Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brad Paisley, Rodney Atkins, & Chuck Wicks - January 2008

In December 2007, I wrote on this blog that I was going to throw practicality and caution to the wind and buy Brad Paisley concert tickets. I went to the concert, but never wrote up my review. I am going to my second Brad Paisley concert on Saturday, so this is my last chance to write up 2008's concert!

I planned for the concert to be a date for my husband and I. He was sick the day before the concert and then told me that he couldn't possibly miss another day of work for the concert. So I took my then-6 year old son. After I got home from the concert that night, I found TheHusband still at home in bed -- he had never even gone to work (he worked graveyards at the time). Slacker. This was how most of our dates turned out though, so I wasn't exactly surprised.

We parked in Sandy so that we could ride Trax, because my son loves trains. On the Trax train, we sat behind two families who were obviously from a real live working ranch! I was glad to see they had a little boy with them because I wasn't sure if I should have brought my son or not. The men were stoic and uninterested and wore plaid shirts, Wrangler's, boots, cowboy hats, and vests with the name of their ranch on the back. The women had big hair. The kid wore Wrangler's and boots. We got off Trax and made out way to our seats. Lo and behold, there were the ranchers, directly in front of us.

Chuck Wicks was up first. He wore this really long gray scarf. Some people in the audience made fun of it. That's all I remember about his set.

Rodney Atkins was next. According to the note I wrote myself in January 2008, his set included:

These Are My People
About The South
Watching You
Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)
In The Middle
Invisibly Shaken
If You're Going Through Hell

Rodney Atkins was absolutely awesome. All of his songs are about small town country life, and I've always imagined myself as a small town country girl, so I love his songs. He had a great rapport with the audience as well. I'm sure he says the exact same thing to every audience, but he makes you feel like you're really talking to him personally. He told us the stories behind some of the songs, especially Watching You and Cleaning This Gun, which were written about his little boy and his stepdaughters, respectively. At one point he even uses a huge spotlight to look out into the audience, and he seemed like he really did want to see who all these people were that love his singing so much. The most awesome part happened during "In The Middle". It's a song about a dad coming home. One line says "Two little boys sayin' daddy's back; Next thing I know it's a wrestling match". When Rodney sang that, he was standing on the catwalk on our side of the arena, which made him right at the same level we were. When he sang "two little boys", he pointed DIRECTLY at my son and the little boy in front of us. That was so cool! Even though I was there to see Brad Paisley, I was quite disappointed when Rodney Atkins' set was over.

I had never been to a concert before (other than OldiesFest and about 30 minutes of Ricky Martin, both in 1999 or 2000), so I had no idea how to act. Should I pretend I was a Beatles fan and scream my guts out and faint? Should I sit there quietly and do nothing? What? Fortunately the ranch men in front of me were way more serious than I was, so no matter what I did, I didn't look as stiff as they did. They sat there most of the time, until their wives made them stand up. Then they stood their motionless with their arms folded. I was so glad to have them in front of me :-)

Finally, it was time for Brad Paisley. It was already very late, around 9:00. That's not too late, except I had my 5-month old at the babysitter's house, and she was expecting us back by 11 or so.

Brad Paisley's set included:

Letter To Me
Mr. Policeman
Better Than This
Mud On The Tires
Whiskey Lullaby
The World
She's Everything
When I Get Where I'm Going
Wrapped Around

I love most of Brad's songs, and being there in the arena with the sound literally permeating every part of your body was absolutely awesome. For me. It was not awesome for my son. He was overwhelmed by the sound and the lateness and fell asleep. In the middle of a concert, on one of those hard plastic Energy Solutions Arena chairs! I piled the coats on him and let him sleep. Brad was a lot less personable with the audience. He went directly from song to song without talking in between. I am sorry to say that when comparing him to Rodney Atkins, he came up short because of this. But his music and effects and animations were great. Most of his songs are so funny; they put a huge smile on my face. He only went out onto the catwalk on our side a couple of times, so we didn't see him up close very much. I really don't remember much more than that. At one point, he took a break and then was going to come back with acoustic songs after the break. I was disappointed that we had to leave early, but it was already 10:30 or so and we just had to get home. We went home and the baby was fine, sleeping at the babysitter's. It was awesome and I would definitely go again.

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