The Smooth Tour Takes Over Target Field (Florida Georgia Line/ Backstreet Boys + More)


Saturday night was yet another night of living the high life at Target Field. I was back after Friday’s Billy Joel show ready for more.

32 year old Chris Lane kicked off the show right at 6PM. With a sound that blurs the lines between country and pop music, he had the quickly growing crowd mesmerized by his vocal power. With only two albums out, the fact that Chris was on such a massive show was a bit mind blowing but, after just a couple of songs, it made sense. His style is unique but it’s also accessible. I get why this youngster’s career seems to be sky rocketing very quickly. He has all of the elements that a rockstar needs and he plays them off very well. I chuckled as I watched girls pleading with him for the roses he was handing out during his hit song “For Her” but, had I been down there, I probably would have been doing the same. Chris had a sense of sincerity that was something to be admired and, because of that and his beautiful voice, he had me sold.

Following up Chris Lane was Nelly. Yes, that Nelly. Nelly from the Lou; Nelly that used to wear the band-aid on his face– yeah, I was excited. Everyone had a rap phase and don’t sit there trying to deny it… we all had it. When I was in my rap phase, Nelly was my boy. Unfortunately, over the years I fell out of that scene and I couldn’t even tell you the last time I listened to a Nelly song. That being said, as soon as Nelly hit the stage playing what seemed to be a thirty minute medley of his hit songs, me and everyone surrounding made room to dance and sing. Nelly never really played a full song but that seemed to be by design. With only a thirty minute set and far too many hits to count, he had to do something in order to get through as much as he could and he did it perfectly. With his entourage and dancers behind him, Nelly powered through the set with a sense of ferocity and mastery that made you get up on your feet and sing along.

Up next was the highlight of the night for me– Backstreet Boys. I know I just saw them last winter during Jingleball but their set that night was far too short. I was so ready to see them play a lengthier set and that’s exactly what I got. The wall of lights that was behind the band was a sight to be seen and made their show feel like a show. The lights mixed with the synchronized dance moves that I used to memorize when I was younger gave the crowd exactly what you would want from a boy band that shaped the childhoods of a whole generation. Sure, I was more of a *NSYNC girl myself but that didn’t stop me from singing along to their hits that dated back to the mid 90’s. I sang my way through their set like an idiot surrounded by people who were able to keep their composure for the set but I didn’t care. I was having the time of my life and will never forget the night I got to watch BSB from the press box.

Wrapping up the night was hit country duo Florida Georgia Line. If I’m being honest, these guys definitely aren’t a band that I obsess over. I’m not a huge fan of country music but, as I always say, you can’t judge a band until you see them live so I waited patiently for them to take the stage but, in the back of my head, I was dreading it. As the intro music ended, there was a curtain malfunction and all you could see where the two members standing behind the curtain, waiting for someone to figure out how to get the curtain down. I couldn’t help but chuckle. What a way to start a show but, as the road crew physically ripped down the giant black curtain, the show started with a bang and I couldn’t move.

With fireworks, flames, smoke, and lights, FGL definitely had a stage show that could stop you in your tracks. Singers Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard danced and strutted their way up and down the stage as the audience members surrounding them screamed and reached for a high five. It was insane to see just how much people were into this band that I had completely written off. Like Chris Lane, FGL’s music blurs the lines of country and pop. Sure, there’s that country twang that gives me the worst headache but there’s also an element of accessible pop music that I am a sucker for (but don’t tell anyone, I have a reputation as a metalhead to uphold). This unique sound made country music (the bane of my existence) tolerable and it had me falling in love with FGL a bit more with every song they played.

FGL’s backdrop changed multiple times throughout the set but my favorite backdrop was when they had inflatable trees (that looked super realistic) that popped up during their song “Dig Your Roots”. The attention to detail throughout their set was impeccable and those visuals gave me something to look at and analyze when I was unable to sing along to the songs. The extravagant back drops mixed with the flashing lights and the booming fireworks and fireballs that went off throughout the show created a true experience, not just a show. The energy was electric throughout the set and, although I may not have been a huge fan when walking into the show last night, I definitely left as a fan.

If only seven year old me could see me now. Never in a million years did I think I would be watching The Backstreet Boys from a press box at Target Field. I feel like the past two nights truly showed me that all of this hard work, all of those random shows and late nights are finally beginning to pay off. Seeing artists that can fill an arena on back to back was a special experience.