Country superstar Brad Paisley brought his Crushin’ It World Tour to the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK. Joining him on this leg of the tour was Eric Paslay and Cam. After seeing this show, I can understand why Paisley won the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award in 2010. It was an all-around fun night of entertainment that had me dancing, singing and laughing all night long.
Cam opened the show with six songs from her debut album, Untamed, including “Half Broke Heart,” “Want it All” and “Village,” a song she dedicated to anyone you have lost in your life. She followed up with her newest single “Mayday.” Something I noticed was that we could hear her really well even though we were in a large arena. Her voice was clear, the harmonies were incredible and her band backed her up with just the right level of sound to compliment but not overpower her. You could see she was working really hard even though she had the flu and a 102 degree fever, which had caused her to cancel her performance in Wichita the night before. If she sounded that amazing with the flu, I can only imagine how great she sounds when she is at 100 percent. She finished her set with “Country Ain’t Never Been Pretty” and the incredible ballad “Burning House” while the audience sang along and lit up the arena with their phone flashlights.
Eric Paslay was next to take the stage. I wasn’t able to catch all of his set, but I did see the first few songs that included “Song About a Girl,” “Never Really Wanted” and an amazing cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.” I was told he also had the flu and I give both the openers props for going on even when they were sick.
Brad Paisley came out and wowed the crowd from the first note. He is known for his funny jokes, zany antics and crazy songs about alcohol and fishing and I have never laughed so hard at a music concert in my life. Every song was backed up by either music videos or live images of Paisley on an incredibly large screen behind the stage along with two smaller screens on each side of the stage. This really gave everyone in the audience a sense of being up close even if they were all the way at the back. In addition, there was a working bar on stage where groups of people got the chance to come up, have a drink and enjoy the show from Paisley’s point of view.
Paisley definitely knew how to make the Oklahoma crowd feel good with his covers of Don Williams’ “Tulsa Time,” Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee” and changing the words to his own song “Country Nation” to include the home state college football teams. Even the video on the screen was mostly shots of the OSU Cowboys and OU Sooners and the crowd cheered every time their favorite team was shown. He gave a shout out to Oklahoma natives The Swon Brothers who toured with him last year and also did a duet with Okie Carrie Underwood, whom he “face-timed” in her dressing room so she could sing on screen with him during “Remind Me.” Again, the humor was not lost as Underwood continually dismissed people like her makeup artist who tried to come in her dressing room while she sang.
Before the song “I’m Still a Guy,” Paisley grabbed someone’s cell phone for a “manly selfie moment” and joked that he just signed them up for Tinder. Then during the song there was a video in the bottom right corner of the stage that portrayed a men’s urinal and men going in and out using the facilities (turned away from us of course) including one that dropped trou and a huge “censored” block covered his backside. The best part was when a women came into the bathroom and hiked her leg to pee. Hilarious!
Another song that had me laughing hysterically was “Celebrity.” Paslay returned to the stage to sing on this song but the video on the screen really stole the show. The video showed a big head mascot version of Paisley doing crazy antics around town including riding a wrecking ball naked a-la Miley Cyrus. And, unexpectedly, a goat popped up on the screen and screamed during the word “reality” in the chorus just like it does in the viral video mocking Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” I was laughing so hard I was crying! Paisley is known to prank his opening acts both on and off stage but this was Cam’s last night on the tour so she turned the tides on him. Cam sings the duet “Whiskey Lullaby” with Paisley but this time Paslay, clad in a blonde curly wig, turned around and started lip syncing the song in her place. Paisley did his best to hide his laughter as he tried to sing the very touching song. Finally, Cam came out to finish with him as she shooed Paslay off the stage.
I mention all the funny parts of the show but in addition to that, Brad Paisley is an incredible guitar player and he can really touch your heart with his ballads like “Perfect Storm,” “She’s Everything” and “Waitin’ on a Woman.” He played for almost two hours and sang all his major hits including “River Bank,” “Ticks,” “Old Alabama,” and his latest smash “Crushin’ It” – pun intended. Paisley really knows how to keep you entertained throughout his entire show and I guarantee you will not go home disappointed after seeing him perform live. Not only is the music great but he really gives you a glimpse of his personality and shows you that every now and then you just need to have a good time, laugh and enjoy yourself. Thanks Brad Paisley for the reminder!
Photo credit for pic 1 & 2: Yvonne Osgood pic 3 Bridget Little
Author: Shannon Herrold
I’m a self-proclaimed music nerd from Oklahoma who enjoys all genres and can pretty much sing a snippet of any song you can think of. Being a mom of 2, a Zumba Instructor and a volunteer at my kids’ school keeps me busy but I can never go to too many concerts. Live music is my passion and I love writing about those experiences.