It is no doubt that country music has one of the most devoted fan bases in all of music and Saturday night in Noblesville, IN proved to be no different. Upon arriving at the Klipsch Music Center, fans were packed into the parking area tailgating, playing cornhole and partying it up in preparation for the great show that was about to hit the stage. Brad Paisley’s “Crushin’ It” tour has been on the road since May and Indiana has been long awaiting the return of Paisley as he shared the stage with up and coming country newcomer Mickey Guyton and good ole country boy Justin Moore. Kicking things off would be Mickey Guyton who took to the stage full of energy as you could easily tell that she was on that stage having the time of her life. Mickey would perform songs of her own such as ‘Forever Love’, ‘Somebody Else Will’ and her debut single ‘Better Than You Left Me’. Guyton is one to watch for as she will be climbing the charts with hit after hit.
The size of the crowd would begin to grow as Justin Moore would take the stage by kicking off his set with the upbeat and energetic ‘Point At You’. Justin would cause a frenzy among the ladies in the crowd as he worked the stage and the catwalk. Moore would continue with his hit songs such as ‘How I Got To Be This Way’, ‘Til My Last Day’ and ‘Bait a Hook’. Justin would ask the crowd to stand and light up their phones causing an amazing sight throughout the Klipsch as he would dedicate ‘If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away’ to the service men and women who died protecting our freedom and to his grandfather. Justin would announce to the crowd “I’m a Christian and I believe in one God so I know I’m going to Heaven” and then talk about his grandfather by saying “if we light it up enough maybe he can see what I’m doing down here”. It was a bone chilling moment that made the hairs on your arms stick up when you saw the see of lights and hear Moore’s dedication of the song. Justin would finish up his nine song set with Small Town USA leaving the crowd well warmed up for the headliner, Brad Paisley.
Now that the crowd was warmed up and ready to party, It was Brad Paisley’s turn to crank it up another notch. The stage was fully equipped with a large video screen, sensational lighting effects and a fully equipped working bar onstage for some of Brad’s very lucky guests. Brad would take to the stage with one of his summertime anthems, ‘River Bank’ and he would follow that with another fun and upbeat summer anthem titled ‘Water’. Showing lots of interaction with the fans Brad would put it in full throttle as he would move around from one side of the stage to the next, up and around the catwalk slapping hands and even reached down to rub the head of a child on her father’s shoulders. As Brad would play through all of his biggest hits, the crowd would sing along with every word and cheer on the sensational guitar licks during the solos. Justin Moore would join Brad on the stage for a fun collaboration on ‘I’m Still a Guy’ ending with the guys playing “Duck Hunt” on the backdrop screen and finish with the video screen displaying a sign that read “Brad Wins”.
Not only is Brad Paisley one of the best guitar players in all of music, he also shows a love for technology onstage as he was always grabbing somebody’s cell phone and either taking a selfie or taking a video for the fans. The backdrop screen added virtual performances such as Alabama singing their part of ‘Old Alabama’ and Andy Griffith speaking his parts to ‘Waitin’ On A Woman’. Paisley is not afraid to get in close to the crowd, as he would hop off stage and roam the crowd until he found his way to the back of the arena at a platform stage where he would slow things down a bit, but not before he had some fun with the crowd in the back. Brad would jokingly say “It’s Good to Be Back Here Where The Drunks Are” and “I Can See What You’re Doing Back Here, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourselves”. Brad would change up guitars once again like he had done all night but this time it would be an acoustic guitar that was strapped on as he slowed things down to perform a portion of “Waitin’ On A Woman” followed up with a cell phone dialing and face time appearing on the screen showing an empty dressing room. Brad begins to play “Remind Me” and then all of a sudden when it gets to Carrie Underwood’s turn to sing, you see her rushing around the corner in the video to sing her part. Of course Brad and Carrie had to get their digs on each other as Carrie asked where she was tonight and jokingly told the crowd that it was great to be there without actually having to be with Brad and then Brad gave it right back to her with “I’m Just Sayin’, If She Wasn’t So Stuck Up, She’d Be Here Tonight!”.
Kicking it back into high gear with “Southern Comfort Zone”, Brad would eventually make his way back to the stage. One of my favorite highlights during the show was when Mickey Guyton would come back out on stage to sing Allison Krauss’ part on “Whiskey Lullaby”. Mickey’s vocals complimented Brad very well with this performance. This was an evening that was full of comedy, great music, and amazing guitar talent as only Brad Paisley could deliver.
Photo Slideshow by: Jason Evans (www.jevansphotos.com)