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Paisley's hometown show at First Niagara delivers hits, humor

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Sunday, May 18, 2014, 12:33 a.m.

Brad Paisley put on an exciting and energetic show on Saturday night at the First Niagara Pavilion, which the native of Glen Dale, W.V., near Wheeling, considers his home venue. And his fans welcomed the country music superstar with hometown enthusiasm, a warm support that Paisley described to the audience as no-matter-what love and fandom.

Thousands of fans packed the Burgettstown venue and its giant lawn on a chilly, wet night, as Paisley — on the second stop of his summer tour — delivered a hit-after-hit set that lasted nearly two hours, after three opening acts.

Paisley has reached the point in his career where he has so many hits that a concert set has to omit some classic favorites, unfortunately, to make room for new ones. We missed songs such as “When I Get Where I'm Going” and “The World,” which are anticipated staples at Paisley shows.

But we're glad Paisley didn't neglect too much of the older hits, and we still got classic barn-burners like “Mud on the Tires” and “Ticks,” though the latter this time lacked the funky bug graphics that usually surround the stage with tick images.

The audience enjoyed the backing video for the new Paisley hit “River Bank,” the first single from his upcoming album due out later this year. The video shows Paisley in his motorboat, surrounded by women swimming and backed by a squirrel waterskiing.

Paisley's signature quirky sense of humor showed itself throughout the show, including during the fun song “Celebrity,” and its backing video showing the life-sized, bobblehead-like version of Paisley getting into mischief. Paisley gave us a funny surprise when, as he sang “Celebrity,” someone in the cartoonish costume from the video came out on stage to ham it up and shake people's hands. Paisley walked through the audience to a smaller stage for an up-close performance of a few songs.

A newer staple at Paisley concerts that has enchanted audiences for the past few years is the duet with Carrie Underwood called “Remind Me.” When Paisley sings this number, using a convincing holograph of Underwood on the other side of the stage, it's hard to believe he is by himself, and it is very convincing.

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