My friend from high school and I drove to the FivePoint Amphitheatre on September 28th to see our favorite country artists. The headliner of the night was Florida Georgia Line, but anyone who knows me well knows that Dan + Shay, the third act of the night, were the biggest draw for me. When my friend and I showed up to this venue, I looked at the people around me. Pickup trucks filled the spacious parking lot and their owners were shotgunning beers. We entered Five Point Amphitheatre to see activities and tents near the seats. Audience members could play rounds of cornhole, line dance, or buy oversized White Claws. The energy was high and I knew this was going to be an entertaining night.

The first act was Canaan Smith, but I missed his performance. Next up was Morgan Wallen, who is most known for his songs “Whiskey Glasses” and “Heartless,” the latter of which features Diplo. His southern drawl and raspy voice got the audience fired up. While he only played six songs, his performance was strong. As someone who loves his album titled If I Know Me, I wished I got to hear a few more songs, though given the show’s four-act bill, it is understandable why he could only play a select amount of songs.

Next up was the entire reason I bought tickets: Dan + Shay. I had waited for months for this moment. They opened with their song “Alone Together” and continued to play songs from their recent self-titled album and their previous two albums. I was amazed at their ability to hype up the crowd. They jumped around on stage and excitedly sang at us to sing along with them. For a duo that has released three albums since 2014, a Grammy, and many rounds of touring, it was refreshing to see how humble, grateful, and energized they were, especially since this performance was the last show of the tour. Their last song was “Tequila,” which went #1 on country radio for two weeks. They got the entire crowd to practically shake the arena and sing the lyrics to the chorus. At one moment during the song, Shay belted a note which echoed throughout the amphitheatre, energizing the crowd even more. Their performance exceeded my expectations, which is saying something, and I lost my voice by the end of the set. As a fan, I am very proud of their accomplishments.

The final and main act was Florida Georgia Line. They played songs from many of their albums, many of which I didn’t know. Florida Georgia Line are also a country duo, but their southern accents are very noticeable and they have a twang to them that makes them fit the traditional mold of the country genre. They alternated between singing slower, romantic songs and energized, banjo-heavy songs. Near the end of their set, the audience got a great surprise that happens at every show on the tour. Dan + Shay came out for Florida Georgia Line’s song “H.O.L.Y.” Shay brought the entire song up a few octaves, making it especially powerful. Another important moment happened while Florida Georgia Line were singing a song called “Blessings.” They started talking about how grateful they were for the tour crew and the opportunities they have had, as well as their wives and families. They had the audience raise their hands as they sang the song as if in prayer. It was a calming moment that really added to their set. Their set was well-rounded and fun.

Overall, I had a blast. I love all three of the performers, so it was constantly entertaining for me. The environment was surely different from anything I’ve been in before, but it was a great people-watching experience. The thing I love about this genre, especially with these three artists, is how country songs tell a story. Country music makes you reflect on your own life, experiences, and the loved ones around you. With that in mind, I can say that this show made me feel excited and grateful for the life that I have.

- Hannah Ackles, DJ

Listen to Dan + Shay’s new song 10,000 Hours featuring Justin Bieber.

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