|Banks County Opinions...||
October 31, 2001
By Angela Gary
The Banks County News
October 31, 2001
Another awesome concert from Brad
Country music star Brad Paisley has been described as a country traditionalist. He has also been called a "triple threat" because of his skill in song-writing, guitar-playing and singing. He lived up to all of that and more Saturday night in Hiawassee, Ga., when he performed two showsdespite being sick and just a little hoarse.
This is the third time I've been to one of his concerts and I'm never disappointed. Brad always puts on a great show. Some of the songs he writes and performs make you laugh out loud and others will really bring a tear to your eyes. He played a variety of these Saturday night.
The opening two songs are a bit of a blur as I joined the huge crowd lined up at the stage to get photos. It's hard to take photos as you keep moving, but the crowd of mostly women did just that. Since the concert was the day before his 29th birthday, many of those dropped off cards and posters for Brad wishing him a happy birthday. He even read one of the cards.
I was glad Brad performed "I'm Gonna Miss Her," which is one of my favorites from his latest CD, "Part II," which I think of as the "fishing song." Brad and Frank Rogers wrote this one and it is hilarious. It is about a man who loves a woman, but loves fishing more. Who can't help but laugh out loud as he sings "...I'm gonna miss her. Oh, lookie there, I've got a bite." Brad says about this one: "This song comes from personal experience. It's all in jest, but it's also a little painful. If you make me choose, I'll be out on the lake."
Brad's conversation sprinkled throughout the show is also filled with humor. As usual, he picked on his fiddle player, Justin, who takes all of the kidding in stride. Poor Justin is always teased by the other guys about his dating (or lack of dating). They also continue to tease him about his height (or lack of it) and offer him steps to stand up on to reach the microphone.
Justin is an amazing fiddle player and obviously also has a great sense of humor. Just check out Brad's latest video, "Wrapped Around," to see more pranks involving Justin. The two kids from the video, Dillon and McKenzie, were at the concert Saturday and came out on stage while Brad performed "Wrapped Around."
Brad introduced "Two Feet of Topsoil" as Justin's song. It's about a guy who's under "two feet of topsoil" after losing a girl to another guy. It's also "geologically correct," as Brad says on his website. The lyrics are a hoot: "There's two feet of topsoil, a little bit of bedrock, limestone in between, a fossilized dinosaur, a little patch of crude oil, a thousand feet of granite underneath, then there's me."
One of the best moments during the concert came when Brad stood alone on the stage and began strumming on the guitar. The band had gone backstage and the spotlight was centered on Brad. He didn't sing at first. He just played, but the audience soon began singing "How Great Thou Art" along with the stirring music. There were a few tears in the audience and a standing ovation when he finished the medley of gospel and patriotic tunes.
With back-to-back concerts on most weekends, it's easy for performers to forget what state they are in and Brad joked about that too. He said it's good to be in...and looked behind at the band who said, "Georgia." He did comment on the colorful changing leaves and the mountains, which he said remind him of home. He is originally from West Virginia, but lives near Nashville now.
Brad also joked with the audience. There are always a few really loud girls (no, not me) who yell, "I love you." Without missing a beat, he said, "Oh, I love you too."
Wearing a white cowboy hat, tan jacket, brown jeans and boots, Brad looked great, as always. But for the true fans, you could tell he wasn't feeling well. As soon as he came out on stage, my mom said, "He's sick." He still went on like a trooper and sounded great. I can't imagine having to perform two shows while battling a cold. It just shows what a pro he is.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.
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