July 6th was a day I had been waiting on ever since Summerfest announced the lineup with Cole Swindell set to headline the Uline Warehouse Stage. This stage is set on the north end of the 75 -acre Henry Maier Festival Park. In all my years attending the festival I hadn’t found myself much on the north end. The stage sits alongside a big colorful Ferris wheel and allows those coming to the show grandstand and bleacher options. One of the many perks of attending Summerfest is paying one set admission price and getting to see various free stages for some great acts, except for a separate admission for the Marcus Amphitheatre shows. I’ll definitely be back to this stage next year!
We arrived four and a half hours before Cole Swindell was set to take the stage. I guess you could say I was more than a bit pumped. I’ve followed Cole’s career much longer than I had originally known. Many of the great country songs you have sung along to quite possibly were written by him. He’s such a brilliant songwriter, the top reason I have found to enjoy seeing where his career is going to take him. Cole’s amazing songwriting skills have landed hits for Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, and Craig Campbell amongst others.
While trying my best to wait patiently for 9:30 pm to arrive we checked out new acts Elizabeth Lyons, such a sweetheart who loves our site, and newcomers Haley & Michaels. You should check them both out! Also while waiting I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Cole’s merchandise guy, Derek. This guy is completely down to earth and has the most genuine personality. We don’t give merch guys enough credit for putting in long hours so we can get some great swag. Thank you for everything Derek, I sincerely appreciate it! 🙂
It was such a blessing to have also scored meet and greets for Cole as well, thanks to WMIL FM106. It really meant the world to me to meet Cole and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity. He’s a down-to-earth nice guy who appreciates all of the fans love and support, and it shows.
Jacob Martin Band was on right before Cole’s set, caught them singing their version of Jason Aldean‘s “Dirt Road Anthem,” andthey had many fans amongst the crowd. And so, it was FINALLY time for the man himself to take the stage. I could already feel the energy while down in the media pit, the crowd had been waiting so long and Cole did not disappoint from the moment he stepped foot on stage. His energy and passion for the music he sings is incredible and you can just tell he enjoys doing what he loves. He has the stage energy and presence to never let a crowd feel like they aren’t getting their money’s worth. This guy is going places, big places.
Cole played many of my favorite songs off of his debut album, “I Just Want You,” “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey,” and, “A Dozen Roses and a Six-Pack.” The coolest thing is that he also showcased his incredible talent of having written hit songs for others too. One of my most favorite songs written by him is Luke Bryan‘s, “Roller Coaster.” I was so happy to have heard Cole sing those amazing lyrics for his show, as well as another Luke Bryan song, “Beer in the Headlights.” He really had the crowd rolling with a rendition of, “This is How We Roll,” which he also had a hand in writing with the guys of Florida Georgia Line, and Luke Bryan. It started down pouring midway through his set but I wasn’t leaving, nor was the rest of the crowd. That was my favorite part of the whole show–Cole had us all so connected and into his show that it didn’t matter how bad we got drenched. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And through it all, he interacted with the crowd and worked the whole entire stage, he gave it his complete all. It was nothing less than INCREDIBLE. Absolutely AMAZING.
Another favorite moment is when he sang Dierks Bentley‘s, “What was I Thinkin‘,” the crowds hands were rocking right along with him for the ride. That was a proud moment to see, you think his crowd’s show up for him now, let’s wait until his career really explodes big time. The whole day was absolutely worth it, the long wait to see his show, the down pour, soaking wet clothes was all worth it to see and meet him. Cole Swindell’s show is by far one of the BEST shows I have ever been to, and that says a lot coming from me who’s been checking out country shows since I was in my teens. This show was a perfect ending to Summerfest 2014, it for sure wentout with a bang! PERFECT night. I don’t think there are enough words to describe how proud I am of this guy! Thank-you so much Cole for an unbelievably incredible night! I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Thanks for the memories–See ya down the road!