Brad Paisley Spends an ‘American Saturday Night’ in Oklahoma
As the sound of roosters crowing echoed throughout the arena, Justin and his band kicked things off with the newcomer's farm-themed debut hit, 'Back That Thing Up.' "How many country girls do we have in Oklahoma City tonight?" Justin shouted to the delight of the women in the crowd. "How many rednecks do we have here tonight?" he then asked, receiving an equally enthusiastic response.
"This is a perfect redneck song for y'all ... it's about Hank, Jr," Justin announced, as he strapped on his guitar and launched into his Bocephus tribute, 'Hank It.' Throughout the song, he held his guitar high and swiveled his hips, emulating another of his musical heroes, Dwight Yoakam.
"We appreciate y'all hanging out with us tonight," Justin said as the opening bars of 'Small Town U.S.A.' played. "I want to thank you for making this my first No. 1."
After the first chorus, Justin took off his guitar and went down the center catwalk, finishing out the tune as camera flashes flickered throughout the arena. "Thank you so much for making my dreams come true with that song," he said, clutching his cowboy hat against his chest.
"This next song got me in a lot of trouble, but it also got me my record deal," Justin told the crowd during the introduction to 'I Could Kick Your Ass.' "I apologize for that one ..." he joked after the song was over. He then closed out his set with his latest single, 'Backwoods,' after which fans swarmed the front of the stage while Justin signed the top of his glossy, white Telecaster, reached down and handed it to a young fan.
After a brief intermission, the arena went black as Miranda Lambert and her band took the stage, opening their set with 'Only Prettier.' She spun in circles, rocking out to 'Kerosene,' stomping the stage planks to the infectious beat. "Let me hear you scream!" she yelled, punching her fist in the air while the lights furiously flashed along to the tempo of the music.
Picking up her pink, acoustic guitar, Miranda took a moment to catch her breath. "We are glad to be here with you in Oklahoma City. I'm from Texas," she said, as fans booed at the sound of their rival state. "But I did fall in love with an Okie!" she added quickly to redeem herself. Miranda continued to keep the energy level high with familiar tunes such as 'Famous in a Small Town,' 'Dry Town,' 'Me and Charlie Talking,' 'Sin for a Sin,' 'Revolution,' and her current Top 5 hit, 'White Liar.'
After a powerful delivery of 'Dead Flowers,' the conclusion of which had her spinning in circles again, she slowed things down for 'The House That Built Me' and 'More Like Her.' Miranda gazed over the crowd with a gleam in her eye. "I have a few things to tell you about," she explained as the band began playing her biggest hit to date, 'Gunpowder and Lead.' "I am one of those redneck chicks. And when I say redneck, I mean a beer-drinkin', hell-raisin', won't take crap from anybody ... especially a man who likes to beat up on his woman ... Are you with me, Oklahoma City?"
After that impassioned performance, which brought the fans who were still seated to their feet, Miranda made her exit, leaving the crowd ready to welcome the night's highly-anticipated headliner.
Somewhat surprisingly, rather that getting things off in rip-roaring fashion, Brad emerged from behind the black curtain surrounding the main stage to perform a stripped-down acoustic version of 'Start a Band.'
It didn't take long for the crowd to erupt, after which the curtain was pulled back, the stage lights came on to reveal seven JumboTron screens and guitar-shaped spotlight racks, and Brad and his band, the Drama Kings, launched into the tour anthem and current single from the album of the same name, 'American Saturday Night.'
During his guitar solos, Brad traveled the stage from corner to corner, shredding away on his paisley Telecaster. As the final note rang out, he dropped to his knees.
"It's great to be in Oklahoma City. I know what the act before me said," he told the crowd, referencing Miranda's burst of Lone Start state pride. "I'm not from Texas ... just wanted to make that clear. It's Friday night -- nobody has to go to work tomorrow which is good because by the time we finish tonight, you won't want to!"
Brad then delivered his hits 'Mud on the Tires,' 'Wrapped Around,' 'The World,' 'I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)' and 'Celebrity,' which was accompanied by a video of Brad's version of the video game 'Guitar Hero' called 'Paisley Power.' Facing off against each other were Brad's legendary Grand Ole Opry friends Little Jimmy Dickens and Bill Anderson. Dierks Bentley (Brad's opening act on the last leg of the tour), also appeared in the video singing a karaoke-style version of the song's second verse. As Bill's game came to an end, Little Jimmy then competed against the always adorable Taylor Swift.
The screens turned white as the familiar face of actor Andy Griffith appeared during the opening scene of Brad's music video for 'Waitin' on a Woman.' As Andy spoke the opening few lines, Brad slowly strolled the center catwalk playing his guitar solos as pastel lights beamed down.
"I love Oklahoma. When I saw this was the second show of 2010, I was very excited. I'm going to try to remember all the words to my songs tonight because I had six weeks off for Christmas like everyone did," Brad said dryly, as the audience laughed. "What? Isn't that normal?"
Other tunes in Brad's set included the comical 'I'm Still a Guy,' 'Catch All the Fish,' 'She's Everything' and 'Letter to Me.'
"Every time I sing this song, I think back to who I was when I was in high school -- scared to death ... I wish you could've seen me back then," he said as pictures of a high-school-aged Brad appeared on the screen behind. "Shut up," Brad quipped as the crowd laughed. "People would say, 'Son, these are the best years of your life.' I'd think, 'OK, shoot me now.' See, I'm living proof that high school isn't the best years of your life. Stick in there, kids. It gets better after you graduate. I promise!"
To the delight of the Oklahoma audience, Brad offered an acoustic version of Merle Haggard's 'Okie from Muskogee,' "You can't do that in North Dakota," Brad observed after the song. "There are no cool songs about North Dakota. If you've ever been there, you'll know why."
Brad dedicated 'When I Get Where I'm Going' to a number of celebrities and others who had died in recent years, including actors Heath Ledger, Patrick Swayze and Brittany Murphy, whose photographs were included in a slide-show that played during his emotional rendition of the song. The final photo flashed on the screen was from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Brad reverently removed his hat as the screen displayed the
image of a flickering candle.
He closed out his set with a memorable performance of 'Ticks,' 'Online' and the love song, 'Then,' returning to the stage for the encore of 'Welcome to the Future' and 'Alcohol,' leaving fans with humorously doctored photos of both Miranda and Justin playing on the screen behind him.