December 11, 2015 Cole Swindell Woos The Emporium Patchogue, NY 11-12-15 w/ Adam Sanders
Cole Swindell, a Bronwood, Georgia native, comes from humble Country beginnings. It was when he attended Georgia Southern University and joined a fraternity, Sigma Chi, that he made a connection with fellow member and now acclaimed Country star, Luke Bryan, that he received his first introduction into the Country music world. After graduating in 2007, with a degree in marketing, Swindell spent part of that year through 2010 selling merchandise for Bryan at Bryan’s shows. Perhaps that experience inspired Swindell to catch the songwriting bug, as he soon went on to writing several songs for Bryan, and on-the-rise Country artists such as Thomas Rhett and Scotty McCreery.
Riding high off the success his 2014 self-titled debut album, in the Spring of 2015, Swindell spent time supporting Jason Aldean on the Burn It Down Tour and, now later in the year, partakes in his own headlining tour dubbed The Down Home Tour. Taking the name from his two part EP’s, Down Home Sessions (2014) and Down Home Sessions II (2015), the tour runs a month long, visiting sixteen clubs between November 11th and December 19th. Breaking new ground, Swindell teams up with Monster Energy’s Outbreak Tour as a sponsor, the first Country artist to do so. Kicking off the tour in New York City, on the unseasonably warm night on Thursday, November 12th, Swindell, along with rising talent Adam Sanders, looked forward to taking the trip out to The Emporium on Long Island. In the heart of Patchogue village, fans lined up in their finest boots and plaid, ready to heat things up even further as a sense of excitement was in the air.
As the fans headed inside, down the stairs to the floor level of The Emporium, in front of stage area, they would soon be greeted by the evening’s hosts, Phathead and Bill Powers from local Country station My Country 96.1 FM. After pumping up the crowd, they handed the stage over to the opening act, Adam Sanders. In the same vein as Swindell, Sanders got his start in the business as a songwriter. Growing up, music was always a passion of Sanders as he found himself playing local fairs, talent shows, and local festivals. His love for music propelled him from selling Luke Bryan’s merchandise to setting him on the road to stardom. The Lake City, Florida native fell in love with the recording and creative side of music following his uncle, Scotty Sanders, around in the studio. Continuing to write songs, Sanders is now focused on his next goal of becoming a well known Country musician. Already making a scene collaborating with giants such as Cole Swindell, Luke Bryan, and Dustin Lynch, Sanders took to the stage with an aura about him that was infectious to the Patchogue crowd.
Opening with “Drink Beer To,” Sanders quickly won the predominantly female crowd over with his charm and demeanor. With the crowd warmed up, Sanders removed his jacket and graciously thanked the crowd for coming out to see the show. “Somewhere That You Don’t Go” followed as fans realized they were witnessing a star in the making before their eyes. Paying tribute to musicians he has worked alongside, Sanders played his first of three covers that were scattered throughout his setlist as he and the band broke into “Out Like That” by Luke Bryan. Returning to tracks he could call his own, he sat down on a stool to slow things down with “Thunder” before kicking into another soon-to-be hit with “Burning Roses.” “Don’t Pick Up the Phone” was next on Sander’s agenda as the crowd excitedly danced along.
Throwing a guitar pick into the crowd, Sanders asked if everyone felt like singing along with him. As the crowd loudly agreed to the idea, Sanders began playing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “I Won’t Back Down.” Taking some time to thank Swindell, he explained the two of them met when he had moved to Nashville. He proudly exclaimed the two are now best friends and the he looks forward to the two making lots of new music together. Introducing his next song as one of his favorites before dedicating it to a “special someone,” Sanders moved into “Real Men Love Jesus.” With one more cover up his sleeve, he continued with Dustin Lynch’s “Hell of a Night.” Grabbing a red Solo cup and taking a sip, Sanders saluted to good times before closing his set with “Nothin’ to Do but Drink.” Overall, Sanders was a fantastic opening act for the evening, and chances are he is headed for big things in the future.
As the crew worked hard to set the stage for Swindell’s arrival, the crowd only grew. With the Emporium ready to explode, Swindell and his band of Guitarist Joel Hutsell, Bassist Drew Hassell, and Drummer Chris Marquart finally came out swinging with “Down Home Boys,” immediately working the crowd into a frenzy. Choosing to “just kick it” with the Patchogue crowd, Swindell continued with “Hey Y’all” as the crowd waved their arms to the song. Giving even the more casual fans a chance to sing along, the lyrics lit up the screens behind Swindell and the band. The fun continued with “The Way You’re Lovin’ Me Now” as Swindell took advantage of every bit of the stage, dancing along and twirling a not-really-there lasso. As the screens behind showed clips of partying, the crowd was treated to “Brought to You by Beer” before a heartbeat sound introduced “Get Up.” Some ladies in the audience looking for a better view took to their men’s shoulders. As the music video by the same name played in the background, the band kicked into “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight.”
The crowd began going crazy for Swindell, who took some time to thank Sanders for opening the show before introducing a song that he wrote with a cover of Luke Bryan’s “Roller Coaster.” Swindell found himself not even needing to sing at times as the excited crowd gladly sung the chorus for him. “Shuttin’ It Down” soon followed before Swindell thanked the crowd for selling out the large venue on a Thursday night. Down Home Sessions II track “Dangerous After Dark” soon followed as the crowd got a taste of what the tour was all about. Swindell continued to spotlight the new EP while getting closer to the crowd for “Blue Lights” as lights of the same color flashed upon the screens. Moving on, he wowed the crowd with “Let Me See Ya Girl,” much to the delight of the many ladies in attendance. Fans again waved their arms in delight along to the music. Swindell thanked fans again, stating, “You’re the reason why we love what we do!” as fans applauded. Marked by a brilliant guitar solo, “Kiss” was the next track as the energy continued to build.
Slowing things down, Swindell flirted with the girls in attendance with “Ready,” before continuing with a cover of Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some Of That.” As Swindell moved along the edge of the stage, he took advantage of the setting by reaching out to fans, touching hands with anyone who could reach. Swindell brought in the next track, “Should’ve Ran After You” as one of his favorite tracks off the new EP. Excited about the next cover, he moved into “Beer In The Headlights” by Luke Bryan.” Swindell then played “My First Radio” before closing out the set with the song that got it all started for him, “Chillin’ It.”
As a roar rolled over the Long Island crowd, fans eagerly awaited Swindell’s return for an encore performance. Not one to let fans down, he returned and treated the crowd to Florida Georgia Line’s “This is How We Roll,” enticing the crowd to sing along with the hit song. Inviting Sanders onto the stage for one last song, Swindell thanked the crowd and introduced the final song as one they had written together. After thanking the crowd again for making the night very special, Swindell and Sanders closed the night with a bang on “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey.”
Cole Swindell never disappoints and he makes sure no two shows are alike on a nightly basis. Furthermore, playing through a setlist with a myriad of his own hits, Swindell is not against throwing some covers in as well. As the name suggests, the Down Home Tour is a great showcase of both Swindell’s releases. With more than just a few tour dates left, he seems determined to show the masses what he can bring to the table when given a headlining spot. Fans of the genre are strongly suggested to take full advantage of Swindell’s heavy touring schedule and get the chance to see the talented artist up-close and personal.