Friday night, country music fans packed Irving Plaza in New York City for a rowdy night of traditional Texas country by none other than our Swag Session album Cody Johnson.
The opening act singer-songwriter Jobe Fortner, who is dubbed one of the hardest working guitarists from Monroe, Georgia kicked off the night. His powerful Stapleton-esque voice rocked Irving Plaza as he sang songs influenced by his southern rock background. Fortner told the crowd, “It’s damn good to be playing some country music in New York City tonight, and it feels real damn good coming from the south y’all, thank you for that.” He energized the crowd and set the stage for Johnson, and performed his brand new song “Wherever She Is.” Fortner definitely made a ton of new fans in New York City.
The much-anticipated part of the night came when former professional bull rider turned rising country superstar Cody Johnson took the stage to the sold-out Irving Plaza crowd. Johnson said, “New York, are you ready to get wild?” And that they were. Dedicated COJO nation fans sang along to favorites like, “With You I Am”, “Wild as You”, “Ride With Me”, “Dance Her Home”, “Diamond in My Pocket”, and “Noise.” You could feel the intensity and emotion behind each song, especially right after singing “Noise,” Johnson told the crowd, “I think this the most intimate part of the entire set.” “The whole time God had a plan to put me on this stage right here tonight. I don’t care if this offends you or not, I’m going to go ahead and give all the credit for me being here tonight to Jesus Christ.” Johnson then sang “Dear Rodeo” a song that depicted his life immensely. His passionate lyrics and emotional tracks create such an incredible connection and bond with his fans. But if he was not singing heartfelt songs, you bet Johnson turned Irving Plaza into a good timing honky-tonk with other hit songs like “Y’all People,” and “Honky Tonk Mood.”
It was not an easy road for Johnson to get where he is today, and he explained, “As for me personally, there’s a lot of people along the way that said your music will never work outside the state of Texas, there was a lot of people that said if you sign a record deal you’re gonna have to sell your soul – well here we are proving them, wrong ladies and gentleman,” He continued, “If you’re doubting yourself about something in your life tonight, I want you to dig down deep, and I want you to think about this – I am living proof that we live in the kind of country that you can step outside your box and chase your dreams and be successful. This song is for every hater in your life and everybody that wants to hate on this country its called ‘Doubt Me Now.'”
Johnson also took time during his set to invite all of the first responders, firefighters, police offers, military and the retired act of duty to raise their hands and be acknowledged. He graciously thanked each and every one of them for sacrificing and allowing everyone in the audience the freedom to be there listening to him chase his dreams. Johnson played his collaboration of “Red Dirt Road” from Brook’s and Dunn’s Reboot album, along with cover songs by his idol Chris LeDoux, Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, George Strait and more. The crowd was loving every moment and screaming for more.
As Johnson pointed to his huge Texas tattoo, he told everyone, “Thanks for making us feel at home.” New York City fans sure did welcome Johnson with open arms, especially when he ended the incredible night with his current chart-topping single “On My Way to You” and the crowd sang back every single word to the powerful ballad. Johnson left it all on stage Friday night and fans did not want the night to end. It is no surprise that he is selling out show after show on his tour and will be joining Luke Combs at future amphitheater shows. For all upcoming tour dates head to https://www.codyjohnsonmusic.com/tour.
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