The Virtual Reality Tour
The Bradley Center – Milwaukee, WI
All photos by Paul Weber
Brad Paisley is one of those natural entertainers. He can sing, he’s good looking, and he’s very witty. He’s also a bit of a road dog when it comes to performing. This is the 3rd time in the last year Brad has stopped in the Wisconsin area. Last year was quite memorable as The Green Bay Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rogers, was there and joined Brad onstage. Yet Friday night’s show, even without Aaron Rogers, was a night full of Brad’s entertaining antics and talent.
Brad blazed through all of his hits, but there were a couple noticeable items during some of the songs. Brad would change the lyrics to reflect the Milwaukee location such as in “Ticks” he changed “I’d like to see the other half of your butterfly tattoo” into “I’d like to see the other half of your Green Bay Tattoo.” Also altered was “’Cause I’d like to see you out in the moonlight” to “’Cause I’d like to see you out in the Milwaukee moonlight.”The crowd seems to be highly entertained by the location attribution in the lyrics. He also updated lyrics to “Online.” Every time MySpace was mentioned in the song, Brad turned it into Facebook instead. He said it with a quirky smile knowing full well that Facebook is hot and MySpace is not.
It was during”This is Country Music” that Brad signed an acoustic guitar and handed it to the very grateful and shocked fan standing in front of him. At the end of the song the large video screens behind him played clips of all the iconic country music artists that have passed. Brad dedicated “Celebrity” to the celebrities that endured short-term marriages, and maybe drank too much tiger’s blood. Opener Scotty McCreery from American Idol also joined Brad onstage during the song.
In true Brad Paisley fashion he ran out into the crowd and headed toward the back of the arena to climb up on a mini stage that was waiting for him. He performed “Letter to Myself” there and then proceeded back to the mainstage. For Brad’s concerts there are no bad seats in the house. He has the same setup for awhile with three ramps, one on each side of the stage and one right in the middle of the stage. Plus he has the mini stage in the back of the arena to get closer to the fans with the “cheap seats” as he called it.
There are a few original components to Brad’s shows. He animated a cartoon to introduce the band. It was a Star Wars/Star Trek theme. There was a choreographed light spectacle that illustrated spaceships, asteroids, and planets with laser lights. The highlight of the animated video montage was having Captain Kirk himself intro the clip. Yes, William Shatner took to his Captain’s uniform for Mr. Paisley. Who had the best view in the house for that? The fans in the cheap seats near the back of the arena.
Mr. Paisley didn’t disappoint last night, but there were several technical hang-ups with the show. The hang-ups were noticeable as videos weren’t in sync with Brad’s performance along with several monitor solos, aka high pitch squealing. It also appeared that the guest vocalists on stage with Brad were having a tough time hearing themselves as they tended to be pitchy while singing. The road crew wasn’t on top of everything either as mic passes were missed or guitar hand-offs were sloppy.
As for guests on the stage, Scotty McCreery couldn’t have all the fun with Brad Paisley. The Band Paisley joined Brad onstage for “Whiskey Lullaby.” There was a point where Carrie Underwood appeared onstage to sing “Remind Me,” but looks can be deceiving as it was only a virtual Carrie Underwood that was projected on a digital screen. It was so real that many in the crowd believed it was her onstage.
The night ended with Brad’s crowd pleasers “American Saturday Night” and “Alcohol.” The plush version of Brad came out onstage for “Alcohol” along with some of the working crew and band openers for a drink. Let’s just hope someone checked Scotty’s ID.
Welcome To The Future
This Is Country Music
Waiting On A Woman
Celebrity (W/ Scotty McCreery)
Good Hearted Woman/I’m Still A Guy
Letter To Me
Mud On The Tires
Working On a Tan
Whiskey Lullaby (W/ The Band Perry)
Back To The Future
I’m Gonna Miss Her
Remind Me (W/ Virtual Carrie Underwood)
American Saturday Night
Photos from Brad’s set:
For more concert photos head over to Weberv2.com!