Brad Paisley’s Beat This Summer Tour
Featuring Lee Brice, Chris Young & The Henningsens
Comcast Theater, Hartford, Connecticut
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Connecticut opened its 2013 outdoor concert series on Saturday night with Brad Paisley’s Beat This Summer Tour and flocks of country music fans packed Hartford’s Comcast Theater. What followed included hours of entertainment headlined by one of country music’s finest performers. This leg of the tour includes four acts, countless hits, and a production value that is second to none.
I started my night by talking with Lee Brice at his meet and greet. He told me that he is excited about his new single, “Parking Lot Party” and is currently creating a new album. He further stated a single from the new material would be released early in 2014 and an album should be out by the end of Spring/early Summer, 2014. Lee is easily one of the nicest artists I’ve ever met and this time was no different.
I was also able to meet Chris Young. He also seemed excited when talking about his new single, “Aw Naw”. He, like Lee, looks forward to releasing new material and said he wants his new song to run its course before releasing anything new. He said he expects his new album will be out by the end of the year.
I, unfortunately, missed the Henningsens performance as I was in the Lee Brice meet and greet while they performed. I look forward to seeing them in the future. I walked into the PIT section just as Lee Brice was launching into “Parking Lot Party”. Lee has that it factor that will undoubtedly make him a star. He combines passion, power and versatility that is rare in today’s music world.
On songs like “I Drive Your Truck” and “Love Like Crazy”, the lyrics tug at your emotions and his delivery is so genuine that you can tell he feels the music as much as the listener does. He has an emotional side and also a party persona that works perfectly in an outdoor country music setting.
Lee was extremely impressive throughout his entire half hour set. Each time I have seen him live has convinced me further that he on the road to stardom. He was extremely active on stage and used the catwalk to his advantage. I look forward to more from Lee Brice and fully expect him to rise to headliner status in the next few years.
Chris Young was up next and I was only able to catch a bit of his set due to my time with Brad Paisley backstage. However, Chris showcased the deep vocals that have made him a mainstay on country radio. His baritone nature was exemplary on “Gettin’ You Home” and “Voices” His new single, “Aw Naw” has an infectious chorus that is sure to be yet another hit. He isn’t the most active performer on stage as he lets his vocals do most of the work.
At about 9 p.m., it was finally time for the headliner to hit the stage and Brad Paisley came out swinging. His most recent #1 hit “Southern Comfort Zone” was first on an impressive setlist and it was immediately apparent that he brought out all the production stops for this tour. Images of the ocean, Paris, Italy, the cover of his most recent album, Wheelhouse, and numerous others appeared in the sky due to lasers, smoke, and lighting effects that I have never witnessed at any show before.
Brad and his band created impressive renditions of his songs that are truly unique to the original studio tracks; mostly due to the guitar solo’s and jam outs that he and his band added to each song. He placed several songs from Wheelhouse in between some of his classic hits and was sure to add some form of matching imagery on the huge screens behind the stage. Whether it was a Captain America cartoon during “American Saturday Night” or a rotating tire on “Mud on the Tires”, the thought Brad put into the visuals really made the show that much more impressive.
He included his opening acts as Lee Brice and Chris Young came out to a riveting version of “Outstanding in Our Field” which features Dierks Bentley, Roger Miller and Hunter Hayes on Wheelhouse. The three stars were all smiles as they traded lines on the song which I fully expect to make it to the summit on country radio in the near future. Chris Young returned to the stage during the final song, “Alcohol”. As a fan, it is always a bonus to see the stars on stage together at different points of the night.
Brad’s guitar skills were flaunted with no reservations the entire night. He jumped into the crowd during guitar solo’s, switched guitars for each song, and used every single inch of the stage in the front, the back by the sound stage, and the catwalk. He was constantly moving, but it was with a smooth grace that was not forced, but exhaulted the swagger of a truly experienced performer.
An App was created for the Tour which is called Brad Paisley’s Light Show. The crowd was encouraged to hold up on their smartphones at certain points of the night. The result was amazing colors shining from every inch of the entire aplitheater. To further up the ante of the night, a holographic image of Carrie Underwood emerged during “Remind Me”, a rapping Charlie Daniels appeared on screen during “Karate” and Andy Griffin spoke to Brad via screen on “Waitin’ on a Woman”.
Past legends such as Elvis, Johnny Cash and George Jones were paid homage to as well. Brad Paisley did not leave anything out for this action packed performance that left the crowd trying to guess what he would do next. Even a goat made an absolutely hilarious appearance during “Celebrity”.
All in all it will be very hard for any show to beat Brad Paisley’s performance this summer. He seemed to think of everything and more. I was blown away by not only Paisley, but the entire night as well. From the music, to the stage, and the production, all the little intricacies were perfectly envisioned and masterfully executed.
- Southern Comfort Zone
- Mud on the Tires
- Mona Lisa
- American Saturday Night Tour
- Outstanding in Our Field (with Lee Brice and Chris Young)
- This is Country Music
- She’s Everything
- Old Alabama (featuring Alabama on screen)
- Waitin’ on a Woman (featuring Andy Griffin on screen)
- I’m Still a Guy
- Beat This Summer
- I’m Gonna Miss Her
- Karate (featuring Charlie Daniels on screen)
- Devil Went Down to Georgia (Charlie Daniels Band cover)
- Remind Me (with Carrie Underwood Hologram)
- The World
- Ticks (Encore)
- Alcohol (Encore with Chris Young)
- That Makes Me
- Gettin’ You Home
- When She’s On
- Aw Naw
- The Man I Want to Be
- Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top Cover)
- She’s Got This Thing About Her
- I Can Take It From Here
- Save Water, Drink Beer
- Parking Lot Party
- A Woman Like You
- I Drive Your Truck
- Hard to Love
- Love Like Crazy
- Drinking Class