Brad's Hot Guitar on a Cool California Night

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Brad's Hot Guitar on a Cool California Night

by JasonBryan / May 29, 2016 / 0 comments
Date: 
Friday, 20 May 2016

Brad Paisley played the second date of his summer tour last Friday at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater. It’s the final season for this venue and Live Nation has the summer slate stacked with great shows, with no better way to get it started then with Brad Paisley.

Maddie & Tae opened the show with the “Shut Up and Fish”, and closed their set with their debut hit “Girl in a Country Song.” For two young girls, their songs reflect an intelligence and maturity as they easily prove they are much, much, more than just a girl in a country song. Too bad for them the Friday traffic had much of the venue still trickling in.

Tyler Farr came to the stage next. He wasn’t ashamed to announce this was the second date of their tour and he was shaking off some rust, but there wasn’t much rust to shake off as he comfortably spent most of the set on the catwalk stage extension and interacting with the fans. At this stage in his career, he has just enough songs to perform a full set of tunes the fans know and he gave them what they wanted. He playfully joked he forgot about this one before going into “Redneck Crazy”. He closed with “A Guy Walks into a Bar” and now the house was packed and ready for the headliner.

Brad Paisley played an intro video to Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, a song most people associate with the beginning of Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey”. He then stormed on stage and went right into “The World”. Paisley’s songwriting is the perfect combination of heartfelt and humorous with a steady dose of shredding guitar thrown in. He’s got more hits then can be played at a concert, and he did a pretty good job of playing stuff that spanned his 11 studio albums, with only “Play” not getting a track played. Throughout the night Paisley’s lead guitar shredded through the surprisingly chilly May night, as he delivered hit after hit. I also got a kick out of the bar he had built on stage, and by bar I don’t mean a rail, I mean a countertop, stools, and a tap. Some lucky concert goers had some very up close and personal seats and drink service.

Some of the highlights of the show were transitioning “This is Country Music” into Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”. Having Tyler Farr come out on stage and help with “I’m Still a Guy”, having Maddie and Tae take turns filling in the Allison Krauss parts on the duet “Whiskey Lullaby”, and Demi Levato joining him for their new single and very first time ever played in front of an audience “Without a Fight”. For “Celebrity”, he played along to a South Park style video, and by style I mean an actual South Park cartoon of Brad singing intercut with clips from the show and other animations made by the South Park team specifically for the show. If you’re a fan of Parker and Stone’s show it’s a like a secret mini episode Easter egg hiding at a Brad Paisley concert. Brad came out to a mini stage in the middle of the venue to get a little more intimate with the fans for “Then”. He joked around playing an acoustic “Letter to Me”, which he didn’t really finish, but then went into what I thought was the highlight of the show: a new song “Ashamed of Your Selfie”, which was his funniest song of the night, and the funniest thing I’ve seen him do in a few years. With lyrics like “You took a picture of your face, but you’re really showing your ass.” The crowd laughed it up and joined in shouting along with the closing reprise, ”The internet is forever!” If only the concert could have lasted as long as the internet. I’ve been a fan since his first album, and fortunately I’ve seen him every tour so I’ve had the pleasure to hear some of my B-side favorites. It’s been a while since I heard him play them live, but I get it, practically every song he played is someone in the audience’s favorite song of his. He closed the regular set with “Mud on the Tires” and the closed the night with “Alcohol”, putting the final icing on the cake for the boozed up crowd with another “best time they’ll never remember”, but in truth every Brad Paisley concert is a little moment worth remembering forever.

Check out more images in the photo gallery from the show http://festivalsandgigs.com/brad-paisley-2016-tour-photo-gallery

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Rating out of 11: 
8