Cole Swindell

Written by Cydney Phelps • June 2018

It was a full house Friday night at Stir Cove’s 3rd sold out show of the season. The weather was pleasant, which made everyone comfortable in their jeans and cowboy boots. There were almost no children in sight. It seemed as if it was couple’s night at the cove. We found our spot and didn’t…well, couldn’t move for the rest of the evening.

Jay Allen kicked the show off in true Country fashion. After spending some time in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, Jay took a chance and moved to Nashville just 5 years ago. His hard work and persistence has led him on a path to success in that short period of time. He doesn’t look like your typical cowboy, covered in tattoos and all, but he fits right in with the rest of them. He’s certainly got a story to tell and I think we’re all pretty anxious to hear more from him in the future.

Now I have to be honest, I had never heard of Cole Swindell before now. Being more a fan of Classic Rock, I don’t venture into this genre often enough to catch on to the newest artists. I have the utmost respect for what they do and how hard they work. It’s not an easy business and there’s a ton of competition. Cole had a little bit of an advantage, however. He happened to be a member of the same Fraternity as one, Luke Bryan. The two kept in touch after Swindell left college and when he moved to Nashville in 2007, he began selling merchandise for Bryan and even wrote songs on the road. Fast forward a few years and he’s got people working his merch booth. The man has released nine singles, seven of which have charted within the Top 5 of Hot Country Songs and/or Country Airplay. Pretty impressive, to say the least. And boy is he grateful. It was after nearly every song he sang that he thanked the crowd for making it a success. It was really just a great big party and he was so happy to be the guest of honor. What a beautiful night for a show and how lucky we all were for being invited!

This was the last show for a while at Stir Cove, the next one being in August. So that means you’ve all got time to get your tickets! Come down to Stir and party with us, there’s never a dull moment! As always, thank you to Stir Cove, staff and security for putting up with all of us and we can’t wait to see you again! Cheers!


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Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys

Written by Cydney Phelps • June 2018


Stir Cove was bursting at the seams on Saturday night for their second sold out show of the season. The crowd was speckled with kilts and kelly green shirts. My red headed husband and I felt right at home. Temperatures were as high as our spirits. We all showed up and showed out for the drinks, the dancing, and the boisterous music that radiated from the stage.

Flogging Molly started right on schedule at ten minutes to 8. They came out swinging and immediately the audience started clapping to the all familiar Celtic punk. The band has been on the scene since 1997 when they began to play their music in a Los Angeles pub called Molly Malone’s. The band’s name is actually an ode to that pub where they would play every Monday night at the beginning of their careers. They carry the same heart and passion to this day. Though Dave King’s accent has thinned out over the years, you’d never notice as soon as he starts to sing. There was not one still body. The movement was contagious. Even those in the (very) long beer lines were dancing. Stir was offering Guinness last night as well as free water. Thank goodness for that because the drinks were flowing smoothly and swiftly. We were also lucky enough to take a break from the heat and hang out in the back bar area where we were still able to enjoy the concert on the projectors. What a great start to our night!

Next up, the almighty Dropkick Murphys. They too started right on schedule at 9:35 and kept the momentum. The sun had set and it actually ended up being a pretty decent night. As far as humid summer evenings go, anyway. The mostly adult audience was truly having a blast. Smiles all around and everyone was so neighborly. We had settled on our spot on the left side of the cove about ⅔ of the way to the stage. The sound is incredible over there and the view is almost unobstructed. The sweat started to drip as we continued dance. Every song like an anthem. Dropkick Murphys has been at it for 22 years now and have yet to skip a beat. These guys are from Quincy, Massachusetts with Ken Casey at the helm as the only remaining original member. Their most widely known song, “I’m Shipping up to Boston,” was featured in the 2006 film The Departed. Little known fact, the lyrics were actually written by Woody Guthrie, writer of “This Land is Your Land.” Needless to say, Dropkick Murphys put their own twist on the decades old song resulting in a double platinum record.

I was so looking forward to this show at Stir and the whole night was like a celebration. As always, thank you to Stir, staff, and security for accommodating such a large group of people in such hot conditions. Always a good time! Thanks again for a great night and I’ll see you in a couple of weeks!


Foster the People and AJR

Written by Karen Freeman • June 2018


Written By: Cydney Phelps


It was a beautiful evening on Thursday made all the better with some sweet tunes coming out of Stir Concert Cove. My first night at at the Cove this year did not disappoint! The weather was so pleasant, a welcome break from the heat we’ve been having. Mix that with a friendly audience and music you can really dance to...well that is my favorite recipe for a summer evening!


First up on stage was a band called AJR. A group of 3 brothers, AJR hails from New York City where they began as street performers. They write, produce, and mix all of their music themselves and I just can’t give them enough credit. These boys came out on stage with a fire within. They dominated every piece they played and I could not take my eyes off of them. They are described as “electric,” but they are leaps and bounds beyond that. Yes, they each have their pad where they will select their recorded sounds, but each one also took time playing real live instruments including the bass guitar, a bass drum, and even a ukulele. They were so much fun to watch and I’m thrilled to have been able to see them. Thank you, Stir for bringing in groups like this and giving us all the opportunity to find new music!


