By Pepper

Florida Georgia Line brought their “Dig Your Roots” Tour to Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre Saturday night (October 8th) for the final country concert at the Orange County venue.

Opening acts included Kane Brown, The Cadillac Three, and Cole Swindell, whose fun-loving, playful set was betrayed only by the powerfully heartbreaking “You Should Be Here.” He included a solo version of his duet with Dierks Bentley, “Flatliner,” dedicating it to “every girl here,” as well as the songwriter’s versions of Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That,” and Luke Bryan’s “Rollercoaster,” and a song he imagines would have fit in very well with ’90s country, “No Can Left Behind.”

“This being the last country concert here, that’s a pretty good memory!” Cole declared during “Middle of a Memory,” during which he also name-checked the headlining duo, replacing the line “We’d be hanging out tomorrow night,” with “We’d be hanging out with Florida Georgia Line.”

He wrapped his set with “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey,” and his earnest acknowledgement of not only the U.S. military, but also local law enforcement and first responders could not have been better timed, given the recent losses of an L.A. County Sheriff’s Sergeant and two Palm Springs police officers.

While Florida Georgia Line’s latest album Dig Your Roots tackles some more mature subject matter than in the past, and Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley included several of those songs in their set, there was still plenty of good times to be had with their live show. They began their performance on two platforms, lowered from the catwalk to the stage, before launching into several songs that defined the early part of Florida Georgia Line’s approach, “This Is How We Roll” (co-written by opener Cole Swindell), “It’z Just What We Do,” “Round Here,” and “Anything Goes,” before diving into a more introspective part of the show, “Dig Your Roots” and “Confession.”

Tyler sat at the piano, as they dedicated their previous single “H.O.L.Y.” to their wives, and true to the theme of “Dig Your Roots,” projected several pictures from their youth on the screens, and performed snippets from several songs that inspired them. Brian explained that when he was in sixth grade, he went to his first concert at the House of Blues, Orlando, while Tyler, in the sixth grade, bought his first CD. Brian’s first concert and Tyler’s first CD were from the same artist: The Backstreet Boys, and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” was one of the songs they included in their medley.

But perhaps the most poignant moment of the night came during their performance of “Dirt,” which they preceded with another thank you to first responders, and also mentioned the coming end of the amphitheatre, noting the grounds where music and memories had been made, and where lives were changed. The bitter irony is that once Irvine Meadows is demolished to make way for a residential area, it more than likely won’t be the idyllic “white picket fence house” that the duo describes in “Dirt,” but rather, more cookie-cutter tracts.

Thank you, Irvine Meadows, for the memories.


Cole Swindell:

  1. Hope You Get Lonely Tonight
  2. Up
  3. Brought To You By Beer
  4. Chillin’ It
  5. Middle of a Memory
  6. Flatliner
  7. Get Me Some of That / Rollercoaster
  8. No Can Left Behind
  9. Let Me See Ya Girl
  10. You Should Be Here
  11. Ain’t Worth the Whiskey / Drink You Away (Justin Timberlake cover)

Florida Georgia Line

  1. This Is How We Roll
  2. It’z Just What We Do
  3. Round Here
  4. Anything Goes
  5. Dig Your Roots
  6. Confession
  7. Stay (Black Stone Cherry cover)
  8. Smooth
  9. Island
  10. May We All
  11. Dirt
  12. H.O.L.Y.
  13. Sun Daze
  14. Get Your Shine On
  15. Party People
  16. Must Be the Money (Nelly cover) / Should’ve Been a Cowboy (Toby Keith cover) / Last Resort (Papa Roach cover) / Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) (Backstreet Boys cover) / This Is How We Do It (Montell Jordan cover) / Jump Around (House of Pain cover)
  17. Cruise

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