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  • Writer's pictureTim Schmidt

Cole Swindell at the Ford Idaho Center Arena - Nampa, ID 2/24/22

All the cool people headed out to see the Down To The Bar Tour in Nampa, Idaho as Ashley Cooke, Travis Denning, and Cole Swindell crashed into town February 24th 2022 at the Ford Idaho Center and oh boy was it PARTY!

The night kicked off with Ashley Cooke, TikTok phenom, who after winning the Country Showcase at Belmont University in 2019 kicked her music career into overdrive and has been taking Nashville and the world by storm! Normally, when an opener takes the stage people are still milling about but not his night. When Ashley hit the stage, the crown erupted, and the night was lit on fire. Cooke worked the stage like a pro, had the crowd pumped and her band laying down music like a headliner. In my time behind a camera working concerts Ashley is easily in my top three openers. Stage presence, crowd engagement and band involvement everything you would expect a seasoned artist to do, this young up and comer was doing at a level well above what I have experienced with young openers. Which in my mind begs the question, how far will Ashley Cooke go? As far as far as the industry wants her to go. SHE HAS IT!

Number two in the hole was the good ol’ boy from Georgia, Travis Denning. This country star with a rockers attitude has songs all over the radio. There was not much time to catch your breath during this cats set! Wild as all hell, everything you would expect from a guy whose musical inspirations come from the likes of Motley Crue, and Pantera it showed, I absolutely enjoyed everything about it. From the time Travis took the stage until the house lights came up for set change the Forde Idaho Center was crazy. I look forward to seeing where this dude takes it next. From his songwriting ability to his stage show Travis Denning is the total package.

Like Travis Denning I too am a rock guy. From covering show that include Metallica, Phil Anselmo of Pantera, seeing Motley Crue front row center stage and getting my hair singed, I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL! However, I am from Utah and country music is in my DNA so when Cole Swindell was scheduled to hit Idaho, I was not missing the opportunity.

Now, there is not much, if anything I could say or write that has not already been said about Cole Swindell out of the great state of Georgia. To put it simple, I think Cole is one of the greatest singer/songwriters today and has had is hand in almost every big country song over the last decade, from “Roller Coaster” and “Beer In The Headlights” by Luke Bryan, “This Is How We Roll” by Florida Georgia Line, “Get Me Some of That” by Thomas Rhett and “Water Tower Town” by Scotty McCreery. I could go on, but you get the idea. I am not going to go into detail about the set, the songs, the stage because I want you to get out there. Make a date night with the special someone, or, if you do not have a special someone get to the show and find that special someone, lord knows there were plenty in Idaho that night.

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