It seems every year at our Appalachian Fair, there is one night that surprises me. There is always one act that takes the stage and gives more than I expected. There is always that one act that makes me sit up in my chair and really take notice. There is always that one time when I sit in that audience and just can’t quite believe what I’m seeing. Last night was only the second night of our 2013 Appalachian Fair, and last night I got that surprise.
I watched The Voice, so I was very familiar with the Swon Brothers. I knew I liked them. I remembered Colton from American Idol, where he auditioned with Little Big Town’s ‘Boondocks’, which he also sang last night. But even with all I thought I knew about them, there was so much more to discover about Zach and Colton Swon.
Before the show, even before their sound check, they came out from backstage and talked to fans. They did a short radio interview with Marc Tragler from WXBQ, and they took time for us. For the people who arrived early for their show that night. It was obvious to all of us, as they stood with us and talked, posed for pictures, and signed autographs, that they were genuinely happy that we were there. They seemed as thrilled to have us there, as we were to have them.
After that very informal ‘meet and greet’, they also held a scheduled Meet & Greet backstage at 6 p.m., where again they had as many fans as time would allow back with them for more photos and autographs. And, if that weren’t enough, they stayed after the show to sign more autographs for anyone who wanted to stand in a very, very long line and get one. Zach and Colton Swon showed us all that playing at a fair in Gray, Tenn., was every bit as important to them as standing on the stage at an NBC studio, singing to an audience on national television. They didn’t have to tell us that we were the reason they were there, they showed us.
When they took the stage at 7 p.m., it didn’t take long for people to fully understand why these two ended up as third place finishers on The Voice. If anything, it made people question even more why they weren’t the first place winners. They are not only talented musicians and vocalists, but these two have already acquired stage presence of seasoned performers. Their show was more than one song after the next, it was interaction with their audience. They talked, they joked, Colton not only made good use of the runway to get out closer to his fans, he also jumped off the stage, got down into the audience, and posed for pictures with fans while he was singing.
They aren’t traveling with a full band, but I expect to see that one day. They did, however, have an awesome guitarist accompanying them last night. His name is Eric Gillette, his music is great. He was definitely an instrumental part of last night’s show, and a great addition to what we were listening to.
Colton celebrated his 25th birthday on Aug. 17, just three days before the show in Gray. Since we weren’t with him to help celebrate, our WXBQ deejay, and emcee for the night (Marc Tragler), brought Colton out on stage before the show started so we could all sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him. Fun way to start what turned out to be a fun show.
In one afternoon, one short hour on stage, and one long night of autograph signing, Colton and Zach Swon left a lasting impression on the people in Northeast Tennessee. So much so, that many left the fairgrounds saying ‘fair management needs to book them for next year right now, before they get away’. I agree. Their show was that good. And while they might have been the opening act for Dustin Lynch this year, they deserve to be the headliners next year.
The fans are to be commended. They stayed in their seats, they walked to the front of the stage to take a few pictures, they got back in their seats – everyone in that audience got to see and enjoy the entire show, without rude fans pushing their way to the runway and causing most of us not to be able to see. Everything, and I mean everything, about the Swon brothers night at the Appalachian Fair was perfect. I hope it was as perfect for Zach and Colton as it was for all of us.
There have been times when I would come home from the fair, and write my little review, and really not give too much thought to the act I just saw. Last night, however, I came home, pulled up Spotify on the computer, and started listening to The Swon Brothers – It is now 6:05 a.m., I’m still listening. And I plan on seeing these two again.
Here are a few more pictures from last night’s show.
In addition to their web site, be sure to visit their facebook page, and remember to ‘Like’ it while you’re there. You can also follow them on Twitter @The SwonBrothers, follow Colton @ColtonSwon, and Zach @zachswon.
I will be back as soon as I can with photos and a short review of Dustin Lynch’s Tuesday night headlining show at our 87th annual Appalachian Fair. Right now – it is 6:30 a.m., and time for a short nap.
More later –