Concert review: Brad Paisley returns to West Palm Beach
On Saturday July 10th, country megastar Brad Paisley was the first concert after the pandemic that took place in the iThink Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was the first major concert in West Palm Beach since March 2019, when the pandemic closed that venue for almost a year and a half. Country lovers arrived early on a hot and muggy evening and filled the parking lot with lots of paisley tunes as they took to the streets for a bit before the show. Paisley rolled into town, the third stop on a 30-day tour that will keep the West Virginia native traveling well into October.
Brad Paisley – Photo by Rick Munroe for MFN
Paisley has been pretty busy last year, diving in the Bahamas, filming an episode for upcoming Shark Week (July 13th Discovery Channel), and spending time filming commercials for Nationwide Insurance with best buddy Peyton Manning.
For someone who hasn’t played much live during the pandemic, Paisley was in great shape on Saturday after just opening the tour in Jacksonville, followed by a stop in Tampa. Paisley didn’t miss a thing and, unlike many of us, stayed in tip top shape. His two and a half hour set kept fans on their feet the entire time, dancing on the spot while they drank a few cold ones. Paisley provided entertainment with many surprises on stage as well as 25 songs that consisted of most of his big hits and a few cover versions.
From the looks of it, Paisley left the pandemic behind without mentioning it during his performance, rather he kept engaging with his fans and got close and personal to them as they took selfies with the guitar slinger. There were several highlights, including Johnny Bench bringing the local resident and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame catcher to the stage, where the two took it on stage while fans listened carefully. Paisley’s warm and funny, quirky personality has the ability to draw you in, connect with his audience, and make you feel like you could join his close circle of friends and become his sidekick.
Paisley’s talents go well beyond his vocal cords; he’s a real guitarist. He was certainly in the spotlight all night while he was supported by six members of his band who should certainly receive their due recognition. He doesn’t travel far without his Fender Road Worn Telecaster, which has become part of his touring arsenal. He’s pretty comfortable taking the lead and jamming with a guitar solo, showing off his shredding ability with a little country twang. In fact, one lucky young fan who held up a sign saying their birthday was given the very gift that Fender Paisley had jammed on. His guitar throwing skills were super quick when he came up with a cover of Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher”. Aside from a few covers, most of the setlist consisted of a constant serving of Paisley’s very best melodies.
Brad Paisley – Photo by Rick Munroe for MFN
When his band jammed, several videos for most of his songs were played on the big screen behind them; They contained a variety of hilarious video clips ranging from a waterskiing squirrel to Andy Griffith to clips from an upcoming paisley special, Shark Week, which even featured an almost lifelike Carrie Underwood appearance. If you weren’t a fan of country music but happened to be at the concert, you’ve appreciated Paisley’s masterful guitar skills that can be appreciated by any rock and roll fan. Maybe one day we will see a crossover rock song by the guitar virtuoso showing his talent.
Were opening the night Cameron Marlow and Jimmie Allen. A steadily smiling Marlow entertained the early comers as they settled down and took a break from the heat. The 30-minute set included a blues-inspired set of guitar jams that got many of their seats and dancing in place. This is Marlow’s very first tour; he seemed very grateful for the opportunity to tour with a superstar.
We certainly cannot overlook Jimmie Allen’s performance. For one, he came dressed for the role, with sparkling jeans, gold boots, and a huge Charlie Daniels-type belt buckle. It was clear that he was the star on the stage. We can expect great things from this new star; He clearly has the ability, talent and show crew to captivate an audience.
Brad Paisley and Jimmie Allen – Photo by Rick Munroe for MFN
Brad Paisley’s setlist from the Saturday night show at the iThink Financial Amphitheater:
1. “City of Music”
3. “Freedom Was a Highway” (with Jimmie Allen)
4. “Perfect storm”
6. “So much cooler online”
8. “Waiting for a woman”
9. “Last Time for Everything” (with “Purple Rain” excerpt)
10. “Hot for Teacher” (Van Halen cover)
11. “Old Alabama” (with “Mountain Music”)
12. “I’m still a guy” (with Kameron Marlowe)
13. “Crush It”
14. “This is country music”
15. “American Saturday Night”
17. “She is everything”
18. “When I arrive where I’m going”
19. “No, me in beer”
20. “I will miss her”
21. “Remember Me” (with Carrie Underwood on-screen)
23. “Mud on the tires”
25. “Alcohol” (with Marlowe and Allen)
Dates for Brad Paisley’s Tour 2021:
July 17 – Hinckley, MN @ Grand Casino Hinckley Amphitheater
July 22nd – Brandon, MS @ Brandon Amphitheater
July 23 – Tuscaloosa, AL @ Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
July 24 – Alpharetta, GA @ Ameris Bank Amphitheater
July 30th – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
July 31 – Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Music Center
Aug 9 – Canton, OH @ Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (with Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Aug 14 – Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Compaq
Aug 15 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavilion
Aug 21 – Lima, OH @ Allen County Fair
August 22nd – Cincinnati, OH @ The ICON Festival Stage at Smale Park
Aug 27 – Raleigh, NC @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Walnut Creek
Aug 28 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
Aug 29 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
September 10 – Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
September 11th – Clarkson, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theater
September 23 – Doswell, VA @ After Hours at The Meadow Event Park
September 24 – West Springfield, MA @ Court of Honor Stage
September 26 – Bloomsburg, PA @ Bloomsburg Fair
September 30th – Sacramento, CA @ Toyota Amphitheater
October 1 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater
October 2 – Chula Vista, CA @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheater
October 7th – Albuquerque, NM @ ISLETA Amphitheater
October 8 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
October 9 – Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheater
Brad Paisley Band – Photo by Rick Munroe for MFNBrad Paisley – Photo by Rick Munroe for MFNBrad Paisley and Jimmie Allen – Photo by Rick Munroe for MFNKameron Marlow – Photo by Rick Munroe for MFN