As the weather took a turn for the worse outside, the performers at the Armory show turned it up last night.
Lauren Alaina kicked off the show with a strong opening set list including Next Boyfriend and a fun cover of GNR’s Paradise City. Celebrating her 24th birthday with the gathering crowd proved to be the first of several highlights. She acknowledged the joy of performing her own songs in front of a live crowd. It was a dream that started as a young girl in the 90’s listening to Shania, Whitney and Britney. Taking the lead on What If (a collaboration with Kane Brown) was a great twist. She shared some of her personal story and challenges faced along the way. It was a fitting segue to her finale – Road Less Traveled featuring some very engaging audience participation during the chorus.
The fires were stoked and the Armory was filling up as Dustin Lynch came on. Ranging through his familiar radio hits and filling the gaps with some outstanding new material and covers, he revved up the crowd. It proved to be One Hell of a Night as the audience sang along with so many familiar and engaging songs. About halfway through, Good Girl, his newest single, the crowd got lively. Covers of Pour Some Sugar on Me and All the Small Things kicked it up another notch and carried the set to a fantastic finish with Small Town Boy and Seein’ Red.
Then headliner Cole Swindell brought the beat back to Minnesota, opening with Let Me See Ya Girl, always a fan favorite. Cole’s set followed a similar pattern; weaving new and familiar hits together with a tour through some great covers. Hope You Get Lonely was the perfect lead in to the tour title track – Reason To Drink. Both Sides of the Mississipi (a short five block walk from the venue) kept the crowd going before Chillin’ It got everyone boisterously singing along. A nod to FGL with This is How We Roll kept the buzz going. As did Flatliner. Some classic country with Garth Brooks and Shania Twain covers set the table for Ain’t Worth The Whiskey to wrap up a great night of country music and fun.
Cole has always had a good following in the Twin Cities. As luck would have it, the tour came during the Minnesota Vikings’ bye week. The show featured a fantastic piece of home town showmanship as he changed into an Adam Thielen #19 Jersey about 2/3 of the way through the set. To top it off, Thielen joined him on stage, autographed the jersey, and rocked along with the band during the extended finale. Despite the lousy weather waiting outside, the enthusiastic crowd lingered and many continued the celebrations into the early morning hours around the downtown area.