The Dusty Armadillo in Rootstown, Ohio was the place to be on Saturday night. The tickets for the show sold out in a record breaking four minutes, and the performers left no doubt as to why. The energy was through the roof for the 12th stop on Cole Swindell’s Down Home Tour.
Kelleigh Bannen, EMI recording artist, opened the show. She is one of CMT’s “Next Women of Country” and if you get the opportunity to see her live, then you will understand just how incredible she is. My expectations were exceeded halfway through her first song. A crowd favorite seemed to be “Smoke When I Drink”; she even held the mic out and let a couple lucky fans sing the words back to her. Kelleigh has amazing style and the perfect attitude to go with it. Her shirt had one word on it –“trouble”. This girl has made her way into the country music scene, and she has all the potential to stay.
A journey that started behind a merch table has lead Cole Swindell to his first headlining tour. The success this man has had in the past year is just the beginning of what is to come in the future. The sold out crowd exploded when Cole took the stage, and the energy remained the same until the set was finished. He opened the show with “Hey Y’all”, and the lyrics to this song are a perfect reflection of the night he had in store for us.
Cole covered several songs, all of which he wrote; including, Luke Bryan’s “Roller Coaster” and “Beer in the Headlights”, Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That”, Scotty McCreery’s “Water Tower Town”, Craig Campbell’s “Outta My Head”, and Florida Georgia Line’s “This is How We Roll”. His setlist also included four songs off of his newly released EP, Down Home Sessions; as well as songs from his self-entitled album.
I have never seen an artist command the stage quite like he does so early in his career. Multiple times during the show, Cole would take a moment just to appreciate the positive feedback coming from the crowd. The audience sang along to every song, sometimes so loud that Cole would hold out the mic in disbelief that we were actually singing his songs back to him.
He is as humble as he is talented, and there is no doubt that he will not be back to selling t-shirts any time soon.