Paisley keeps fans on their feet

Reviewed by Matt Herter
Times-News correspondent

Brad Paisley entertained an energetic crowd Friday night at Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek in Raleigh. / Matt Herter, Times-News correspondent

RALEIGH — Brad Paisley lit up the Time Warner Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek on Friday night with his own brand of laser, light and music show on the last leg of “The Virtual Reality Tour.”
   The crowd entered the pavilion before the show for “The Escape,” Paisley’s pre-show activities, including games, attractions and concerts from upcoming artists such as Jana Kramer, Kristin Kelly and Love and Theft.
   Before Paisley hit the stage, Easton Corbin played a few hits such as “Roll with It” and “Lovin’ You Is Fun.” The Band Perry then took the stage to get the crowd prepared for Paisley by singing “If I Die Young” and “Postcards From Paris”.
   To begin his 2½-hour set, in which Paisley dazzled his fans with a mix of light and sound, his image was illuminated on a screen holding a guitar while the band fired up the first song for the evening, “Camouflage.” Paisley promised to provide an incredible show filled with many surprises, and for the Raleigh area he didn’t disappoint his fans.
   During the song “Waitin’ on a Woman,” the video featuring the late great North Carolina native Andy Griffith, played on the jumbo screen behind him and ended with a tribute to Griffith.
   In the middle of the concert, Paisley walked through the crowd, shook hands and greeted fans. He then performed a few songs on a makeshift stage closer to the “cheap seats,” as he called them.
   Before returning to the main stage, Paisley picked up an acoustic guitar and sang a few lines, though missing a few words, of James Taylor’s hit “Carolina in My Mind,” once again bringing the fans to their feet.
   As Paisley made his way back to the front playing “Celebrity,” Raleigh fans were entertained by yet another video, but then another surprise was revealed: Garner’s very own Scotty McCreery’s unexpected appearance excited the crowd.
   During his instrumental “The Nervous Breakdown,” a video featuring an animated version of Paisley was shown. The “Star Wars”-like animated short included Paisley and his band dressed as several of the “Star Wars” characters, and at the end of the video Paisley played the movie’s theme song on his guitar.
   Keeping in line with his tendency to surprise, Paisley started “Remind Me,” the duet with Carrie Underwood as the female singer joined him, but only as a digitally-created image.
   During the encore, “Alcohol,” the crew came out on stage and sang along with him. As the show drew to a close, Paisley made sure to run around the stage high-fiving and signing autographs for fans, while still playing guitar.

Matt Herter is a home-schooled sophomore and a Teens & Twenties writer.



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