Brad Paisley is a born entertainer. His show not only has the musical intensity of Eric Church and the energy and humor of Dolly Parton, but also brings a little extra magic that only Brad can pull off. Whilst in the hands of other performers some of the backing videos would fall flat, Brad makes them genuinely funny, such as the video montage playing during ‘Celebrity’ where a Brad caricature pulls pranks on the street and reenacts famous musical moments from Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ to Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’.
Kicking off the night was the amazing Mickey Guyton, one of the strongest vocalists I’ve heard. Whilst I wasn’t familiar with many of her songs, the quality of her voice was enjoyable on its own and her stage presence was also top-notch, paying attention to her fans and just seeming to be really nice as she talked and sang to the audience. She could teach Justin Moore a thing or two about that, since his attempts at crowd interaction fell really flat for me. He spent way too long talking about nothing in particular, and combined with my ambivalence towards his music, this made for a boring set. Having said that, he did bring out Kip Moore as a very-surprise guest, which brought some life to the end of a forgettable set!
Although Brad is one of the very best musically, with guitar skills that are second to none, his show is about so much more. Bringing kids on stage to play video games on the big screen (during ‘Time Warp’), giving away guitars or even helping a couple get engaged during ‘Then’, a Brad Paisley concert is the whole package. During ‘Remind Me’, Brad even called up Carrie Underwood on Skype and performed a really cool duet with her, with Carrie projected onto the big screen!
No doubt a highlight for me was Mickey Guyton coming onstage to sing ‘Whisky Lullaby’ with Brad. In the moment I remember thinking that this pairing could actually be as good, if not better than the original with Alison Krauss! Whilst I think Brad could add more acoustic songs to his set list, it is hard to see which songs he could replace, since they are all smash hits, and he already did a 2 hour show!
Brad Paisley is easily my favorite live performer. Whilst I prefer the music of Eric Church, and he puts on an unbelievable show, Brad just nails it time and again, blending humor, humility and awesome musicianship in a perfect mix, ensuring everyone is left with their minds suitably blown!