The perfect way to kick off the 4th of July holiday is seeing some of your favorite rising country acts after tailgating in the parking lot. The Fest which takes place each year at Bald Hill Amphitheater on the east end of Long Island is known for showcasing rising talent and for being one big party. If you arrived early you would see tents, corn hole games and a whole lot of American pride. Men and women alike were decked out in the American Flag, some with their faces painted, drinking beer and celebrating their freedom. With three seating options, the lawn section was filling up quickly as Emily Brooke took the stage to open the festivities.
Fans gathered close to the stage in the pit to see the duo from Texas and London, Brown & Gray, who sang each song from their brand new debut EP Salt in the Coffee. Kaci and Sam announced that their next single is “Home” before playing the first track from the EP, which highlights their perfect harmonies. They closed their set with their first single to country radio, the perfect summertime hit “Top Down” and mashed it up with Tom Petty’s “American Girl”, the perfecting ending to a set that fans were excited to see.
Next up in the lineup was Mitchell Tenpenny, an artist New York Country Swag has been following since last year when we hosted a Swag Session with him in Times Square. Tenpenny who’s gritty vocal and catchy lyrics have earned him a current spot on country radio attracted a ton of fans to watch his 40-minute set. Along with singing songs from his debut EP, he covered Billy Currington’s “Good Directions” and sang the song he wrote that Granger Smith cut, “If The Boot Fits” which he said completely changed his life. Closing out he played three of his biggest hits so far, “Alcohol You Later” which fans knew and sang along to, his current radio single “Drunk Me” and “Bitches” which he said is for all of the assholes, liars and cheaters that we all have dealt with in the past. With obvious charisma, we are so excited to watch Tenpenny’s career soar.
The next New York Country Swag favorite to take the stage was Russell Dickerson, bringing his high energy set, which we know well from our early Country Night events with Russell, to Long Island. The sun just started to set as Dickerson performed songs from his debut album for a packed crowd including “Would You Love Me”, “Every Little Thing” and “FLOAT”. Taking time to slow things down just a bit, Dickerson paused to recognize the reason we were all there celebrating. “Thank you to all of the men and women overseas, we send our love and support to our troops and our service men and women of this country, it’s why we get to celebrate the 4th of July,” he exclaimed. Immediately following you could hear “USA” chants throughout the entire open venue, proving country fans are absolutely proud of their country. He closed his 50-minute set with his current single “Blue Tacoma” and then, of course, his very first number one, the love song he wrote for his wife Kailey, “Yours”.
The Fest concluded with country superstar Dustin Lynch who took the stage around 9:30 PM, ready to close out the night of incredible acts and patriotism. Kicking things off with “Hell of a Night”, he also performed songs from his latest album including “I’d Be Jealous Too” and “Love Me Or Leave Me Alone”. During his first ever single “Cowboys and Angels” he changed the words to include “Long Island girls and guys like me” pausing to recall his 2012 single that got him started in this business and brought him to Long Island for the very first time, changing his life. “I wrote that song about my grandma and my grandad who have been married 63 years this summer and to see y’all sing and dance to this song is unbelievable,” he told the crowd. His most recent number one single, “Small Town Boy” was the perfect way to end a night of celebrating America and the country music that we all love leaving fans already excited for next years The Fest.
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