"We don't know if Brad Paisley's tour had any rust to shake off during its first 3 shows last week, but it was a smooth-running, kickass fun machine by the time it made its fourth stop of the year at Irvine, California's Verizon Amphitheater Saturday night, featuring three strong opening acts, Julianne Hough, Chuck Wicks and Jewel."
Paisley's 2007 tour was hands down one of the top live shows of the year with high entertainment value (that featured Taylor Swift, Jack Ingram, Kellie Pickler, and some of the best hi-tech big screen visuals out there last year. At ACM Nominations press conference during CRS, Brad told us that he'd worked on making his show bigger and better in terms of visual content and musicality...and that he did.
It's such a unique experience that, if you saw last year's show, you need to see it again this year just to see how much cooler the experience is visually...and how just how his it-don't-get-any-better-than-this band and musical experience, is better than ever.
Highlights: Always the main highlight of the Paisley portion of the show is Brad's magnificent picking and his growing list of unique hit songs, all supported by just about the tightest bunch of pickers out there. "Party" was the right name for this experience.
Brad likes to show off how good his guys are by bringing them out the ramps with him for kick ass guitar pulls and guitar and fiddle jams eventually letting them all show-off from steel-to-drums on numbers that brought fans to their feet to hoot and holler even louder.
VIDEO -Paisley and company are so at the forefront of developing, high tech computer visuals (Paisley's self made animated bits have made quantum leaps technically and sheer fun), and synchronizing recorded video performances with live live music, he should title next year's show the "Paisley iTour Party." Wait till you see the 70 ft wide (estimate) panoramic HD computer screen (that replaces the multiple screens of last year) running recorded and live visuals, including singers in perfect sync (like Direks Bentley on "Celebrity," and Alison Krauss on "Whiskey Lullabye." A lot of clever stuff is going on as the band members physically interact with the screen. And, yet it remains one of the best country music experiences you'll have this year.
PAISLEY PARTY OPENERS all do themselves good on this tour. Julienne Hough has put together a very country set and worked all three of the big ramps. The show was about her and country music not the famous Dancing withe the Stars Champ she is.
Although, for Julianne it was family night with her mother, sister and brother Derek all attending the show. She, invited Derek, who she once sang with in a group back in England, to sing a number with her.
CHUCK WICKS SHOWED THAT HE WAS more than just a "pretty face" as Brad jokingly referred to him. He turned in a cool, brief set that turned the women in the crowd that were already in their seats.
LEADING INTO BRAD'S SHOW, JEWEL showed that she is doing what she hoped, that her previous fans would follow her into country, and that country fans would except what she's doing as she received multiple standing O's during her set. A couple of those were inspired by some her truly unique, and powerful vocalizations.
Watch for a Brad Paisley on Tour Special Feature coming soon at www.countryforever.com.