Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 14, 2014

Ready to party

Florida Georgia Line ready to rock two Virginias

BLUEFIELD — Tyler Hubbard, the other half of country music’s Florida Georgia Line, said concert goers at the Second Chance Rocks the Two Virginias can expect a “high energy night” on June 21 at Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield.

“We are going to bring the party,” Hubbard said in a phone interview.

Hubbard, along with Brian Kelley, made Bluefield a part of their “This is How We Roll” summer tour. The duo will bring hip-hop guest Nelly to the concert as well.

“We all have the same style. Nelly has a high-energy style. Our fans are country music fans, but a lot of them grew up listening to hip-hop. He has been doing this for 15 years. It is good to see our fans come together and get excited about Nelly and then us afterward,” Hubbard said.

So far, Florida Georgia Line has tallied more than 14.2 million sold tracks around the world from their platinum-certified album “Here’s To the Good Times.”

In 2013, they won multiple awards, such as Single of the Year at the American Music Awards, Vocal Duo of the Year and Single of the Year at the Country Music Awards and Duo Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year at the CMT Music Awards.

Hubbard said the rise in country music has been gradual. The duo met while in college at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., and began playing in local clubs, writing songs between classes. They have no plans on slowing down or changing their style of music.

“The sky is the limit,” Hubbard said. “We have a long way to go and have to work hard. Let’s see where it takes us.”

Florida Georgia Line has also released four consecutive, multi-week No.1 hits including “Get Your Shine on,” “Stay,” “Round Here” and “Cruise.”

This makes them the only artist in history to join Brooks & Dunn in achieving this accolade.

Hubbard said the recognition is great and cool.

“It is blind-blowing. We have been very blessed and we have had a lot of support. It is an awesome ride.”

On coming to the state line of the two Bluefields, Hubbard laughed in appreciation at the location. The band’s name refers to Hubbard’s home state Georgia and Kelley, who is from Omond Beach, Fla.

“That is so cool. That is actually one of our places, the East Coast, especially Virginia. It will be good to get back,” Hubbard added.

Usually, tour stops only come to big urban cities. Fans from the immediate area, as well as out-of-town ticket holders, will get a chance to be a part of a big concert in a rural setting.

“We have passionate and loyal fans,” Hubbard said. “They don’t always get to see big concerts very often. We look forward to stopping in small areas.”

Second Chance Learning Center’s Erik Robinson said this year’s concert will be the biggest yet. There will be LED screens and a larger stage than in year’s past.

“When people arrive they will see a difference,” he said.

One of the main reasons is that Florida Georgia Line added Bluefield to their tour. Previous concerts were add-on dates or booked as a festival.

“We are fortunate to have them,” Robinson said.

He tried to book the duo two years ago but they were unavailable for the date. Robinson is kind of glad he had to wait.

“They are so hot in country music right now. Plus, they cross genres,” he said.

In recent years, many Second Chance performers like Eric Church experienced a rise in country music after their appearance.

Not this year.

Florida Georgia Line has already made their stand as one of the top acts in country music.

“If the Florida Georgia Line song with Luke Bryan remains No. 1 next week, we will have had the No.1 song and artist at the concert for the last three out of four years,” Robinson added.

Plus, he said, “They are really nice guys and like having fun. Their music makes people feel good. People are drawn to their music.”

Other performers include Clare Dunn, a repeat performer from the 2013 concert, and Chris Lane.

Robinson said those who are interested in attending the concert should purchase tickets quickly at Grants Supermarket, Paper-n-More, the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce and the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Tickets have already sold out online.

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