Sunday, September 20, 2009

Brad Paisley Concert, 2009

I'll add my comments later; I'm just copying these news stories for future reference.

Energetic Paisley charges USANA crowd

By Pat Reavy

Deseret News
Published: Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009 9:42 a.m. MDT

Country superstar Brad Paisley gave summer one last big "Hoorah!" Saturday night. And judging from the weather, he did it just in the nick of time.

What started off as a pleasant summer evening ended with on and off rain and frequent flashes of lightning from a distance. But it did little to dampen the spirits of Paisley or the 14,000 fans at the USANA Amphitheatre.

"We'll play as long as they let us," he told the crowd which met with roaring approval. "I don't care if I get a little wet out here."

Paisley showed why he is one of the best all around entertainers in any music genre, combining hit songs, fast guitar licks, and a full stack of laugh-out loud funny videos to compliment his music.

He took the stage, however, with just his acoustic guitar and a microphone with a "Grand Ole Opry" sign wrapped around the stand, and sang "Start a Band" off the "Play" album. At the end of the song, the rest of his seven piece backing band emerged as all the lights from his elaborate stage production, including a large video screen in the rear with five smaller screens spread out around the stage, were turned on and Paisley launched into the title track of his latest album, and the name sake of his tour, "American Saturday Night."

"It's still summer here, at least until the night is over," he said.

Throughout the evening, Paisley ran around every inch of the large USANA stage, including a catwalk that went several rows deep. At one point, Paisley got off the stage altogether and played his guitar from deep in the crowd.

Favorites like "Mud On Tires," "I'm Still A Guy," "Letter To Me" and "Wrapped Around" were combined with newer songs like "Water." Paisley paid homage to fishing by combining a song off his new album, "Catch All The Fish," with "I'm Gonna Miss Her."

Many of Paisley's biggest hits are love songs and he had couples in the crowd embracing for "Waiting On A Woman," "She's Everything" and "Then."

The good natured Paisley, who has made some notable funny music videos in his career, had new videos to show on this tour to compliment his music. Some of the standouts included a hilarious video for "Celebrity" which found the song turned into a video game, ala Guitar Hero or Rock Band. The video included cameos from Little Jimmy Dickens, Taylor Swift and opening act Dierks Bentley singing the second verse. During "The World," there was a video that showed a Brad Paisley bobblehead doll being stolen Indiana Jones style, and then being photographed around the world, similar to the Traveling Gnome.

Paisley, wearing a red T-shirt, jeans and his trademark white cowboy hat, was personable with the crowd all evening, at one point joking about going skinny dipping with everyone in the Great Salt Lake after the show.

"They can't arrest all of us," he laughed.

Paisley, whose voice and guitar playing were strong all evening, finished with some of his biggest hits, playing a snipet of Bad Company's "Feel Like Making Love" before launching into "Ticks" and "On-Line." For the encore, "Welcome To The Future" included clips from several Utah children who submitted videos telling what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Equally energetic was opening act Bentley who ran around every corner of the stage with a crowd pleasing one hour set that included "Sideways," "Feel That Fire" and "What Was I Thinking."

Review: Paisley a true boy of summer
Country star doesn't let rain dampen his parade of hits.

By David Burger
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 09/20/2009 09:02:41 AM MDT

Near the beginning of the last concert of the season at Usana Amphitheater on Saturday, country star Brad Paisley told the crowd that "there's nothing like summertime in the United States of America." And, he added, despite a chilly night of rain, it would be summer as long as the concert lasted.

And no one wanted the summer, or the concert, to end.

With his signature white cowboy hat and blue jeans, Paisley, on his "American Saturday Night Tour," demonstrated the showmanship, guitar work, wit and -- most importantly --- the songcraft that have made him one of the best performers out of Tennessee.

While many Nashville stars believe that pyrotechnics is all they need to entertain a crowd, Paisley has a catalogue of humorous, poignant songs that connect with the minds and hearts of his fans, who nearly sold out the amphitheater. Whether it is a tongue-in-cheek lust song called "Ticks," or just a plain ol' tune about getting mud on the tires of your Chevrolet pickup truck, he always has a clever line popping up in pleasantly surprising ways.

And, boy, can he play the guitar. At some points, the guitar solos bordered on being ostentatious, but they always served the song. With his Bakersfield Sound roots showing, his nimble electric guitar work stayed away from sloppy power chords but seemed more like he was furiously picking away on a banjo or mandolin.

That doesn't mean he skimped on the stage show. With six high-resolution video screens flanking him, he and his crack 7-piece band played in front of endlessly amusing video montages. In one, he competed against Taylor Swift (on video) in "Guitar Hero," and in another there was an entire video consisting of his relatively crude, but entertaining animation talents.

Before the concert, the gracious Paisley held a meet-and-greet with a number of local children who submitted videos of themselves filling in the blanks of the sentence :"I want to be a ...."

Their videos, chosen by local radio stations and then sent to Paisley's camp, were shown during the encore, when he performed "Welcome to the Future."

The lucky children were Trey McEnvoy of Provo (who wanted to be a scientist), Kylie Bouwmeester of West Point (country singer), Tally Warren, of West Jordan (biker), Gracie Bowen, of Taylorsville (cheerleader), Trevor Westmoreland, of Bear River City (farmer), Gracie Westmoreland, of Bear River City (teacher), Aspen Brinkerhoff (no town given, rodeo princess), Danica Anerson (no hometown given, vet), Jae'Sha Hall, of Tooele (motocross racer), and, my favorite, Heather Fields, of Park City, who wanted to be a ninja. "I like swords," she said.

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