Review: Eric Paslay Delivers Serious Fun at 2016 Taste of Country Music Festival
The singer-songwriter and his band came onstage in the early evening for the second day of the festival at Hunter Mountain in upstate New York, following the traditional sounds of William Michael Morgan, the edgy hipness of Old Dominion and the sweet vocal blend of the Swon Brothers.
He definitely brought a different mood to the stage ... or, make that a couple of different moods. Paslay was like getting two shows in one, providing not only some of the musical high points of the day, but some of the most entertaining, too.
He and his band hit the stage rocking with "Song About a Girl," and they stayed in that mode for quite a bit of the high-energy show, giving the fans other up-tempo numbers including "Like a Song," "Keep on Fallin'" and more. He was clearly happy to be back at Hunter Mountain this year, calling Taste of Country "one of the coolest festivals we get to play."
Paslay is also a very successful songwriter, and he had the crowd singing along with him on two songs he wrote for other artists, "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" and "Even If It Breaks Your Heart." He rocked the crowd with a heavied-up cover of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" that featured a massive guitar solo (changing the lyric to "he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't give the same respect as me"), and showed off his dance moves on both that song and his recent single, "High Class."
Ballard also offered up several of the most musically and lyrically satisfying songs of the day with "She Don't Love You" and a pair of new songs from his forthcoming second album, which he told the crowd to expect later in 2016. "Water Into Wine" is a powerful mid-tempo track about overcoming hard times, and "Angels In This Town" is a song that draws on Paslay's faith without heavy-handed proselytizing.
"Less Than Whole" is another song that delivers a deep message, and Paslay managed the rare trick of singing all of them without losing a festival crowd that mostly came to party before rocking it up again with "Friday Night" to wrap his set.
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