Swiftel draws in crowd with Paisley concert

Before ending his show with a splash, Brad Paisley and guests, The Swon Brothers and Parmalee, performed in front of a sold out Swiftel Center in Brookings on Jan. 31.

Paisley ended his part of the show by playing his most recent hit “Riverbank,” at the end of which he jumped into what appeared to be a swimming pool projected on a piece of his visual display equipment.  

Tom Richter, the executive director of the Swiftel Center said three factors played a part in bringing the tour to Brookings. 

“What I think part of it is … seeing the successes that this facility had over the past several years and the market that people really support country music and the intimacy of the crowd. That all came together, as part of why they chose our facility,” Richter said.  

The Swon Brothers, consisting of brothers Zach and Colton Swon from Muskogee, Okla., opened the 7 p.m. party by performing a number of songs including both their first hit, “Later On,” and their most recent hit, “Pray For You.”

Parmalee took the stage after The Swon Brothers. This family group also performed multiple songs. Some of the songs performed by Parmalee were: “Musta Had a Good Time,” “Carolina,” and the band’s most recent hit “Close Your Eyes.”

The family group, from Parmalee, N.C., consists of brothers Matt (lead vocals, guitar) and Scott Thomas (drums), their cousin Barry Knox (bass), and childhood friend Josh McSwain (guitar). 

“I can tell you Parmalee… those guys are, they were wonderful to be around. I meet all the artists. Great guys…,” Richter said. 

Following the Parmalee performance, there was a short intermission as the stage was altered for the main attraction.

Brad Paisley, a Glen Dale, W.V. native, rocked the Swiftel Center in front of a crowd of 5,000 people to conclude the event.

Paisley performed “She’s Everything,” “Waitin’ on a Woman,” “Perfect Storm,” “Mud on the Tires,” “I’m Gonna Miss Her,” “River Bank,”  “This Is Country Music,” “Letter to Me,” “I’m Still a Guy,” “Ticks,” “Beat This Summer,” “Old Alabama,” “Online” and a few other tunes before returning to the stage for an encore collaboration of “Alcohol”. 

“…Brad Paisley is as classy as a guy as you’ll meet,” Richter said. “I mean, he is genuine and really thanked me for having him play at the Swiftel Center and really, really enjoyed the day here in Brookings… I became a stronger fan of Brad Paisley because of that. He is just a really good guy.”    

The Brad Paisley concert is the largest production at the Swiftel Center yet. Richter said the number of trucks that the tour brings to Brookings measures the production level. The Brad Paisley show brought 10 trucks of sound, lighting and video equipment with it when it rolled into town. Before Paisley’s concert the largest show hosted by the Swiftel center only brought five trucks. 

Richter said that the University Program Council on campus is also an important partner in bringing shows to Brookings. 

“University Program Council on campus has really become an integral or important partner for us. When we are researching and trying to bring in these artists, for Brad Paisley for instance, they bought a block of tickets that they used University Program Council fees with or funds, and then they turned around and sold those tickets at a discounted value for SDSU students in The Union, and that’s very beneficial for us,” Richter said. “That gives us one edge on our competition with our partnership that we’ve forged with the University Program Council and the Swiftel Center.”

Although the Swiftel Center was sold out for the show, there were students who chose not to go because of their lack of interest in country music. One such student was Jared Frazier, a senior entrepreneurial studies major. 

“I have no interest in country music and the same type of music always comes to Brookings,” Frazier said. 

Frazier thinks that the Swiftel Center should try to bring news types of music to Brookings to suit the diverse musical preferences of more than just the campus’ country music fans. 

“Bring something new in – pop, hip-hop – something that everyone can enjoy, because South Dakota State is labeled as an agricultural school but not everyone who attends here listens to country music only,” Frazier said. “It would be nice to mix it up every once in a while.”

Upcoming concerts at the Swiftel Center through the end of May include a rescheduled show by Martina McBride on Feb. 13, Rodney Carrington on March 19, Alan Jackson on May 2, Godsmack, an alternative metal band, on May 20, and Steve Miller Band, a classic rock band, on May 27.  

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