Can’t Say Michigan Ain’t Country

Rachel Basela, Life & Arts Editor

The boys of country music visited DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Michigan, on Aug. 10 as part of their “Can’t Say I Ain’t Country” tour. Hardy, Canaan Smith, Morgan Wallen, Dan + Shay and Florida Georgia Line performed in this order starting at 7 p.m. Each group brought a sense of individuality and high-energy to the stage that evening.

Michael Hardy, who goes by “Hardy,” ran out on stage wearing a Britney Spears T-shirt. He sang his set with gusto and had that classic country twang. Hardy finished off his set by discussing his journey from being a songwriter in Nashville to making a well-known name for himself as a performer, and then, of course, shot-gunned a beer for the screaming audience.

Canaan Smith performed twice. He came out to the front of the stage with an acoustic guitar around his neck, followed by a backup singer who played acoustic beside him and a bassist to bring the group together. The three men played a short set to entertain the crowd while the stage was set up for Morgan Wallen and then Dan + Shay. Smith seemed extremely grateful for the opportunity to be an entertainer at such a large and popular concert, and he introduced the next groups with excitement.

Morgan Wallen had that country swagger that only a guy with a mullet can bring. The swanky hairdo and the classic country persona had the crowd engaged throughout his entire set as he asked questions and shared personal stories about his time in the limelight.

Dan + Shay wooed the audience with their personal bromance and their lyrical romance. The power-duo thanked the crowd on multiple occasions for coming to the show and urged the chorus of the audience to raise their voices as they sang along to classics like “Tequila” and “Speechless.” The two singers brought out the best in the concertgoers, as the couples swayed to the music and the rest dreamed of a love like the one that Dan + Shay sang of.

Florida Georgia Line, the headlining group, had a stage set-up complete with over-the-top LED lights, fireworks and moving pieces. The audience seemed to know all the words to every song, and FGL used this to their advantage as they asked the crowd to take over singing a few lines. Not only did the duo deliver with their special effects and music, they also got sappy when talking about their wives and their kids, which hit home to the family-oriented crowd.

Overall, each of the groups entertained the audience in individual and special ways. However, one common theme throughout the evening was classic country romance, and it brought the crowd together like nothing else. You can’t say Michigan ain’t country after being a part of an evening with these southern boys.