NYCountry Swag’s Favorite Concert Moments of Summer 2019

So many major tours were happening this summer and NYCountry Swag was proud to cover almost every single one. Our writers took a look back and decided to pick their favorite summer concert moment.

Summer Concert Moment


Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Luke Bryan, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, Long Island, NY

Thinking back over the summer, there are so many amazing shows we were lucky enough to attend. Each and every one is special to me for a number of reasons, in fact, I actually wrote out my response to this 3 different times about 3 different shows until I realized that I kept picking moments that had more to do with NYCountry Swag and my company, than for me personally, as a fan. So, me, Stephanie Wagner, my favorite concert this summer was Luke Bryan. Luke Bryan was the very first country concert I ever attended back in 2013 and that concert is the reason I truly fell in love with country music. He puts on one of the most all-around entertaining shows and his songs are catchy and easy to sing along and dance to. This year, we ran a bus out to his show and had over 100 friends and family members join us who all also had pit tickets. We had the best day tailgating, playing drinking games, sing-alongs, and parking lot dance parties before heading into the show. Being right upfront, singing along to every single one of Luke’s songs, surrounded by all of my favorite people was truly one of the most genuinely happiest moments I’ve ever had. It was such a great day and a quick reminder as to why I love country music so much.  


Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Brooks & Dunn, Taste of Country Festival Hunter Mountain, NY

This summer NYCountry Swag headed up to Hunter Mountain for our third year hosting a booth and covering Taste of Country Festival as media. After all of the preparations, setting up our merchandise booth to sell our awesome merch and conducting 12 interviews all weekend long, it was so great to take off my apron and put down my microphone to just truly be a fan.

As the sun set behind the mountain, the duo took the stage and I got to enjoy an hour of music that I have been listening to for years, live and in person. Taking that time during our busy weekend to come back to the reason I love and work in the country music industry was the perfect real kick-off to summer for me. I especially loved belting out “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” and “Red Dirt Road” with thousands of other country fans.


Dylan Bestler, Contributing Writer

Florida Georgia Line, HARDY, Morgan Wallen & Dan + Shay, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, Long Island, NY

I’ve seen a lot of artists this summer; too many to list in this short blurb. For me, the show that tops the list was FGL’s show at the Jones Beach on July 20th. As you may know, the lineup was stacked with acts including HARDY, Canaan Smith, Morgan Wallen, Dan + Shay and of course, Florida Georgia Line. Can’t Say I Ain’t Country may be my favorite FGL album, as it has a good mix of upbeat, party jams while also containing slower, love songs.

This was my first time seeing HARDY and Smith and even though their sets were short, I enjoyed them very much. I saw Morgan Wallen at MetLife last year on Luke Bryan’s tour but he only performed 4-5 songs. It was nice to see him get a longer set because he is my favorite new artist. Dan + Shay are always incredible and Shay has the best live voice I’ve ever heard.

In my opinion, FGL’s setlist was perfect; it was like I was the one who put it together. They played seven of my top eight songs from the new album, the set design was incredible and Dan + Shay joining FGL for “H.O.L.Y.” was beautiful.


Julia Grubbs, Contributing Writer 

Dierks Bentley, The Today Show Plaza, New York, NY

My first full summer in the city brought tons of new experiences and opportunities for country music to be found. I got to attend Taste of Country this year, and even though I had an amazing time listening to some old faves of mine like Rascal Flatts and meeting Walker Hayes, I’d have to say my favorite concert memory of the summer was when Dierks Bentley played the Citi Concert Series on the Today Show.

Not only was he so genuine and teared up when they played the video talking about his kids, he knows how to put on a show. I was getting photos and videos for social media for NYCountry Swag in the press pen, and since the artists usually only perform three songs, and he had done those three, everyone else left, leaving myself and one photographer on the risers. Dierks proceeded to play one more song to the delight of everyone there, and since we were in a secluded area above everyone else and I had already gotten all of the footage I needed, I just stood there by myself dancing, like I had my own private concert. He came down off the stage and into the space right near us, singing and looking me right in the eye (it had to be me since I was the only one in that direction). How often do you get a song sung directly to you at a concert? Needless to say, that was my favorite concert experience of the summer, followed by so many others with the NYCS team.


Molly Holmberg, Contributing Writer

Garth Brooks, Eugene, Oregon

Garth Brooks is one of my all-time favorite artists and I remember my dad playing his songs on the way to school when he got home from the Navy. Whoever introduced my dad to Garth when he was in the service I will forever thank! When Brooks announced one of his stadium stops in my hometown I just about cried! Thanks to the ladies here at New York Country Swag I was able to go cover the show and also got a ticket and brought my dad with me. Not only was it an amazing show but also being there with my dad years and years later was a super special moment for both of us.


Abby Kaye-Phillips, Contributing Writer 

Carrie Underwood & Joan Jett, CMA Fest, Nashville, TN

CMA Fest is always the highlight of my entire summer but this year was better than anything I could have imagined. I saw more than 60 artists perform in one week, but my favorite summer concert moment came in the middle of Carrie Underwood’s headlining set on that Friday night. After singing a few of her own hits, she started singing “I Hate Myself for Loving You”, which confused the crowd because she does not usually do covers in concert. Then in the middle of the song, Carrie yelled “CMA fest, give it up for Joan Jett” and the rock legend came to join Carrie on stage to jam for ten minutes of hits. The entire stadium was freaking out but the best part was watching how much fun the two women were having together. Carrie has always called herself a rock lover at heart and to see her having the time of her life performing with one of her idols was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen on stage. The entire medley aired on ABC last month during the CMA Fest primetime special, but being there in person was something I will never forget.

Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, and Jon Langston, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, Long Island, NY

When Luke Bryan announced The Sunset Repeat Tour with Jon Langston and Cole Swindell there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that it wouldn’t be the hottest concert of the summer.  To add extra icing on the cake, I decided to attend the Cole Swindell VIP event and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.  I was lucky enough to attend the very first night of the tour in Camden, NJ. Instead of your typical acoustic VIP set,  we all grabbed headphones and listened to two non-released songs, “Drinkin’ Hours” and “All Nighter”. To get to listen to them before anyone else was really cool. What made it even more special was having Swindell listen with us. To see him smiling and jamming along truly showed how much he loves what he does.  This event really showed how much the singer-songwriter appreciates his fans. The actual show was great too, as the Georgia boys certainly did not disappoint.


Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer

Luke Bryan, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, Long Island, NY

My favorite summer concert moment had to be Luke Bryan at Jones Beach. As always, he put on a phenomenal show and there’s no venue better to see a summer concert than Jones Beach. While Luke worked the stage, the crowd was truly into each and every song, signing them at the top of their lungs. Highlights included some of my all-time favorites including “Play It Again,” “Crash My Party” and “Rain is a Good Thing.” With a set-list composed mainly of huge hits, the crowd was electric and it was truly one of the best concerts I’ve attended in a long time.


Danielle Tornatore, Contributing Writer

CMA Fest, Nashville, TN

I think I may have broken my “amount of concerts I can attend in one summer” record this year. Despite the tons of amazing shows I went to, my very first CMA Fest takes the cake. I’ve wanted to attend CMA Fest for the last six years, but I always wanted to wait until I was at least 21 and I had to save up. This year was finally my year and I could not have had a better time. From meeting many of my favorite artists to the stadium show each night, I had the time of my life. My favorite nights of CMA Fest have to be night two and night four. Night two, Dan + Shay and Thomas Rhett were incredible as usual. I finally got to hear “Look What God Gave Her” live and jammed out. Then, Carrie Underwood absolutely killed it on her own, but then brought it even more by surprising everyone with Joan freaking Jett. They performed a medley of Jett’s hits and it was the most incredible thing ever. Night four, the last night, my two favorite artists performed; Old Dominion and Maren Morris. I’ve seen both of them start off in small venues, so to be there during a stadium show, at CMA Fest nonetheless, was an awesome moment for me. I cannot wait to go back to Nashville next year for another incredible CMA Fest weekend!


Jaclyn Tracy, Contributing Writer

Luke Bryan, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, Long Island, NY

Long before I started actually getting into country music, I always knew of the name Luke Bryan. One of the first country songs I listened to that I actually liked was “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”, and from then on I knew I was starting to get hooked on country. Last year, my friends went to see Luke Bryan at MetLife and I had such FOMO but couldn’t go because I was actually traveling in Europe at the time. When I found out he was coming to Jones Beach this summer, I made sure that my friends and I would all go!


Brianna Vacca, Contributing Writer

Tenille Townes, Dierks Bentley’s ‘Burning Man Tour’, BB&T Pavilion, Camden, NJ

My favorite summer concert moment was watching Tenille Townes open for Dierks Bentley at BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey. I have been a fan of Tenille since she came on The Bobby Bones Show to play a few songs off her Living Room Worktapes EP. I felt like a proud parent watching her play with her full band and a longer set than when she opened for Miranda Lambert. Every time she plays “Jersey On The Wall” everything around me goes silent as if she’s the only one in the room. Then, of course, she ROCKED it singing “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” with Bentley!


Shanna Vitaliano, Contributing Writer

Cody Johnson, Irving Plaza, NYC

This summer there were so many great concerts that came through the New York City area, but I have to say my favorite and most memorable was Cody Johnson’s show at Irving Plaza. I love traditional Texas country music, and it was incredible to see the humbled Johnson on stage singing to the crowd. His stage presence and passion for country music were infectious, and songs like “On My Way To You” and “Dear Rodeo” gave me chills. I went to the show only knowing a handful of his songs, and I left there as an even bigger fan. I could not be more excited he was recently nominated for CMA New Artist of the Year!

Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Old Dominion, Jordan Davis & Mitchell Tenpenny, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, NYC

With so many great artists playing shows in the New York area this summer, it was nearly impossible to narrow down my favorite concert moment. I enjoyed every show I went to this season, but Old Dominion’s concert back in May is the one I am still talking about. For starters, Jordan Davis and Mitchell Tenpenny were my dream openers, but the moment I still rave about was when Old Dominion performed a song-writing round in the middle of their electric set.

The men of Old Dominion started out as songwriters, and have penned so many songs and number ones for other artists that I’ve lost track, but the fact that they were vulnerable enough to go back to their roots, and remind fans of the songs that we may have forgotten that they wrote, was nothing short of extraordinary. I wish I had the words to personify that moment. As if I didn’t have enough reasons to be a fan of Old Dominion, that incredible moment has turned me into a fan for life. I will always remember it, and I cannot wait to witness their magic again in the future.


For all of the shows hitting our area this all and winter, make sure to head to our Calendar. Let us know what your favorite summer concert moment was below!




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