Cole Swindell Rocks The Roof off the Wolf Den

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Opening weekend for Cole Swindell’s Down Home Tour kicked off in NYC on 11/11/15. I was lucky enough (and I don’t say that lightly…) to attend his Friday night show in Uncasville, CT in the very small and intimate Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casino. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard to get myself into a “first come/first seated” show with a maximum capacity of 350 people… total. For those of you who know who Cole Swindell is, you’ll know that he’s been playing sold out stadium shows with Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney to crowds of over 50 thousand. For those of you who don’t… he is the 2015 ACM New Artist of the Year and someone whom I’ve been a fan of for at least 2.5 years now if not more! He is currently being sponsored by Monster Energy on their Outbreak Tour featuring “emerging” artists. I put that in quotes, because Cole emerged in my world well over two years ago. 2015 is the first year that the Outbreak Tour has added a “country” artist, and I’m pretty sure that they have been overwhelmed with the positive response in their choice. Cole and his Down Home Crew have been making a name for themselves in both the country music world as well as the fandoms.

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Young and Crazy with Frankie Ballard

Our AWESOME concert shirts!
Our AWESOME concert shirts!

It’s no secret that I have some serious love for Frankie Ballard and all that he does. I mean I even went back to college (at least for one night) just for him. He knows how to tear it up on stage no matter what type of venue it is.

My most recent Frankie adventure brought me to Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. There were two opening acts; Ryan Sandford, a current student of Saint Anselm, and Alec MacGillivray, both of which were amazing. You could tell they both had a solid fan base at the show.

The last time I saw Frankie he was still recovering from a shoulder injury but since then he’s been able to pick up his guitar and resume his “face melting” skills on stage. This is what I was most excited for.

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He started the night off with I Came to Git Down and rattled all these new comers with his guitar moves. I think the majority of the students knew him by Sunshine and Whiskey, Helluva Life and from his recent single Young and Crazy, so when he started to sing those songs, things got a little crazy. Witnessing the smile on his face when people are singing his songs back to him is just an unbelievable moment.

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Talking Your Way Backstage

People often wonder how I get to do all of the crazy things that I do, like attend shows for free, win contests, or hang out with/meet the artists. Most attribute it to luck. “You have the best luck out of anyone I know!” they often tell me. In reality… it isn’t luck at all. Here I am, sharing my secrets with y’all. It takes determination, a strong will, courage, confidence, and some good ol’ fashioned work! You’ve got to be willing to put in the effort if you really want something!

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Step 1: RESEARCH

It’s all about research… you’ve gotta do a whole lot of research about the particular artist or group of the show you are going to. 99.9% of the time, I’m already following the “artist page” on twitter and instagram… but you’ve gotta break it down more than that. You need to find out all the band members names… then figure out other connections; like their tour manager, sound guy, photographer/videographer, close friends, stylists, or anyone related to the production of the tour or insiders at the venue. Also be clear of which radio station is hosting the event and make sure you are following the individual radio hosts as well as the station. (This also benefits you in case they are giving away extra tickets to the concert or Meet & Greet Passes… keep your eyes open!) Even if you already have tickets… the ones they [the radio station] give away could be seat upgrades and you could always give the extra pair to some friends. I personally do not condone reselling the extra tickets [aka scalping], but if that is something you choose to do… for the love of God, don’t jack up the price to make a hefty profit. That’s just not cool. Or fair to the person buying them. And it certainly does not benefit the artist! Don’t be greedy… it’s bad karma!

You’ve gotta start this process weeks in advance… once you can identify certain people (by “creeping” social media sites more or less) then you follow them on twitter/instagram or whatever your preferred choice of social media is. I’ve even got artists on snapchat and as facebook friends*.

*Requesting to be friends with someone in the industry on facebook is not recommended unless you personally/actually know this person. That’s really just plain creepy and stalker-ish. It might even get you blocked or reported.

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Up All Night With Jon Pardi

My favorite local country station, WPOR, hosted an invite only event with Jon Pardi on their private stage. Only way in was to win! I entered via text nearly every day, of course! During this past week, the Universe has provided me with so many awesome opportunities and blessings, and I am so grateful this was one of them!

My first time seeing Jon Pardi was in December of 2013, and I will just nicely state that I wasn’t too impressed. Apparently during this show he was suffering from a knee injury and awaiting surgery in a few days, so I blamed his performance on this. Poor guy was probably in some pain! So I knew that I needed to give him the opportunity to redeem himself in my book next time he came around! Whether it is merely more stage experience over the past year or the fact that he was no longer in need of surgery, Jon definitely impressed me and won me over this time around!

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Joel Crouse Reveals Truth Behind Hit Song, “Oh Juliette”

Last night was opening night of the Night That You’ll Never Forget Tour, which kicked off in Portland Maine. Joel was extremely excited to be starting the tour in New England, as he was born and bred in Holland, Massachusetts. Tonight he is back in his home state at the Royale in Boston for night number 2. Joel spoke of how when he moved to Nashville 5 years ago, and he went to play his first gig with long-term friend Kyle Rife, the guy laughed when Joel said he was from Massachusetts. Joel confirmed what we all know to be true, the Northeast has some of the best darn country music lovin’ folk around!

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