By Steven Brodsky
They’re out. Brad Paisley fans will want to have these releases. Not a fan? Watching the DVD and listening to the CD may be result in a conversion experience. Concert footage by 20 cameras captured the excitement of over 15,000 people at West Virginia University attending megastar and native son Brad Paisley’s performance.
That performance, of course, went very well and displayed the talents of the man who has won three Grammy’s, a pair of American Music Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards (with an Entertainer of the Year among those), and others. He’s had 23 number one hits, with a songwriting credit on most of those, and he’s a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Brad Paisley’s stage presence has been informed by years of experience.He started performing as a kid. Watching him, you know that he’s at home, relaxed. Performers (and others concerned with efficiency and energy conservation) can use Paisley as the model for doing “relaxed” just right.
The songs convey a wide range of emotions. The audience was with him all the way for all of the songs. Musicianship, video walls,
showmanship, an enthusiastic audience, and an appearance by the WVU Cheerleaders all add to enjoyment of the DVD.
Here are some brief comments on each of the songs:
Who hasn’t felt a need for this kind of encouragement: “I sure could use an attaboy / Or a big old high five”? Who can’t relate to the looking forward to unwind time: “Every week has a weekend”?
“American Saturday Night”
Iconic elements (whether or not you have Spanish moss in the area you live or came of age at): “It’s a French kiss, Italian ice, Spanish moss in the moonlight.” Those words alone generate memories of some very good American Saturday nights.
… a tribute to waterside fun.
… a humorous depiction of online duplicity. The song’s music video won the Video of the Year Award from the Country Music Association in 2007 and included appearances by Jason Alexander, William Shatner, Estelle Harris, and other celebrities.
… a perfect song about someone who has fallen in love.
“Letter To Me”
“If I could write a letter to me / And send it back in time to myself at seventeen.” If you could do that for yourself, you’d have quite a missive, given the wisdom and perspective of time and experience. And, if you’re seventeen, you can imagine the kind of encouragement
that the letter would provide.
“This Is Country Music”
Country music, at its best, reflects all of what’s noted in the song’s lyrics. This line encapsulates much: “This is real, this is your life in a song.”
“I’m Still A Guy”
… a terrific parody about gender-based issues. In this concert performance, Brad Paisley is joined on stage for this song by Chris Young. Lots of fun.
Despite, and probably because of, the over-the-top pronouncement of “And she’s everything I ever wanted / And everything I need” the song’s a winner.
“And I’d like to check you for ticks” is a terrific song line here. As for the song character’s use of those words, hope they were to the good for the song character and the woman with that butterfly tattoo.
… a song about the connection that a diverse range of people have to their country music.
Its energized drive and nostalgia have made this song a country music favorite. Members of the band Alabama appear on the video wall for this one.
An increasing state of love is a good thing.
“Beat This Summer”
A song about the transiency of an intense beachside romance.
“I’m Gonna Miss Her”
Sometimes, a guy does what he wants to do. The video wall shows some underwater fishing action. Very cool. Wouldn’t want that “visual” song element to be lost among the concert spectacle. Ah, yes: “Oh, lookie there, I’ve got a bite.”
The song’s couple have all that they need for a great day by the river. Accompanied by their musings, they are “near the river.” Yes, “it’s a beautiful day.”
“Take Me Home, Country Roads”
Given that Brad Paisley is a native son and that the attendees are students at West Virginia University, this homage to West Virginia is a perfect concert fit.
“Southern Comfort Zone”
The title’s words make for nice double entendre. The nod that’s given to the song “Dixie” within the lyrics is songwriting genius.
“Mud On The Tires”
In life and in song, there are times everyone can use “a little mud on the tires.”
It’s neither an endorsement or condemnation of its use.
Posted Jan. 15, 2017