May 23, 2010

Summer Concert #1: Brad Paisley

Summertime is here, and that wonderful fact brings with it the sweet knowledge that there will be summer concerts to attend. This year, some friends and I got the Jiffy Lube Live Country Megaticket Series, which includes 7 country concerts with some of the biggest stars in the industry today.

The first concert in the series was Brad Paisley, featuring Darius Rucker (aka "Hootie" of Hootie and the Blowfish). When we arrived at Jiffy Lube Live, the rain was coming down fairly strong, so we decided to skip the opening act and instead chill at the car.
After the rain finally let up, we headed in from the parking lot, found a good spot on the lawn, and settled in just in time for Darius Rucker to start his session as the 2nd opener. Can I just say how happy I am that he decided to switch to country music from the rock/pop/whatever-it-was that he did with Hootie and the Blowfish? So much better as a country singer! His songs are touching, positive, and entertaining. Love it.This is Jess' and Wes' good sides. Yes, we took one picture, and then they traded places to be on these sides and had me take another picture. Such characters!There was a short break after Darius' set, and then Brad came out to raise the showmanship even more. I knew he was a good singer, but I hadn't realize that Brad also plays lead guitar in their band. And it's no easy guitar playing, mind you, but technical and fast playing. With all that talent, now it's easy to see why he wins so many awards.The visual effects were pretty cool during Brad's set, including this Matrix-esque stuff while he played one of my favorites, "Online". He also had a couple cool videos, including one with various old-fashioned clips for his new song, "Water" (which of course got huge cheers due to the rain), and a video to introduce his band members, and it kinda reminded me of the cartoons from the 80's movie "One Crazy Summer".Though our crew was only four at this concert, we made up for our small numbers with enthusiasm, as we sang along with Darius and Brad with plenty of gusto. Helps that these fellas know how to write catchy songs with memorable lyrics. So I guess they deserve a little credit, eh?
Jackie was so excited to get this ball. She kept watching it flying through the air and waiting for it to come to her so she could hit it. Finally, when a guy in front of us caught it and was just holding it, she couldn't wait any longer. She ran up, half-asked/half-just-grabbed the ball, and ran back to us. See how happy she is to have it? After we got a picture of her with her beloved beach ball, she hit it into the air and the ball continued on its concert adventure.
Any chance I could get a screen of this size and quality in my living room? Brad, when you're done with this tour, feel free to drop it off at my apartment. Thanks in advance.
When it's getting late and the headliner is wailing away, sometimes you've just gotta play along. Wes played the closest thing around that would substitute for a guitar: Jess.
And of course, when it rains at a concert, and there are lots of young kids, you're gonna see some mudsliding. Part of me wanted to join them. Maybe next time...

One concert down, six to go! Can't wait for WMZQ Fest (headliner: Montgomery Gentry) in a couple weeks!

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