Sunday, August 12, 2018
By AMANDA TONOLI
Stambaugh Stadium was jam-packed with a record crowd Saturday night to see Florida Georgia Line — a fact noted by the wildly popular country duo’s vocalist Brian Kelley.
“You guys created a record here for social gatherings,” he yelled to the estimated 19,000-plus people overflowing the stands and field on the stadium’s home side.
The crowd was also the largest for a music event in Youngstown.
One concert-goer, Hannah Barnes of Columbiana, said she just wanted to see what 19,000 people looked like.
She added that she also just really enjoys Florida Georgia Line.
And the number of fans isn’t the only record the duo created. It’s the first band to play both Stambaugh Stadium on Fifth Avenue and Stambaugh Auditorium farther north on the same street. The act sold out the 2,600-seat auditorium in February 2013 when it was just starting its rise.
Kelly Hyden of Girard, flanked by friends Mark and Carly Cramer, both of Liberty, was happy to experience the band’s Saturday night appearance.
“We really do just like going to concerts,” she said.
After Pennsylvania-based Chris Higbee opened the show, followed by Morgan Wallen gearing up the crowd with the hit “Up Down, ” Florida Georgia Line’s Kelley and Tyler Hubbard opened with “Anything Goes, ” and energized their fans with “Colorado,” “Round Here,” “Confession” and “May We All.” It closed with its classic hit “Cruise.”
Tailgaters sported jeans, flannel shirts and cowboy hats and boots as they danced, sang, played cornhole and more in the parking lot across the street from the stadium.
Jennifer Fentress of Hubbard appreciated the sunny weather.
“It’s so nice out for our first time here [at Stambaugh],” Fentress said. “It’s great — we’re having a great time and every time they have something down here, we’re going.”
Fentress was accompanied by friends Ashley Mansour, Sydney Mansour and Samantha Frohman, all also of Hubbard.
Jamie Hopkinson came with her boyfriend Dylan Duchek and friends Michael Kunzer and Gary Muntean, all of Struthers, to tailgate.
This concert was special to Hopkinson.
“We were supposed to go to Florida Georgia Line’s concert last year in Pittsburgh, but didn’t, but Dylan surprised me and it was great,” Hopkinson said.
The concert was the second annual Y Live event, following last year’s successful show with Zac Brown Band, which drew about 17,000 fans to the stadium. The facility can seat 20,000, including 5,000 temporary seats on the field.
Y Live is co-promoted by Youngstown-based promoter JAC Live and the Muransky Companies.
Tickets ranged from $45 to $125.