On a brutally hot evening in South Florida, The Swon Brothers and show opener Emily Brooke filled the outdoor area of CityPlace in West Palm Beach, despite the rivers of sweat pouring down the faces of those comprising the eager crowd. Hosted by local radio station 103.1 WIRK, the very station that played the Swons’ “Later On” the first time the guys heard it on the radio, the show was one for the books.
The show was opened by hometown sweetheart, Emily Brooke. Emily is a fifteen-year-old prodigy who is well-known in the community for lending her talents to some of the biggest concerts and festivals in town. With amazing vocal range, the ability to play guitar on all of her songs, and the talent to teach herself other instruments, most recently the piano, Emily is someone who will soon graduate from opening slot to headlining act. Actually, based on some clips recently leaked by American Idol, it is possible we may see Emily on the small screen first …
During Emily’s set she played many country music fan favorites, including Miranda Lambert’s “Fastest Girl in Town,” Sugarland’s “Baby Girl,” the Pistol Annie’s “Hell on Heels,” and Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel.” Interspersed throughout her setlist, Emily also included originals that appear on her debut full-length album Here Right Now. Perhaps the most identifiable song on Emily’s album is “Dance Hall,” which was coincidentally later released by NBC’s The Voice Season 4 champion, Danielle Bradbery. Whether it was a cover or an original, the crowd sang along, clapping and cheering for Emily every note of the way.
Photo credit: Sara Kauss Photography / www.sarakauss.com
Highlights of Emily’s set included The Civil Wars’ “Devil’s Backbone,” which shows off Emily’s vocal range and prowess, far more developed than most teenage artists you will come across. Every time Emily delivers this song, it is flawlessly jaw-dropping, and this show was no different. The crowd was enamored by the way Emily traveled octave to octave, all the while strumming her guitar with no additional instrumental accompaniment. Another highlight was Emily’s final performance, a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” Emily’s rendition of Cash’s hit song showcased her maturity as an artist, as well as her incomparable versatility.
Emily commemorated the exciting evening by taking a selfie with the crowd before she went to take pictures with and sign autographs for fans:
Next up were the headliners of the evening, The Swon Brothers. Zach and Colton drew in an energetic and enthusiastic crowd of men, women, and children of all ages. From the beginning of the “Swoncert,” the brothers exemplified the art of harmonious singing, seamlessly complementing one another and creating some of the most beautiful music imaginable with their vocal chords.
The audience was filled in on some pretty impressive happenings in the Swons’ career as of late, which include a “Swongwriting” session with Lady Antebellum’s Dave Heywood and Charles Kelley. The result of that session was the track titled “Song That Said it All.” The song is a slow-tempo offering that highlights Zach and Colton’s abilities to blend their voices, otherwise featuring only a few guitars.
Once they had the crowd in the palms of their hands, they squeezed them tightly by saying two magic words: Blake Shelton. They asked if there are any Team Blake fans, which caused the members of the audience to erupt. Colton then followed up the cheers with “we owe a lot to that guy. He’s as cool as you think he is. He’s a great friend and he’s still coaching us after the fact. Give it up for him!” This led into the Swons’ performing a cover that they conquered on The Voice and that took them to Number 1 on the iTunes chart, Loggins’ and Messina’s “Danny’s Song.” Everybody sang along, especially when the Swons turned their mics outward for a repeat of the chorus.
Photo credit: Sara Kauss Photography / www.sarakauss.com
The guys also covered Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishing in the Dark,” which thrilled audience members as well. Jokingly, Colton asked the crowd if anybody wanted to join them on stage because he has been “trying to replace [his] brother for years.” Without skipping a beat, Zach replied “I’ve been trying to replace my sister for years.” When the laughter died down, a fan was brought on stage to help the Swons finish the cover song, but she did not escape the spotlight before Colton requested her phone number and Facebook information.
Other memorable moments of the set included a medley of songs: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are,” Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me,” and The Temptations “My Girl.” They wrapped up their show with their first radio single, “Later On,” leaving the crowd amped for what is coming next in The Swon Brothers’ career. And what should be coming next is a long, successful career, considering Zach and Colton Swon have two of the most spectacular voices to come through the industry, coupled with endearing and lovable personalities that fans can’t help but swo[o]n over.
Further proving how incredibly humble, gracious, and appreciative they are, the guys invited Emily Brooke back on to the stage one more time to recognize her brilliant opening set and to thank her for warming up the crowd for their show.
Thank you to 103.1 WIRK, CityPlace, Emily Brooke, and The Swon Brothers for a wonderful West Palm Beach evening! If you haven’t had the opportunity to see Emily or the Swons, check out these videos and make sure to click on their iTunes banners below to pick up their music while you’re at it!
Follow me on Twitter @JenSwirsky
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