This concert review originally appeared on Degenrefy.com written by Ash Starkweather
Brad Paisley at Walnut Creek Amphitheater
When we arrived at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, thousands of Brad Paisley fans were camped out for miles as they waited for the gates to open. There was a lot of tailgating and people were playing Brad’s music in the parking lot while excitedly chatting about what they were about to see and hear. Needless to say, the anticipation was high, and fans were more than ready for a night of country music.
Mickey Guyton [★★★★] opened things up with her huge presence. She is new to the country scene and played her first single, “Better than You Left Me” that debuted in January. She was all over the stage and interacting with fans on every side. Mickey has a large voice, which could be compared to Carrie Underwood, and country music is definitely going to see more of her in the future based on this performance. The highlight of her set was when she did a cover of Patty Loveless’s “Blame It on Your Heart.”
Justin Moore [★★★★] kicked his set right off with “Point at You,” and the crowd immediately started to sing along. He continuously engaged the crowd and told some stories before his songs. Justin talked about his Grandpas who were veterans, and had the crowd stand and put their lighters in the air as he said, “This one is for the soldiers who never made it back,” as he played “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.” He didn’t keep the slow tone long as he said “We are about to turn it up, where you at North Carolina?! This is the perfect time for a little small town throw down.” Justin continued on and finished on a high note with “Back Roads” and “Small Town USA.”
Brad Paisley [★★★★★] opened with “River Bank” in front of a giant screen that displayed everything from video games to music videos. But he didn’t let this screen do the work for him; Brad was up and down the stage and even in the crowd throughout his set, beating out all his opening acts on crowd interaction. As he played “Celebrity” a giant Brad Paisley mascot appeared and started into the crowd.
When “I’m Still A Guy” started we were all surprised to see Justin Moore back on stage to sing Hank Williams Jr.’s part of the song. Later on, there was one more duo as Brad started “Whiskey Lullaby” with Mickey Guytoncovering Alison Krauss’ parts. The crowd was thrilled about this substitute as they cheered for her.
After singing “Old Alabama,” Brad took to the crowd to a smaller space in the middle of the amphitheater where he performed a mini acoustic set without the band. When he made his way back through the crowd to the main stage, Brad had some fans up on stage for the last half of the show. One of these was a younger boy. As he started “Time Warp” the screen behind him changed into Mario carts as the stage manager brought out a controller for the boy who got to play while Brad continued the song. After the song Brad walked up to the boy and said, “Good job, now learn to play this!” As he handed him his guitar, the young boy walked off the stage with the biggest grin on his face. Brad finished his set strong with “Alcohol,” but after that performance, The Crushin’ It World Tour is one no fan will be forgetting anytime soon.