With eleven studio albums, more than 20 number 1 hits in America, 3 Grammys, 14 Country Music Association Awards and 2 American Music Awards, Brad Paisley is one of the greatest country singers in the world. For the singer from West Virginia, America it was only the second time that he was in the Netherlands. After his show was cancelled in 2020, it was finally time again on Tuesday. Despite the heat, it was clear that the crowd was up for it and totally into the country vibe; everywhere you looked you saw cowboy hats and boots. On Tuesday 19 July Brad Paisley was finally back at 013 in Tilburg.
Brad Paisley was supported by Australian-born country singer Morgan Evans for his European tour. For Evans, it was the first time in the Netherlands. Still, the singer seemed to have a lot of fans here too; many of his songs were completely sung along. He was full of energy on stage with songs like “Young Again” and “Kiss Somebody”. With his cheerful smile, nice upbeat songs and a lot of interaction with the audience, he was able to easily transfer that energy. After a short cover of “Here Comes the Sun” he started his song “Sing along drink along”. He encouraged everyone to drink a lot and drink a lot: the public raised their beer as a toast.
After handing out a number of shirts and caps in the audience, the Australian singer played his last song for the evening. With the words ‘Tilburg, on Tuesday, let’s get a little day drunk’ his hit song “Day Drunk” started. The singer managed to warm up the audience for the main act of the evening; the atmosphere was good. Then the time had finally come: Brad Paisley, the man for whom everyone from home and abroad travelled to Tilburg could finally start. After an entrance with literal fireworks, the American guitarist and singer-songwriter started “American Saturday Night”. Behind the stage was a huge screen, which showed beautiful visuals throughout the concert. For example, many songs featured parts of the official video clips. Also during the song “This Is Country Music” there were a lot of well-known country artists to see.
Not only the people who came to the concert were obviously warm. The artist himself also struggled with the heat and even called it ‘a Nashville summer over here’. Fortunately, this didn’t stop the singer from making a real show of it. During the song “I’m Still A Guy” he brought Morgan Evans back on stage to sing the song together. Somewhere halfway through the song, they picked up the phones of some people in the audience. They took some selfies and decided to put them on Instagram as well. It was a fun interaction with the audience. After the song, Paisley signed his guitar he had just played and gave it to a girl in the audience with the words: ‘Now learn how to play! This is how young Taylor Swifts are born.’
Halfway through the set list, Paisley played a number of covers, including Prince’s “Purple Rain”. During the song “She’s Everything” a Kiss Cam was seen on the screen. This was exactly like American sports, where people in the audience were filmed and made to kiss. After these songs, the band left the stage, leaving Brad Paisley alone with his guitar. He played a number of acoustic songs, including the emotional “Whiskey Lullaby”. Because it was only the singer and his guitar, it was here that you could really hear how loud the audience was singing along.
After this acoustic part of the set, the band came back. After that, they played some of his biggest hits, including “I’m Gonna Miss Her” and “Mud on the Tires.” During the song “The Mona Lisa”, the singer and his band left the stage with loud applause. Even in the artist’s absence, the audience kept on chanting “The Mona Lisa”, after which Paisley quickly returned to the stage. With this encore, they finished “The Mona Lisa” and played one other song, “Alcohol”. This was really the last song. After the singer gave his cowboy hat, which had not left his head throughout the concert, to a small young fan on his father’s shoulders in the front of the room, it was really over.
With an almost thirty-song setlist, clean vocals, and beautiful guitar work, Brad Paisley’s second visit to the Netherlands was a great success. With at least two guitar solos per song that really showcased Paisley’s guitar talent, the audience had plenty to enjoy. Unfortunately, due to a large number of songs on the evening, hardly a single song was played in full: most were cut off after one verse, a chorus, sometimes a bridge and a solo. That was a conscious decision because this allowed Paisley to put many songs in one evening. However, the evening with such a long setlist was finished too early!