As Brad put it, the mixture of music and beer is able to allow concert goers to escape their pains. I had the pleasure of doing just that on the second night of the tour at a stop in Milwaukee, WI. Since it was only the second stops there were a few minor kinks to the program, such as a split second speaker squeal, or the guitar tech forgetting to grab Brad's microphone, but overall the show went off without a hitch!
Scotty McCreery was the first to hit the stage. The stage was a basic set-up with the band and a cloth with his name on it, but what made his set was the performance. He didn't need fancy lights and lasers to put on a show. Running from one side of the stage to the next, Scotty made everyone feel like they were wanted. In a 25 minute set, he was able to perform 7 songs from his platinum-selling debut CD, including the two singles, on the stage. I'm not going to lie, I voted for Lauren Alaina during Idol, but after this show I felt Scotty deserved everything he has gotten and allowed the crowd to get hyped for The Band Perry.
Kicking off their set, The Band Perry lived up to the hype in their show. An unreleased track, "Jason" was the first to be performed along with 7 songs from their debut record (including a little "Free Falling" during "Independence") and a cover of Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls." The three video screens behind the band acted as a canvas for music video scenes and the normal concert backings. What was extraordinary was the showmanship of the group. Brad's stage had three runways and the trio made sure to take advantage of that. Kimberly in the middle along with Neil and Reid on the sides. This really allowed those in the back to feel a little closer to the sibling group. The highlight of the set for me was the version of "Love the Way You Lie/You Lie" that they performed on the CMT Awards last June. Vocals and instrumentation of all three were above par. It was also announced that they would be signing after Brad's set (I took advantage of this, so read on for info on this).
A laser light show kicked off Brad Paisley's set. A screen at the front of the stage allowed for pictures to be shown on a screen by lasers. This was just the start to the virtual reality aspect of the tour. "Camouflage" kicked off the set that didn't allow for sitting due to the pure excitement throughout it's entirety. The act was like a greatest hits show featuring over 20 songs that have been sung over the last decade.
Brad made his way into my top 3 favorite performers (after Sugarland and Keith Urban) during this show. Only 20 minutes into the show, Brad had already given away a guitar that he played on stage. Brad took full advantage of the video wall behind him during "Waitin' on a Woman." The wall allowed for footage of the music video and commentary from Andy Griffith throughout the song. As "Celebrity" began playing, Scotty came on stage once again to perform with Brad. On the wall appeared comic headlines full of current events (the crowd was cracking up throughout the song, but you have to see the show to hear the jokes - no spoilers here).
After a few crowd favorites such as "Online" and "I'm Still A Guy", Brad proceeded to the satellite stage in the back of the arena. (He headed to the stage on one side of the arena and exited on the other, so both sides are able to touch Brad if you run down fast enough). On the stage, he performed "Letter To Me" acoustically and had a little heart-to-heart over the microphone. Shortly after "Working On A Tan" (which had one of the coolest song introductions I have ever seen), Kimberly Perry and her brothers came on stage for "Whiskey Lullaby" - a version that could almost compete with Alison Krauss. Brad played "Time Warp" while a Star Wars inspired cartoon (animated by Brad) played on the big screen. A little thereafter, Carrie Underwood appeared. Brad has found a way to get Carrie at EVERY show! Let's just say there is a little technology involved. As Brad began playing "Water" I left before I was able to see him jump in a pool of water before the encore. I just wanted to get a good spot in line for The Band Perry (and I had a decent spot, so this would be the perfect time if you are also interested in doing so).
After The Band Perry completed "Alcohol" with Brad, they made their way to the merch booth where they signed (sorry, no pictures this time round). They were very gracious people and made you feel like you weren't just another fan - they really try to connect.
This is one night you won't want to miss, so head over to BradPaisley.com RIGHT NOW and get your tickets.