"Let's make a memory tonight in Atlantic City," said Cole Swindell, the fast rising country music star and owner of eight No. 1 singles at his show at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on Friday, Nov. 1.
The standing room crowd rocked out to the full array of songs that brought Swindell to where he is now, including country party favorite "Chillin' It" and more somber songs like "Break Up In The End".
Swindell, 36, dressed in his trademark blue hat, jeans and plaid button down shirt, kept his persona down home and accessible to country and non-country music fans alike. A sign of that was right before Cole ran energetically on stage. Dubstep music, which reached popularity with Millennials earlier in the decade, welcomed him on. A whole host of beer cups were raised as he entered.
He started off with "Love You Too Late", currently No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay charts. He followed it up with another recent addition to his collection, "No One Rocks Mine," off of his Down Home Sessions V EP. Still gaining popularity, the Swindell die hards sang along to every word.
The Swindell crowd was a good mix of guys and girls, ranging from the older folks with cowboy hats and boots to what may be considered the more current look of country fans - trucker hats and flannels.
Swindell, understanding the broad age of the crowd, kept the inter-song conversation to topics everyone can relate to such as missing friends and family, letting loose on the weekends and the pain of past breakups, the later of which he expanded on in the ballad "Break Up In The End", a bitterswett ballad that pays homage to the concept that it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. The song struck a chord with the crowd, resulting in a sing-a-long.
He then bounced into the party song "Brought to You by Beer" but quickly toned it back down for "You Should Be Here", which wound up being the most emotional portion of the night.
"It's why I moved to Nashville," said Swindell.
The song, co-written by Swindell, was an ode to his father, who unexpectedly passed away in 2013. He was visibly shaken up on stage as pictures of his father passed on the video screen behind his band. He took a pause to collect himself during it.
Swindell's only blemish of the night came when he played 2019's mega country-hip-hop crossover hit "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X, singing the Billy Ray Cyrus part. Swindell likely expected a jolt from the younger audience. However, the crowd was largely indifferent. After about a verse, he reverted back to his songs.
Personifying the American dream, Swindell went from selling t-shirts for Luke Bryan to opening up for him, just coming off of the FARM TOUR and Sunset Repeat Tour. Swindell has now kicked off the fall portion of his solo tour, which travels across the country until New Years' Eve.