–by Sean Derrick
Country Superstar Brad Paisley ended his successful Weekend Warrior World Tour with a stop at a packed Hollywood Casino Ampitheatre in Saint Louis Sunday.
On tour since May 18 Paisley has been touring in support of his latest CD Love and War, which hit #1 on the Billboard US Country charts, his 9th straight #1 album.
Paisley was in fine form, both musically and witty. If you have ever been to one of his concerts you can’t really expect anything less.
Sunday night was a bit different as he seemed to try to fit as many songs as he could in his 1 hour and 45 minute set. He got in 25 songs, so good job on that.
The show started with a montage of some intro music of 80’s theme music including the theme from Back to the Future, Stranger things and Knight Rider (I am still convinced that KITT from Knight Rider was a new wave of Cylon from the 1970’s Battlestar Galactica – look at the red moving “eye” on each one).
When Paisley and his band kicked into high gear for “Last Time For Everything” the crowd was amped up. Paisley kept up the beat and didn’t stop to say anything until after “Crushin’ It”, the 6th song in the set. Simply stating “Well, goodnight!” the crowd knew his comedic timing was spot on.
Being the veteran showman he is Paisley knows how to get the crowd to respond. “How y’all gonna justify taking off work tomorrow if we stop here?” Paisley reasoned.
After challenging the crowd to top the best show on the tour (San Diego) given that this was the last opportunity to do so, he plucked the first few chords to “This is Country Music” before taking the guitar off, signing it and promptly giving it to a little girl in the front with guitar earrings and a Fender guitar tee-shirt who was doing air guitar the entire opening set.
He got back to the joking around when he changed the lyric in “Ticks” from “butterfly tattoo” to “Royals tattoo”. Then stopped, and said “wait, that’s the wrong city. You guys don’t root for the Royals here. Let’s start over.” He then proceeded to insert “Dodgers” and got a round of boos. (Can you imagine if he said Cubs?) Of course he correctly finished with “Cardinals” to a roaring approval.
The best treat of the evening was that Paisley performed “First Cousins”. If you aren’t familiar with the song it starts with “First car, first date, first taste of lovin’. You’ll always be my first…cousin.” Then the song goes to some funny and dark places after that. To top it off, after the song he stated that the local crowd looked like they would have some experience with that. From what I could find he doesn’t play it at a lot of shows, so for him to play that Sunday was a funny treat.
Opener Lindsay Ell got into the comedic act during “I’m Just a Guy”. With Paisley and Dustin Lynch performing the song Ell came out in an AC/DC shirt, cammo pants, a hat with a wrench in it, a tackle box tied to her belt, and a hilariously fake beard waving a Cardinals flag. Paisley and Lynch composed themselves long enough for Paisley to introduce her as Zac Brown.
But for all his comedic prowess he is also fiercely loyal to the men and women who serve in the military. In fact, he brought up 6 active servicemen and gave them spots at one of the bars for some free drinks on him. It was poignant in the fact that he did it right after singing “Love and War”, a song about the pains servicemen endure and the things they lose just to serve our country.
All throughout the sappiness, salutations, and silliness the one even keel was Paisley’s superior fretwork. His guitar playing, as usual, was spot on and mesmerizing, with aspiring or just wanna-be guitarists, young and old hanging on every note he plucked. Paisley traded riffs with Ell on “Whisky Lullaby” for a fantastic duet.
Ell’s set was superb in her own right. A short 20 minute set was just a tease at what is to become of this extremely talented guitarist and singer. Watching her I immediately think of Lzzy Hale and Ana Popovic in her stylings and performance. She just released her latest CD entitled The Project. Watch out for some great things from her in the near future.
Chase Bryant caught the 2nd supporting slot with a nice performance and some impressive licks on the guitar as well before giving way to Dustin Lynch who had an impressive set of his own.
Lynch continued the rock/country mix even including a cover of Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me”. Lynch is touring in support of his recently released Current Mood CD, which has seen 2 #1 Country Airplay songs “Seeing Red” and “Small Town Boy”. Lynch will be headlining his own tours soon, and from the looks of it Sunday, he is almost ready.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery from the show after the Setlist.
Brad Paisley Setlist:
Knight Rider Theme
Last Time for Everything (With “Purple Rain” outro)
Old Alabama (With “Mountain Music” intro)
One Beer Can
This Is Country Music
Love and War
American Saturday Night (With Chase Bryant)
I’m Still a Guy (With Dunstin Lynch and Lindsay Ell)
Grey Goose Chase
Letter To Me (From B-Stage)
First Cousin (acoustic from B-Stage)
Whiskey Lullaby (With Lindsay Ell)
I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song)
Mud on the Tires
Alcohol (With Lindsay Ell, Dustin Lynch, and Chase Bryant)