American pride was evident at the 2015 Taste of Country Music Festival during Eli Young Band's Friday evening (June 12) set, from the American flag adorning the back of the stage — a constant throughout Friday's performances — to the chants of "U.S.A! U.S.A!" that broke out multiple times.

The four-man band took the stage to loud cheers from the crowd assembled on the ski hill at Hunter Mountain, quickly blowing through "Drink You Up," "Revelations" and "10,000 Towns" before taking a moment to do a brief cover: David Lee Murphy's "Dust on the Bottle," which led, quite appropriately, into the EYB's own "Dust."

"There comes a time in life when you make peace with the things you're good at [and] the things you're bad at. This song is about making peace with who you are and taking it to the bank," frontman Mike Eli told the crowd before singing "Plastic" from the group's new Turn It On EP, followed by the project's title song. "Always the Love Songs" — which Eli called "a little bit of a bonfire tune" — followed.

One of the most poignant moments of the group's set came before and during the fan-favorite song "Prayer for the Road," which Eli dedicated to firefighters, military members and first responders -- "those of you out there who have served your country." Pictures of those American heroes flashed on the big screens at the side of the stage during the tune.

"I have to tell you how lucky we know we are. We get to play music for a living ... You gave us this opportunity, and we thank you for that," Eli said. "God bless each and every one of you. We all get to follow our dreams because of people like you."

Three of the EYB's biggest hits, "Drunk Last Night," "Crazy Girl" and "Even if It Breaks Your Heart," came near the end of their set, along with a cover of Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls" and Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly."

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