Brad Paisley delivers crowd-pleaser in Mansfield

A review of Brad Paisley, The Band Perry at the Comcast Center on June 3, 2012

, Contributing Writer

Brad Paisley came to a chilly Comcast Center night on Sunday with a similar set list and gimmicks as he did last year. His signature charm and music, however, kept it fresh and enjoyable for fans. While playing his impressive slew of hits, Paisley delivered a near two-hour set that balanced ballads with high energy rockers.

Before signing “This is Country Music”, Paisley remarked that a great thing about country music is that between it and beer, you can forget anything. The theme rang throughout the evening. Even though it was colder than desired for a June show, summer favorites like opener “Camouflage”, “Ticks” and “Workin on a Tan” didn’t seem out of place. He switched between his slower love songs like “Then” and “She’s Everything” to his more novelty works like “Online” with no hesitation from him or the audience.

His impressive fret work on the guitar was sprinkled throughout the set, while the stage show powered by large video screens helped each song flow into the next. The hilarious background video for “Celebrity” was the stage highlight, with “Welcome to the Future” a close second. Near the set’s end, a Star Trek themed tribute video for his band played, complete with a William Shatner cameo. Paisley constantly showed the fans love as well. He gave a young concertgoer one of his guitars and bantered with the audience about his awkward adolescence while in the upper level seats during “Letter to Me” and compared the feminization of the modern man to castration during a break in “I’m Still a Guy”.

Unexpected show highlights came from his celebration of country music, old and new. He brought openers The Band Perry on stage to help with his Allison Krauss duet “Whiskey Lullaby”. A rousing cover of Waylon Jennings’ “Good Hearted Woman” provided a great middle point for the show. While older hit “I’m Gonna Miss Her (Fishin’ Song)” was a lag near the end of the show, he quickly recovered to close out with “Old Alabama” and “Water”. The audience waited only a few minutes for him to start his one song encore with crowd favorite “Alcohol”. In true Paisley fashion, he brought all the openers and band members on stage to celebrate while he delivered another guitar solo and enjoyed a Bud Light.

Recent country hit-makers The Band Perry may be a trio of siblings, but the true star is lead singer Kimberly Perry. During the band’s 45-minute set, she performed and struted across the stage like a seasoned country pro. Even when the lyrics sound edlike rejected Taylor Swift songs, like current single “Postcard From Paris”, the singer’s presence made it an easy sell. The band started their set with “Sugar, Sugar” and “Hip To My Heart”, with the latter showcasing the talent of fiddler Brandon Godman.

Kimberly shared the wealth generously, as brother Neil took lead on an enjoyable cover of Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”. She dropd her guitar on “All Your Life”, allowing brother Reid to showcase his styling on the instrument. With only one album to their name, the band came packed with plenty of cover songs to fill the set. Most were crowd-pleasers even if they seemed a little forced such as the band’s tag of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” during album cut “Independence”.

It seemed the only potential for an energy lag would come with ballas “If I Die Young” but the breakthrough hit was such audience favorite, it helped the band roll right into a rockin’ finish. After a few more covers, fun.’s “We Are Young” and The Beatle’s “With A Little Help From My Friends”, a hard rocking rendition of “You Lie” closed the set. With a few more singles and another album, its clear The Band Perry are a band that may find themselves headlining next time they reach the Comcast Center.

Early arrivals were treated to a set from opener Easton Corbin.

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