Last night in West Palm Beach, there was enough camo and American flag combos that, at times, Coral Sky Ampitheatre looked more like Fort Bragg. Ladies in booty shorts with boots searched for a good spot on the lawn, and thousands were ready to see a band that some have described as "a plague."
Okay, fine, that was us. But our sister paper, Dallas Observer, compared them to ebola, so, hey, it could have been worse.
The night's lineup included openers Frankie Ballard and Thomas Rhett, and — of course — headliner Florida Georgia Line. The air was typical South Florida summer, muggy and so thick it could be cut with a knife. As one inebriated female slurred, "My hair looks drunk."
But drunk hair aside, one question remained: why do people love Florida Georgia Line? The duo is one of the most hated bands in country music, but, like everything, there are two sides to the story. So we talked to Florida Georgia Line's fans to find out why they love the band.
When we asked why he likes Florida Georgia Line, Henry, 21, grinned and said, "Because it's just about having a good time...just everything."
His smile was infectious, but his answer left us wanting more.
"A lot of country songs are down or obsessed with love but they're happy," says the girl on the far left. "Country music sometimes gets so depressing."
The girl in the middle is a fan of the band's geography. "We're from Florida and we've got to rep Florida Georgia line. And we like country music, so we gotta like them."
The girl on the right just wanted to have a good time. "They're just fun," she said. "I can see that people say they talk about the same things over and over...just take it how it is with them."
This cowgirl cutie appreciates the duo's versatility. "I love the mix of the rock they have with the country," she said.
This pint-sized interviewee was so adorable she could have said anything and our heart would have melted. So why does she love Florida Georgia Line? "Because I love them," Bailey shyly said. The song "Cruise" is her favorite.
We want to adopt her.
These country bros appreciate many facets of the country duo. TJ, left, said, "They got an all around sound. They literally hit every section of music."
Colby, middle, replied, "They have attractive women in their videos...for what they can get."
Nick, right, chimes in with, "They're from Florida — half of them." Nothing gets past Nick.
"They're pretty new," says this cowboy hunk. "They have a rap/country sound to them. It's a pretty new sound. Some people appreciate it and some people don't. I'm a fan of it because I like all types of music."
These men in uniform weren't technically there voluntarily, but we wanted to know what they thought anyway. Jake on the far left admits he likes the sound, but isn't a hardcore fan. "I like them; they're popular. I only know two songs."
And at the end of the day, we're left with an answer, sort of. It seems Florida Georgia Line's fans, just — well — they just like them. Perhaps it's the rest of us who are over-analyzing this too much? Maybe if we just grabbed the nearest Coors Light, popped on a camo hat, and just enjoyed it, we too would have a good time. Like these two buds, Josh and Anthony.
Josh's favorite part about Florida Georgia Line is "the Florida part," while Anthony's is "the Georgia part."