Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
When country music superstar Brad Paisley rolled into town, he not only brought his dynamic vocal talents and great guitar chops, he also brought along a whole country music festival as his opening act.
A second stage was erected on the SPAC grounds to featured three up-and-coming acts that paved the way for Paisley and two other headliners on the amphitheater’s main stage.
First up at 4:30pm on the “Virtual Opry Stage” was Jana Kramer, followed by the rocking country sounds of Love and Theft. Finishing up the presentation was superb vocalist Kristen Kelly and her band. Under a hot, glaring sun, all performed to the max!
A bit later the main stage exploded with 2011 “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery giving up an electrifying set of great songs followed by the Band Perry, who fuelled the flames of the fireworks that would be Brad Paisley’s set.
The crowd roared and the ladies swooned as Brad, guitar-in-hand, ran around to the end of all three extended ramps from the main stage and showed the audience why he’s charted 19 No. 1 country singles, snagged three Grammy Awards and was honored as Best Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music for four consecutive years.
Whew! Talk about accolades… Lesser artists would fall back on their laurels and possibly retire, but not Brad Paisley. He’s a trooper and an amazing performer!
His Virtual Reality Tour showcased tunes from his newest album, “This Is Country Music,” but Paisley didn’t forget to include his older hits in the concert’s mix, too. He was in his rightful element as a singer-songwriter playing his ass off!
Did I mention the man knows how to play guitar? No three chords here. Paisley can hold his own, easily and effortlessly, playing along side the best of the best from any music genre. But he chooses to express himself through the country music art form, and the fans love him for doing it his way.
Great music, lots of energy, fabulous entertainment and a rolling festival of additional country artists at an affordable price – what more could you ask for?