Cole Swindell: “Now It’s Up to Us”

Life After Last Call at the Bars

It’s officially closing time for Cole Swindell. He just wrapped his fourth annual Down Home Tour at bars across the country, and in just a couple weeks, Swindell plans to take the vibe of those joints into bigger arenas and theaters on his headlining Reason to Drink tour.

“There’s some kind of energy in these bars,” Swindell told me before he took the stage at one of his last Down Home Tour shows at Joe’s Bar in Chicago. “I know it’s hard to duplicate that, but I want to take that same feeling into the arenas I’m going to be playing next. I want to make that last person in the back feel like they’re up front in the pit with me.”

He has always built his shows and his sets on his fans, Swindell said, and he’s going to take that approach with him as well.

“When I moved to Nashville, all I wanted was to be a songwriter. I never even imagined having my own tour, and having my name on the ticket,” he shared.

“I’m so used to being in that sweet spot, you know? Just doing my 45-minute set, and then going backstage to hang out. Now, it’s different. Now it’s up to us. It’s pressure,” he said, “but I think that means I really care.”

Swindell’s Reason To Drink Tour kicks off Feb. 15 in Allentown, Pa.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.