Veterans and newbies coexist peacefully, if sometimes noisily, at Stagecoach, where aspiring youths and occasionally oldsters looking for fresh horizons get spotlight time in the early going, before the tried-and-true acts take over in the evening.
Florida Georgia Line, the group from — surprise! — Florida and Georgia just won the title of new artist of the year at the recent Academy of Country Music Awards, and got a shot on the Mane Stage in front of the majority of festival attendees.
Front guys Tyler Hubbard (Monroe, Ga.) and Brian Kelley (Ormond Beach, Fla.) pump out plenty of rock energy while attempting to inject rapped lyrics into several of their songs. But they're only too happy to fall back on the bane of mainstream country music: cliches about what "country" means.
"I like fried chicken right off the bone/ I like my peaches home grown... With a little Garth on the radio/ A little bit of Florida, A little bit of Georgia/ And a lot of country in my soul." That's not a song — it's a Chamber of Commerce marketing campaign.