Finding a Southern Comfort Zone in Tampa, FL – Concert Review
Scotty McCreery, The Band Perry, and Brad Paisley all found their southern comfort zone in Tampa, FL on 9/28. It was truly a night of ages as these three acts, in all different points in their careers, took to the stage and brought down the house. It was a packed crowd from the lawn seats to front and center and even the rain couldn’t dampen the party. One of the most anticipated concerts of the fall, fans were without-a-doubt expecting a good show, but, with the amount of talent packed into this venue, all of us witnessed one of the best shows in country music ever.
Young gun, Scotty McCreery had no trouble with Florida girls as he performed his set on the Amphitheater stage. Most people say that being referred to as a beginner is a bad thing, but I would say these people have never seen McCreery perform. Fresh off his idol win in 2011, the 18-year-old has been making his name known all over the country music world. He has landed himself on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart, his first album Clear as Day sold 197,000 copies in it’s debut week and was the first, and youngest, country act to debut No. 1 on Billboard’s 200… beginner is starting to sound pretty damn impressive. Opening for The Band Perry and Brad Paisley, McCreery set the bar really high with his crowd-pumping performance and all-around stage presence, this guy truly knows how to kick off a show. Pressure was on being the first performer on such a big stage but McCreery definitely filled some big (boots). Singing everyone’s favorite songs from his first album Scotty had the crowd signing along and on their feet, and might have even had more fans in attendance than his buddy, Brad (teenagers know how to support). At only 18, I know we will be seeing a lot more from this guy, but after this show there is now denying that the spotlight has already found him.
The excitement just kept building and building as fans got a glimpse of Kimberly, Reid, and Neil Perry ready to hit center stage. Making up one of, not only the best looking families in country music, but also the best bands, The Band Perry kept up the pace and the excitement in South Florida. If in “All Your Life” you wished you could bet on a sure thing; you should bet on the future success of The Band Perry. Since 2009 these young performers have had a booming career with 37 nominations in 3 years for various awards in many categories such as Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year, Single of the Year, Top Country Album, and more. This dynamic trio has performed with the best in the business and held their own on stage. Few bands have had the kind of continued success that The Band Perry has had, and after their performance in Tampa it seems they’ve advanced from new artists and are well on their way to country stardom. Hit songs like “If I Die Young” and “Postcard From Paris” have some of the best lyrics in music and if you ask any fan from the Amp that night they’ll admit they had to sing along. The Band Perry has a sort of performing quality that is unmatched by most groups or even duos. The vocal chemistry is undeniable on stage and hearing it live makes me an even bigger fan of theirs than I already am. Following a great set by Scotty McCreery and singing before a powerhouse like Brad Paisley, The Band Perry made the middle look like the place to be.
“I remember trying not to stare the night I first ‘saw Brad Paisley perform but he’ had me mesmerized.” I don’t need to say it but I’m going to … Brad Paisley is a seasoned veteran when it comes to anything and everything country music and we all love him. Performing, entertaining, singing, guitar-playing, and just good old-fashioned fun is second nature to Paisley. He’s been there, done that, and perfected stage presence to a fine art. Paisley knows who he is and what kind of a show he wants to perform always, and he never disappoints. However, unlike any other superstar in the game, Brad Paisley brings a different kind of “wow” factor to each venue he plays. Whether it’s building from the crowd or trying something new, his bag of tricks is never-ending. I’ve seen him in concert multiple times and each performance is that much better every time; after a while you just have to buy a ticket to see what he’s going to do next. Following two incredible performances, walking out to thousands of fans on their feet, and somehow still being able to blow the walls off of an outdoor amphitheater is simply, Paisley magic. With a career that spans across more than a decade of No. 1 hits, awards from every country music academy + 3 Grammy’s, and the utmost respect from everyone in the business including an induction into the prestigious Grand Ole Opry, you’d think someone would just sit back and relax… not Brad Paisley. Instead Paisley has found his “Southern Comfort Zone” at the top of the leader board and plans to stay there for as long as he can. Regardless if you’re a fan of country music or not, you know who Brad Paisley is and you like him. Drinking songs, love songs, songs about trucks he can do it all and do it better than anyone. He has secured himself as a role model for up and comers and has supported many of them in their careers. This specific tour brought along not only Scotty McCreery and The Band Perry but also hosted performances by Love & Theft, Easton Corbin, Jana Kramer, and Kristen Kelly. With all of his success Paisley has never let it get to his head and the guy we fell in love with on his very first album “Who Needs Pictures” is still the same guy we’ve taken lots of pictures of over the years; t-shirt, jeans, boots and all. Performing 19 songs and 2 encore songs in Tampa, Paisley definitely delivered for his fans. Giving away numerous guitar picks, signing lots of autographs, and even handing out his token guitar, the audience was kept on their feet for the entire show. Every song, every show, every witty comment, “what I can’t see is how ‘we’re ever gonna love this guy’ more, but I’ve said that before…” Brad Paisley, you are the best, and I know all of us look forward to seeing what you’ll do next.