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Friday night 'festing: Florida Georgia Line, Justin Moore get their party on at WE Fest

Florida Georgia Line amped up the pyrotechnics for their Friday night headlining set at WE Fest 2018, which featured fan favorites like "Meant to Be" and "Cruise." (Photo by Townsquare Media)1 / 2
Justin Moore got the crowd pumped up at WE Fest Friday night with an 'old school country' set that included songs like "I Could Kick Your Ass" and "Small Town USA." (Photo by Patrick Hughes / Townsquare Media)2 / 2

"Who came here to rock on a Friday night?"

Pretty much everyone, if the enthusiastic crowd that filled the concert bowl at WE Fest for Florida Georgia Line's set is any indication.

The country music festival's Friday headliners proceeded to do just that, roaring through party anthems like "Anything Goes," "It'z Just What We Do" and "Round Here" to start off their 85-minute set.

But the duo also showed off their softer side with a two-song tribute to the "loves of their lives" — Brian Kelley‎ and Tyler Hubbard are both happily married — crooning their way through "H.O.L.Y. (High On Lovin' You)" and "God, Your Mamma and Me" before urging the crowd to dance and sing along to "Sun Days" and "Get Your Shine On."

The duo also brought their fans along "to church" with the reverent ode to country living, "Dirt," then asked them to sing along with one final chorus that they dedicated to all the military service men and women, police officers, rescue workers and others who "put their lives on the line" while doing their jobs every day.

Of course, the crowd was also more than willing to sing along with FGL as they sang their most recent chart-topper (with Bebe Rexha), "Meant to Be" — not even needing the prompt of seeing the lyrics projected on the screen behind the stage to belt out every word right along with them. And it's no surprise, as the song recently broke the record for having the longest-ever run at the top of Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

It was the second time the band had held the record, as their debut hit "Cruise" spent 24 weeks at the top in 2012 and 2013. That song was the final part of a three-song encore to cap the night on WE Fest's main stage.

Earlier in the evening, Justin Moore rocked his way through a 17-song set that included crowd favorites like "Backwoods," "Bait a Hook" and "Kinda Don't Care," as well as some lesser-known songs like "Bed of My Chevy" and a cover of the "old school country" song by Ricky Skaggs, "Honey Won't You Open That Door."

Moore finished off his set with the defiant "Kick Your Ass," followed by the oddly romantic "Point at You," which talks about how the love of a good woman shows the soft side of a man who is, appropriately enough, known for "making noise on small town Friday nights."

Earlier in the day, a mid-afternoon thunderstorm pushed back the start of Rodney Atkins' set by about 45 minutes, but by the time Tyler Farr and later, Chris Janson took the stage, it was a distant memory, as nary a raindrop could be seen.

Also on Friday, WE Fest organizers announced the festival's first headliner for 2019: Chris Stapleton. The winner of 5 Grammys, 7 Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards and 7 Country Music Association (CMA) awards, Stapleton has also claimed Album of the Year (twice), Male Vocalist of the Year (also twice) and New Artist of the Year (2015) honors. For more information, or to purchase tickets for the 2019 festival, please visit

The 36th annual WE Fest concludes tonight, with performances by Ashley McBryde (3 p.m. Main Stage, 12:30 a.m. Barn Stage); The Cadillac Three (5 p.m., Main Stage); Josh Turner (6:30 p.m., Main Stage); Chris Young (8:30 p.m., Main Stage) and Jason Aldean, who will close out the festival's Main Stage performances at 10:45 p.m.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

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