Headlining the show was a little band called Foster the People, you may have heard of them. They sing a little ditty called “Pumped Up Kicks.” The song was literally everywhere when it was released in 2010 and to this day, I can’t get it out of my head. What I didn’t realize until last night, however, was how many other hit songs they have had. This band has had some amazing success in their 9 years together. And their following is strong and true. I loved watching the crowd wave their hands in there. Watching the kids ask to be put on their parents shoulders. And this one beautiful woman in a red dress who was mesmerizing as she danced to the music. It’s so neat to watch how fans react to music that really speaks to them. Certainly one of my favorite things about going to concerts. Foster the People entertained us all and spoke of the beautiful vibrations of life and how special it was that we were all together in that moment. While at times I was a little lost in the electronics of it all, waiting for more actual live music and lyrics, they truly put on a great show.


I was so pleased with the beginning to my season at Stir Cove and I can’t wait for more. This is how you do a Summer Concert Series. As always, thank you to Stir, staff, and security for allowing us to share the summer with you. I’ll see you Saturday night for Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys! Cheers!


Barenaked Ladies, Better Than Ezra, KT Tunstall

Written by Karen Freeman • June 2018

Sunday night was a beautiful evening in the Cove, from the cloudless and comfortable weather to the fun and upbeat sounds that emanated from the stage.  It was an all-star night for we mature listeners, while KT Tunstall, Better Than Ezra and Barenaked Ladies graced the amphitheater.  Every performance started on time, gave their fans joy and danceable tunes and left them wanting more from each artist.

KT Tunstall, a stunning Scottish lass, gave us a one-woman show that featured her well-known song “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” among many other tunes.  While she entertained us as a solo vocalist, she emphasized her powerful pipes with all the proper electronic accoutrements that created the illusion of a full sized band.  Her set was short but outstanding.  Her voice is so strong and so clear and it was a pleasure to be in her company.  She did an encore performance with the Barenaked Ladies and it was stellar.

About 15 years ago, I sat in a lawn chair in Council Bluffs, IA, outside Harrah’s Casino, in a newly created amphitheater with maybe 200 others to watch Better than Ezra perform.  Sunday night, the number of attendees…and chairs…had grown considerably.  The upper bowl was full and there were hundreds of folks hanging around at stage level as well.  The GREAT news is that Better than Ezra is as terrific today as they were 15 years ago.  This alternative rock band is fun, light-hearted and so very entertaining.  Their jams were solid and I only wish those jams had carried on a bit longer.  There was an excellent vibe going between the middle-aged crowd and the band, and it was 45 minutes of true merriment.

Now, If I Had a Million Dollars, I’d be joining Barenaked Ladies and all their supporting bands across the country for night after night of amusement and exuberance.  Heck, I’d drive their tour bus just for that chance to hang with the boys!  That is the ambiance that this band emotes, and while I’ve seen them a number of times, each and every experience leaves me sunny and sated.  There is so much banter and free-style rapping in these performances, that I look forward to those moments almost as much as I do to hearing One Week or Brian Wilson!  The harmonies are still tight and the boys are still entertaining.  What a combination….what a night.



We have all your Stir Cove Tickets for less! $10 Barenaked Ladies Tickets. Dropkick Murphys tickets available!

Written by Cory • June 2018

Check out our Tickets page on for all of your Stir Ticket needs.  We have a limited supply so get them while you can.


Barenaked Ladies  $10

Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly $65 (Yes we have tickets available for this sold out show!

And Much Much More


Migos Stir Cove Review

Written by Karen Freeman • May 2018

Saturday night kicked off the 15th season of the Stir Cove Concert series, and now that the venue is an all-ages venue, they can truly kick it with musical acts that speak to young music lovers and sell out quickly.  Such was the case with the initial show featuring the latest in hip-hop sensations, Migos.  The bowl was packed shoulder to shoulder with a crowd of avid 20 somethings and younger.   Young women dressed in their crop tops and booty shorts, while the males sported NBA jerseys and plenty of low-riding plaid shorts.  They stood and they waited…and then they waited some more…and they kept on waiting.

Migos began their performance at 10 p.m., which was two hours past the posted start time.  This is definitely not the norm at Stir Cove, so I hold no one at the venue responsible for the delayed start.  Rather, I believe there is an arrogance in youthful performers of this generation, and they think nothing of subjecting their adoring fans to start times well beyond expectations.  I guess if the fans continue to allow it, it will continue to be the ‘norm’ for the entertainers.   I was not amused.

Most disappointing, however, was the length of the overall show – a mere 45 minutes.  Once it began, the performance was rife with heavy base tones and hard pounding, lyrical poetry that sent those adoring fans into overload.  The crowd seemed forgiving, while their arms waved and their heads bobbed.  There was dancing, there were sing-a-longs, there were responsive shouts.  The show held a significant amount of gratuitous expletives, and dark and dirty references to drugs, sex and the gangster life that is always somehow associated with the hip-hop genre.

Migos hails from Lawrenceville, and has seen much success and award nominations.  Not bad for a group who has only released three albums.  The show featured considerable self-promotion, which seems to be routine in this musical category.  The video board was clever and vivid – notwithstanding a large Migos logo featured non-stop in the center of the screen.  There were smoke bombs along with the f-bombs, and despite the tone of the tunes, the vibe was upbeat and positive.

Regardless of my personal offenses to this overall program, those 20-somethings seemed to believe they were witnessing the most extraordinary night of their life.  I applaud Stir Cove for the ability to bring prominent, in-the-news groups to their stage.  I endorse the value of covering all generations and genres.  That is why the Stir Cove Concert series continues to be one of the greatest concert opportunities the Midwest offers.  The staff is outstanding, and they work diligently to make the music devotee comfortable and satisfied.  This year safety is a number one concern for the staff.  The Cove has installed a clear bag policy, and does not allow smoking or vaping within the bowl.  These are necessary and easy rules to follow, and so important for the positive experience that is Stir.