routes Available
Sister Newspapers' News
Local News Videos