What an Evening

What an Evening

by JasonBryan / Jul 09, 2015 / 0 comments
Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Last night (7/08/15) Brad Paisley hosted An Evening with Brad Paisley a benefit concert to raise money for Tom Sherak’s MS Hope Foundation. I’m an avid concertgoer and this was my first time at Saban theater in Beverly Hills, it’s a small 1900 person venue that is a converted classic style movie theater with balcony. Peter Tildon of KABC was the host and the opening act was Jon Reep, a stand up comedian of the hick humor variety. He was relatively funny with a routine full of redneck anecdotal humor at the expense of his deeper-rooted relatives. The crowd was pretty country for a Beverly Hills location and Reep had as much fun as he could with it. He closed with a relatively high octane bit re-enacting his high school self cruising around in a T-top to Def Leopard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me, having some music playing was a nice touch to get the crowd ready for Brad Paisley.

Tildon came out and reminded the crowd that this was going to be casual. Brad walked out and sat on a stool at the very front of the stage with an acoustic guitar. I’ve been to close to a dozen “An Evening with….” concerts in my life, and this was by far the most intimate. Brad picked away at the acoustic guitar in a fast plucking exercise before going into American Saturday Night. At the end of the first number Paisley announced that he “didn’t make a set list and was winging it and taking requests.” The crowd instantly shouted nearly all of his hits, and he played a good variety of them. I’ve said for years there is no artist that has both the caliber of humor and the depth of heart in his music as Paisley, and being in a small venue with him interacting with the crowd you can tell that his music is a direct reflection of his character. He performed some of his biggest hits in solo acoustic fashion such as Mud on the Tires, Then, When I Get where I’m Going, I’m Gonna Miss Her, Everything, and many more. Some other highlights were him telling the story of how he looked up to Andy Griffith as a father figure and the story of how he agreed to do the video to Waiting on a Woman, in which Griffith had memorized all the lyrics and was completely prepared to act out the entire song. Of course, Brad went into the song following the story. There was a Q&A session with Peter Tildon as the moderator in which he would often just answer questions with verses of his music, whether or not the song answered the question, but no one really minded since they are all really there for the music. When asked about the song writing process he revealed he writes the words first than comes up with music, which isn’t surprising with quality and depth of his lyrics. He brought on Jon Reep to sing along on an off-the-cuff version of River Bank, or as Reep would say it Rihfffehr Bank (he literally spelled it out this way so you could understand his accent). The big surprise was arguably the most famous captain in television history Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, came out to sing I’m Real which Paisley wrote for him on Shatner’s Has Been album. Shatner had his lyrics hand written on a yellow legal page and Paisley didn’t hesitate to give him a hard time about it. He closed the night with Alcohol, a song whose hook is “some of the best times you’ll never remember with me…alcohol”, but this was a night all in attendance will never forget.

The only negative I can mention is Paisley is one the best guitarists playing music today and when he plucked away his guitar solos the acoustic guitar just couldn’t over power the cheering crowd. But in a night that showcased how his songwriting reflected his personality it’s hard to complain just because you didn’t get to hear him shred his electric guitar.

Rating out of 11: