Country Throwdown Tour Is ‘Crazy’ Dream Come True for Florida Georgia Line
A year ago, had you asked the gentlemen of Florida Georgia Line how'd they be spending their summer 2012, playing the Country Throwdown Tour probably wouldn't have been their answer. The country duo, currently making an impression with their summer single, "Cruise," certainly had aspirations to share the stage with some of their musical heroes, but they didn't definitely didn't expect it.
"Right before last year's (Throwdown tour) kicked off, I was like, 'Man, that would be awesome to be on that tour,'" Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley tells The Boot. "It's crazy that, literally, a year later we were invited on it. We've learned so much. It's been a crazy, crazy summer. No day is the same. Each day you have the same set up, but the fans are different. We're living the dream."
That dream includes graduating from Brian's Chevy Tahoe, which housed the pair for the first few years of their career. "We now have a van, whose name is Jarvis," he says with a smile. "I don't know where that came from. Our guitar player dubbed it Jarvis. There's a lot of time to kill on the road, so you have to find ways to laugh and have a good time."
Once they reach the venue, though, the boys are all work ... at first. "It's pretty non-stop for me, BK and the band when we pull up," Brian's cohort Tyler Hubbard explains. "From unloading the semi, getting our gear up, to setting up the merch tent, loading the stage, soundchecking, playing the show, signing (autographs) for an hour or two, then going to the grocery store to get the food to grill out that night."
And by 'grill out,' the Georgia native means that after their set, they go backstage and feed everyone else on the tour. "We're the barbecue band, so we grill out just about every night," he says.
"We play, then we fire up the grill at usually 9:00 PM. We feed the crew and all the other artists and it's a private, little party. There's beer and music," Brian adds.
Their tourmates, who include Gary Allan, Rodney Atkins, Justin Moore, Josh Thompson, Sunny Sweeney and Eric Paslay, try to make it out to the feast as much as possible. "At least they'll stop by and have a drink or something," Tyler reveals. "Some of the guys hang out a lot more than the others, but it's definitely a good time. We've talked to Gary Allan a little bit. We're not best friends yet, but we chat a little. He shows up right before he plays and he might hang out a little afterwards. He's showed up early a few times and hung out. He's cool."
One thing the Florida Georgia Line guys do miss about their pre-tour schedule is songwriting. "There's really not too much time to write," Tyler admits. "We've been out on the road all summer and we've only gotten to write a verse of a song. We've been itching to write really bad, it's just the time hasn't been there."
While the tour hasn't left them with much time for sleep or days at home, Brian assures that it has given them something even better. "It's been busy, with radio stops in the middle, but we've made a lot of really good friends: Maggie Rose's band -- that whole crew -- and been hanging with Josh Thompson some," says the Florida native. "We've made a lot of life-long friends, which is really important."
The Country Throwdown tour comes to a close July 8 in Nashville. However, Florida Georgia Line will not slow down their tour schedule. The duo's next stop is July 19 in Memphis, Tenn. Get a full list of their concert dates here.