It was a “Sunday Fun-day” on September 23rd at BMHMC Amphitheater at Bald Hill on Long Island thanks to some awesome country music entertainers. New Yorkers were lucky enough to have Cole Swindell, Morgan Wallen, and Ryan Griffin perform for an event to honor the troops, hosted by My Country 96.1 radio station.
Country newcomer, Ryan Griffin started the night off entertaining the crowd with his songs “Good Company,” “Play It By Heart,” ”Best Cold Beer,” and covering Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” The singer was definitely feeling the energy of the night, sharing with fans “I’ll tell you what [New York] everybody that we encountered, since we’ve been here have been incredible. Ya’ll raised them right here.”
Some great moments of the night for the entertainer came at the end of his set, including playing his rendition of Kelsea Ballerini’s “Dibs,” a song Griffin co-penned. He introduced the song as his first number one as a songwriter; however, the singer closed out his time on stage with his first own debut single as a recording artist, “Back Seats & Burnt CDs.”
Griffin showcased exactly why we named him a NYCountry Swag 2018 Artist to Watch, as he kept new and old fans alike pumped throughout his entire set, and just as excited for Morgan Wallen, who was up next.
Just after a short intermission, where sponsors awarded military contest winners and showed their support to veterans, Wallen took the stage with an indescribable energy and swagger that seemed to resonate with concertgoers. The Big Loud Records recording artist played songs off his debut album If I Know Me, including jams, “Whattcha Know About That,” “Happy Hour,” and the first song [he] ever put out, “The Way I Talk.”
The singer showed his softer side, singing his ballad “Chasing You,” and introducing his next single to country music radio, “Whiskey Glasses,” encouraging fans to let the radio stations know if they like it.
After thanking fans for letting him show his vulnerable side, Wallen got the party started sharing a sentiment with the audience, “I grew up on all kinds of music, but I always gravitate towards a little bit of Honky Tonk country music. Anyone like Honky Tonk country music? I’ll need you guys to sing this song with me, okay. We got any Brooks and Dunn fans in the house?!,” just before covering the classic song “Play Something Country.”
Wallen kept the party going with a mashup of more covers, including Linkin Parks’s “In The End,” Joe Walsh’s “Life In the Fast Lane,” and Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name,” as well as, Fallout Boy’s “Sugar We’re Going Down,” and Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” Fans passionately sang the lyrics back to the artist the entire time.
Keeping with his authentic nature and clear passion for all types of music, Wallen continued his set, introducing and performing his very first number one song as a songwriter, Jason Aldean’s smash hit “You Make it Easy.” “A guy named Jason Aldean heard it and he liked it and he said he’s gonna make it his first single on his album” he added before playing the hit song.
The singer ended with a bang, performing his number one single, which features country duo Florida Georgia Line, “Up Down.” Check out our exclusive video interview with Wallen from back in November 2017, where we claimed “Up Down” would be his very first number one song, seven months before it went number one in June 2018.
Wallen closed his lively and energetic set reminding fans that Cole Swindell was up next, “Ya’ll in for one hell of a show. He’s one of the best dudes I know.”
Swindell lived up to the sentiment, beginning his set with hits “Let Me See You Girl,” “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” and new song, “Reason To Drink.” The entertainer’s set consisted of fan-favorites off his first two albums, “20 in a Chevy,” and “Chillin It”, as well as, his newly released third studio album, All Of It, including tracks “Dad’s Old Number,” “Both Sides of The Mississippi,” and “Break Up In The End.”
Just before playing the title track, the singer stopped to thank fans, “A couple of weeks ago I put out my third studio album. The response, the reaction has been everything I could have ever dreamed of. All I ever dreamed of was having one album, and the fact that you’ve given me a career, allowing me to make my third one, we’re in this one together. I will be playing a lot of the album tonight. Give me everything you got!”
Concertgoers did just that, belting out the lyrics to both fresh songs and classic favorites. About halfway through his set, Swindell stopped to recognize the fans yet again, “That’s why I love this area. Ya’ll are so damn passionate about music. Now this is what I call a Sunday fun-day!”
Some of the more poignant moments of the night came towards the end of his set and into his encore. Swindell sang his concert staple “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey,” sharing how the song started as a break up song, but has morphed into so much more, as fans raised their glasses to the honorees of the night, the veterans who were present.
Additionally, the singer-songwriter switched gears, acknowledging his roots in an epic mashup. Singing, “I Don’t Want This Night To End” (Luke Bryan), “She’s Country” (Jason Aldean), “How Forever Feels” (Kenny Chesney), “Get Your Shine On,” (Florida Georgia Line), and “Drunk On A Plane” (Dierks Bentley), Swindell acknowledged and paid tribute to his past tour-mates, showing how far he’s come from his merchandise days for Luke Bryan.
The recording artist ended the night with his hit “Flatliner,” leaving fans floored by the extraordinary night of music that they just witnessed. Next up, Swindell will head out for his ‘Reason to Drink… Another Tour’ with rising musicians Dustin Lynch and Lauren Alaina. Check out a full list of tour dates here, and keep checking our calendar for future New York Dates.
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