Paisley doesn't disappoint in return to Burgettstown
Brad Paisley, one of the most prolific entertainers in contemporary country music, put on the fantastic show we've come to expect of him Saturday night in Burgettstown.
In his signature white cowboy hat, the West Virginia native wove in, with his songs, memories of First Niagara Pavilion, which he calls his home venue. Paisley talked about how he came here so many times as a kid to see 1980s bands like ZZ Top. At one point, Paisley walked through the first several rows of the audience to a tiny stage toward the back of the pavilion so that people in the cheaper seats could get a better look.
The charismastic star's high-energy shows are reminiscent of Garth Brooks' style from the 1990s, when the latter revolutionized the once-understated country music concert with rock-style video effects that add another fun dimension to the show. Matching videos and laser effects matched nearly every song, often with hilarious results due to the screaming sheep that periodically appeared on the screen. A spinning globe graphic backed “The World,” and a comical video showing Paisley and his giant bobblehead counterpart comitting all kinds of mischief complemented the song “Celebrity.”
In a touching moment, a visual parade of country stars throughout history ended with a picture of recently deceased legend George Jones.
Paisley focused on his newer songs, especially tunes from his new album “Wheelhouse.” All of the newer material required the dropping of a few old favorites from the nearly 2-hour set. We felt a bit bereft without Paisley's “When I Get Where I'm Going” ballad, a concert staple backed by pictures of celebrities who have passed away. But just when we thought we might miss several old favorites, Paisley delivered on the encore with the lively, funny, sensual “Ticks” and the party anthem “Alcohol.”
Like Carrie Underwood constantly changes outfits on stage during her concerts, Paisley switches guitars. He went through at least five stylish guitars with glittery and colorful decor, One even had paisleys on it.
Speaking of Underwood, one of the evening's highlights came when she appeared on stage as a hologram to sing the romantic duet “Remind Me” with Paisley.
Another delightful surprise came from the appearance of Avery Molek, a 6-year-old drumming prodigy from Washington. To thunderous applause, the little YouTube celebrity played an impressive drum interval while Paisley played his guitar. Avery made an adorable complement for Paisley.