Country music superstar Brad Paisley wowed crowds at the Abbotsford Centre on Friday, Oct. 3.
Paisley is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer, which has earned him numerous awards including three GRAMMYs, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, as well as three awards from ASCAP as Country Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year.
He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry, having been inducted in 2001. Since his first #1 single in 1999, Paisley has placed 22 singles at the top of the charts. His current single, “River Bank,” scored a career-high opening week at radio and is from his forthcoming August 26 album release.
Country superstar Brad Paisley definitely gave fans their “monopoly-looking money’s worth” on Friday night.
The show at the Abbotsford Centre featured plenty of references to Canada, guitar solos and stage gimmicks.
“Welcome to the weekend you guys,” said Paisley. “It’s so great to finally be in Tim Horton’s land. We’re going to have a great time in the land of Cuban cigars and Canadian whiskey.”
From the moment his appeared on stage in his classic black t-shirt, black jeans and white cowboy hat, Paisley owned the crowd. He opened the show with an acoustic-style version of “The World” and “Camouflage,” featuring a fiddle, banjo and guitars. Halfway through “Moonshine in the Trunk,” the stage lit up with strobe lights and video playing on the multi-screen backdrop.
Paisley took fans on a musical journey through his career hits on Friday night. Since his first No. 1 single in 1999, he’s placed 22 singles at the top of the charts. He has earned numerous awards including three Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, as well as three awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry, having been inducted in 2001.
Paisley worked the stage as fans sang along to his songs, which included “American Saturday Night,” “Southern Comfort Zone,” “Waiting on a Woman,” “I’m Still a Guy,” “She’s Everything,” “Perfect Storm,” “Water,” “I’m Going to Miss Her,” and “Beat This Summer.” The arena erupted when he changed the lyric about a girl’s butterfly tattoo in “Ticks” to a maple leaf tattoo, and when a Canadian flag appeared on the video screen in “This is Country Music.”
During his performance of “Celebrity,” a video laced with pop culture references played in the background, showing a mascot version of Paisley with a giant head drunk in a hotel room, on the cover of tabloids and riding a wrecking ball naked, mimicking Miley Cyrus. The mascot then joined Paisley on stage to high-five fans in the front rows.
Halfway through the show, Paisley walked to a smaller stage at the back of the arena. With his band sitting on wooden stools behind him, he performed his ballad “Then,” “Online,” “Letter to Me,” and “Mud on the Tires.”
Back on the main stage, he showcased his guitar skills with a cover of “Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” and “Old Alabama,” before performing his duet “Remind Me” with a hologram of Carrie Underwood and his summer hit “River Bank.” Screaming fans brought Paisley back for an encore of “Alcohol,” which saw his mascot and show opener Brett Kissel return to the stage for a drink.
Kissel kicked off the night with a high-energy set to get the crowd ready for his “hero.” The Canadian Country Music Award and Juno award-winning singer showcased several of his own songs like “Raise Your Glass,” “Girl in a Cowboy Hat,” “Canadian Kid,” “Tough People Do,” “Something You Just Don’t Forget,” “Started With a Song,” and “3-2-1,” the hit he says changed his life. He also performed a cover of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” and debuted “I Can Play Guitar,” a song he wrote for Brad Paisley after reading his book Diary of a Player.
by Victoria Gill
Brett Kissel brought the Abbotsford crowd to life and said he couldn’t be happier to open for his hero. Kissel claimed he wrote “I can play guitar” for Brad and says it’s inspiring for the guys out there who think that only jocks get the women. He went on to say that from his own experience as soon as he picked up his guitar he realized the ladies flocked to him as well. Trevor Ludwikowski, a fan at the concert, enjoyed Kissel’s small talk with the crowd as he appreciated the interactive vibe felt through the building. Kissel won his very first CMT video of the year award with “321” which was definitely a crowd-pleaser and had everyone singing along.
“Started with a song” was one of my favorites as he traded his acoustic guitar for an electric. One fan said he would have paid to see Brett Kissel perform all night and was glad to hear Kissel would be signing autographs at the end of the night. Spectator Jeff Smith was pleased with the reference to B..C locals as Brett mentioned his buddies Marianas Trench were in the building.
After a short break, the much anticipated stage arrival of Brad Paisley occurred as he stated he was “finally glad to be in Tim Hortons land.” Paisley has quite the guitar collection and did not mind being one short as he signed and gave away a guitar to a lucky fan near the front of the stage. His frequent guitar changes did not go unnoticed as spectator Cory Mckeever found Paisley’s guitars to be spectacular. Both Mckeever and his friend, Max Beaulieu collectively agreed he’s by far the best entertainer. Clayton Debruin along with many others nominated “Beat this summer” as their favourite jam. Debruin pointed out this was largely due to the fact people are not yet ready to admit that summer is over.
Paisley’s hit single “River Bank” was really catchy, but my favourite song of the night was “Remind me” where a recording of Carrie Underwood from a previous performance was projected on stage. I also enjoyed both “Cooler online” and “Mud on the tires.” Without a doubt, he’s an unbelievable musician: his stage presence is phenomenal, his voice gave me chills (in a good way) and his guitar skills really blew me away. Paisley is truly the total package, his energy was felt throughout the crowd and I had a blast.