Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cole Swindell's Down Home Tour

Sometimes events combine to give a fan one of the best nights ever and Cole Swindell's Down Home Tour was just that special. The opening acts for this years tour are Cole Taylor and Travis Dennning. Both are relatively new artists with some pretty stellar songwriting credits to their names. 

This makes the third year for this tour and each year Swindell releases a Down Home Sessions EP to serve as a sort of soundtrack. When the tour was announced, I discovered not only was it coming to Oklahoma, but the opening stop was here in Tulsa on October 26th at my favorite concert venue, Cain's Ballroom.  Swindell was one of the three remaining artists on my 'See Before I Can't See' list and finally getting to see Cole Taylor live was an amazing bonus. You can read his Artist 411 article here. Needless to say things were aligning to be a great concert and I had yet to hear Travis Denning's music before.

Cole Taylor - Cain's Ballroom

Cole Taylor was the first artist to take the stage and I was not disappointed. Sometimes opening acts have not fully developed their craft for live shows, but that was not the case with Taylor. He played several songs from both his self titled EP and his Step 2 EP including "Drop Top" and "Part Of This Town." He also played his newest single "Cold Beer." A wonderfully written, opposites attract song that I highly recommend. After a small intermission, Travis Denning took the stage and he sounded incredible. We got to to hear several of his songs including "Here's To The Home Town" and "Southern Rock." Not to mention some of his awesome songwriting credits like "Everybody We Know Does." The latest single by Chase Rice. On top of having incredible sets, both Cole Taylor and Travis Denning came out to the merch table to meet their fans. You can listen to Cole Taylor's music on Spotify and Travis Denning's on the Reverbnation Discover app.

Travis Denning - Cain's Ballroom

When Cole Swindell, the 2016 NSAI Songwriter of the Year, took the stage, the energy level was incredible. He has to be one of the most humble and sweet artists I have ever come across and had the pleasure of meeting. I swear his entire time on stage he never stopped smiling! Swindell told the crowd he loves the Down Home Tour. Because it is when he gets to reconnect and give back to the fans that helped him get to where he is today. Swindell's set list was absolutely AMAZING. The songs ranged from the one that started it all, "Chillin It," to the heartwarming tribute pinned about his father, number one hit, "You Should Be Here" to Down Home Sessions 3 songs "You've Got My Number" and "Chevrolet DJ." In fact, we were treated to all Swindell's singles including a favorite of mine "Let me See Ya Girl" and his newest one "Middle Of A Memory." After the Down Home Tour raps up Cole Swindell will be hitting the road with none other than Dierks Bentley. He told us about the pending tour before he sang "Flatliner." A song he sang with Bentley on his You Should Be Here album.

Cole Swindell - Cain's Ballroom

The amount of love and respect Swindell showed his opening acts was like nothing I have ever seen before. He told the crowd to remember their names. Because they were going places in the music industry. At different times, Swindell brought both artists back on stage with him. Cole Taylor performed "Stay Down Town" with him. One of Taylor's songwriting credits from Swindell's album You Should Be Here. When Travis Denning came back out, Swindell let him perform one of his songwriting credits for the crowd. A song several people around me were pleasantly surprised to hear. I heard,"Wait, he wrote this?" several times as he started playing "All Outta Beer." A song recently cut by Jason Aldean. Every artist in the Down Home Tour lineup is proof keeping up with songwriters is definitely a great idea.  

Sometimes a photo truly is worth a thousand words. This one in particular shows just how appreciative Cole Swindell is of his musical journey and the fans that got him there. A journey that he is now actively using to help newer artists. To me, Cole Swindell is one of those artists you can't help, but respect. The third anniversary of the Down Home Tour certainly started out with an incredible bang and is packed full of some extremely talented Georgia natives. I highly recommend picking up tickets if you get the chance. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Eric Paslay's Angels In This Town Tour

Paslay and Ell Rock The Historic Cain's Ballroom

Eric Paslay is in the midst of his Angels In This Town tour. The song of the same name tells a story of believing in angels. According to Paslay's website, each stop on the tour he will be conducting "Angel Visits." He'll visit local "angels" in their organizations, including hospitals, fire houses, police stations, Girls and Boys Clubs, Habitat for Humanity builds, and more. When an artist goes above and beyond, it deserves mentioning.

On October 19th, Paslay brought Angels In This Town to Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa Oklahoma. He had some rather amazing talent opening up for him too. The stunning Lindsay Ell is no stranger to the Cain's Ballroom stage and she just keeps getting better and better. Her set list included some of her regular hits like "By The Way" and "Criminal," as well as, her newest single "All Alright." A song that was immediately purchased after the show, I may add. Ell came out to the merch table after her set to meet and take an Ellfie, the Lindsay Ell version of a selfie, with any and all the fans that wanted to.

This was my first time seeing Eric Paslay live and he had no trouble carrying on and increasing the energy level the talented Ell created. Paslay owned that stage. I mean his ability to work the stage, interact with his band and the fans was amazing. His set list included a wonderful combination of his song writer credits like "Angel Eyes," "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," and "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" to songs released like "She Don't Love You," his up beat and fun to watch performed single "High Class," and tour name sake "Angels In This Town."

Sometimes there is a show were the singer is not only immensely impressive, but the band sharing the stage with them is as well. That definitely happens on the Angels In This Town tour with Tyler Tomlinson (guitar), Chris Roach (Bass), Marcus Hill (Drummer) and Luke Moller (utility). A super cool part was watching Lindsay Ell come back out and lend her exceptional guitar skills to this amazing band during a song from Paslay's set. My parting advice, don't pass up the Angels In This Town tour!