Brad Paisley puts Mile One into a ‘Southern Comfort Zone’

Tara
Tara Bradbury
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From the opening riff of his hit “Southern Comfort Zone” and the accompanying laser show to his encore tune, “Alcohol,” country superstar Brad Paisley hit all the right notes when he performed at Mile One Centre this past weekend.

Country singer Brad Paisley performs his hit single “Mud on the Tires” at Mile One Centre in St. John’s Friday night. — Photo by Tara Bradbury/The Telegram

Paisley played to sold-out audiences both Friday and Saturday night for more than two hours straight, and what he may have lacked in chit-chat between songs, he made up for by going to great lengths to ensure everyone — right to the back of the stadium — had a great time.

He walked through the crowd and performed a few songs on a stage at the back, and made sure visuals were never a problem: if it wasn’t his live performance projected onto the gigantic stage screens, it was a theatre show that could have been entertaining on its own.

Along with a comedy skit accompanying his tune “Celebrity” was a real-life cartoon mascot of Paisley, which paced the stage, shaking hands with audience members and dancing.

“That’s the sexiest Muppet I’ve ever seen,” Paisley joked, as his alter-ego left the stage.

Guests on the video screen included William Shatner, Merle Haggard, Alabama and a holographic Carrie Underwood, life-sized and so life-like singing “Remind Me,” her duet with Paisley, that audience members, for a split-second, grabbed their cellphones to take video and pictures, thinking she was real.

Paisley changed guitars no less than a half a dozen times during the show, each night giving one away to an audience member, along with his trademark white cowboy hat.

He took time to read signs held up by enamoured women in cowboy hats and boots in the audience, and responded to one, which read, “My man left me for “Duck Dynasty — Marry Me, Brad!” with a smile and mouthing the words, “I’m married.”

The only disappointment came for fans in the front row, who had paid about $145 each for a ticket: as soon as the show began, Mile One security allowed audience members from the seats behind to crowd the stage, turning the first row into the fifth, and taking away any luxury those who had paid the most expensive ticket price had of sitting down at any point, if they still wanted to see.

On the night I attended, I watched a fan who had left her seat to be nearer to the stage hold her iPhone up over her head for a good portion of the concert, so her friends at home could watch the show via FaceTime.

Not cool.

tbradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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  • curt blackmore
    September 30, 2013 - 20:45

    My little boy was given the hat during the Friday night show....unforgettable moment for us....he plays guitar himself and plans on wearing it on stage during his next performance(s).

  • Johnny Rotten
    September 25, 2013 - 12:20

    Stop your whining. Anyone who has ever been to a concert here or away with floor seating knows that people are on their feet from the opening song till the end. As for those invited up front? This makes it easier for the band to identify potential groupies for the after concert festivities.

  • Dave
    September 24, 2013 - 07:19

    Thanks Brad for visiting our province. Its unreal when you think about the amount and level of talent we have touring and performing in our province. Superstars, young and old are always welcome and appreciated by most of us. Keep it up Mile One and thanks.

  • Christopher Chafe
    September 23, 2013 - 15:00

    With the level of talent now finally realizing Newfoundland exists, I think it is high time that private partnerships be formed and a much larger venue be built, to not only accommodate bigger names but to also accommodate our growing population. Please note I said "PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS" before the "not on my tax dime" whiners start well you know!

  • BaymenPaisley
    September 23, 2013 - 10:46

    Next time a Country superstar comes to the Rock make sure you support the Artist and buy the CD. At least then you will know more than two songs.

  • Jack
    September 23, 2013 - 09:07

    Brad will be back for sure....he loved the Fee and Chee at Ches's

  • Pi
    September 23, 2013 - 08:33

    I used to attend these concerts until I got really fed up hearing the people sitting behind me, mostly women, sing along with the featured performer. Usually these women cannot sing for beans and they totally ruin the stars performers presentation. I didn't pay big bucks for that. Oh, dare not say anything for they will only sing louder. I don't go anymore. I buy the CD instead.

  • Judi
    September 23, 2013 - 08:04

    Great Review, Tara. I was there on Friday night, great show. Security letting people crowd the stage was also an issue, and had I been in that front row, I would have objected! This is happening a lot lately....i.e. the *infamous* VIP SalmonFest section. I wonder why they even bother selling *seats* on the floor anymore. Venue staff were also giving out *pit passes*. I know at least 4 people who had tickets in section 124, and were given pit passes which put them right at the front of the stage. I guess if you wore a cowboy hat to the show you got special treatment.