Exclusive: Cole Swindell Talks New Headlining Tour, the “Heads Carolina” Effect, and Tour Pranks With Dylan Scott

Cole Swindell will launch the U.S. leg of his Win The Night Tour this weekend with a decade of hit songs in his creative arsenal.

Videos by American Songwriter

Swindell released his self-titled debut album in 2014, home to his first song, which became his first No. 1 hit, “Chillin’ It.”

These days, audiences look much different than they did one decade ago when the Georgia native was just starting. They’re bigger. Swindell’s headlining amphitheater tour will kick off Friday at Brandon Amphitheater in Brandon, Mississippi. Jon Langston will open the show and Dylan Scott—who will be with Swindell for the entire tour—will provide direct support. 

Swindell credits country radio for his hit songs, including “You Should Be Here,” “Single Saturday Night,” “Never Say Never” with Lainey Wilson, and “She Had Me At Heads Carolina.”

Cole Swindell Wants To Give Fans a Reason to “Come Back”

He believes fans will sing along to his set list all night—and if they don’t, this is his chance to win them over. Last weekend in Canada, Swindell asked the audience how many people were there for the first time. He estimates that 60 percent of the fans raised their hands.

“We say before we go on stage every single night that somebody out there has never seen us,” Swindell told American Songwriter. “Let’s make sure they want to come back when we come back.”

With the runaway success of “She Had Me At Heads Carolina,” the singer noticed a wide range of ages at his shows and wants to make music for all of them.

“I’m going through different phases in my life, and there’s somebody out there, hopefully, that can relate,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what age they are. I have noticed that a lot more kids come to the show to hear (‘She Had Me At Heads Carolina’), and hopefully they will hear a few more that they like. It’s just how it works.”

What’s the “Heads Carolina” Effect?

Cole Swindell’s path to headliner hasn’t been a continuous straight shot. He started his career, as most do, as the show opener and then moved up to direct support, which means he would play about an hour-long set before the headliner. From there, he headlined his own shows but shuffled back to the direct support spot when the crowds were large enough—or he was particularly fond of the headlining artist. Now, his name is back at the top of the bill.

Buoyed by the success of “She Had Me At Heads Carolina,” Swindell and his team thought that 2024 was the right time for him to move back into the headlining spot. To make it work, he knew he had to have a strong line-up, which is where Scott, Langston, Lily Rose, Restless Road and Mackenzie Carpenter come in. However, as thankful as he is for their presence on his Win The Night Tour, he said they should still probably watch their backs. 

While Swindell isn’t typically one for practical jokes, he has to step up his game on this tour. Scott is a big prankster and Swindell, being the athlete he is, doesn’t want to be outdone. 

“We just want to have fun out there, and I’ve had so many people that have been good to us along the way,” he said, explaining he’d seen some funny end-of-tour pranks but wasn’t really into them himself. “I could probably step up my game in that. But with Dylan, I feel like we may have to come up with something.”

Regardless, he knows it will be a “cool experience.”  “She Had Me At Heads Carolina,” which won Single and Song of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2023, has nudged his career to the next level.

“To end on a high note every night with the biggest song of my career, it’s hard to go to bed, man,” he said. “It’s the adrenaline. It’s unbelievable.”

Tickets for Swindell’s Win The Night Tour are available at www.coleswindell.com.

Cole Swindell Win The Night Tour Dates 

  • May 24 Brandon, MS Brandon Amphitheater
    (Dylan Scott, Jon Langston)
  • May 25 Orange Beach, AL The Wharf Amphitheater
    (Dylan Scott, Jon Langston)
  • May 30 Boston, MA Leader Bank Pavilion
    (Dylan Scott, Mackenzie Carpenter)
  • May 31 Bridgeport, CT Hartford HealthCare Amph
    (Dylan Scott, Mackenzie Carpenter)
  • June 1 Gilford, NH BankNH Pavilion
    (Dylan Scott, Mackenzie Carpenter)
  • June 7 Indianapolis, IN Everwise Amph at White River State Park
    (Dylan Scott, Mackenzie Carpenter)
  • June 8 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion
    (Dylan Scott, Mackenzie Carpenter)
  • June 27 Alpharetta, GA Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
    (Dylan Scott, Lily Rose)
  • June 28 Charlotte, NC Skyla Credit Union Amphitheatre
    (Dylan Scott, Lily Rose)
  • June 29 Wilmington, NC Live Oak Bank Pavilion
    (Dylan Scott, Lily Rose)
  • July 11 Phoenix, AZ Arizona Financial Theatre
    (Dylan Scott, Restless Road)
  • July 12 Inglewood, CA YouTube Theater
    (Dylan Scott, Restless Road)
  • July 13 Fresno, CA Save Mart Center
    (Dylan Scott, Restless Road)
  • July 19 Idaho Falls, ID Hero Arena Inside Mountain America Ctr
    (Dylan Scott, Restless Road)
  • July 20 Bonner, MT KettleHouse Amphitheater
    (Dylan Scott, Restless Road)

photo by Cody Arrington

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