Brad Paisley Brings the Weekend Warrior Tour to Tampa

By on September 20, 2017

All photos by Jordan Raiff

Tampa, Fla. — With Hurricane Irma’s destruction through the Tampa area not even a week prior, the Weekend Warrior tour had a level of significance far beyond what most normal tours bring. With the irony of ‘Weekend Warrior’ being a nickname (all in good fun) for the National Guard and Reservists from their active duty brethren, being the name of the tour it was obvious that Patriotism and love for the Military would be a theme during the show.

**Sneak peak** Brad brought five Soldiers from the US Army recruiting command up on stage at his personal bar with a drink for each of them**  Adding in a late offer for free tickets for Irma first responders, this was a show full of respect, pride, and a symbol of family for many in the area. Bringing on Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant, and Lindsay Ell, there was a little something for everyone in attendance.

            Opening with the stunning Lindsay Ell, the amphitheatre was already half packed by the time she hit the stage. With some interludes of soulful guitar playing, but a shorter set list, she certainly welcomed everyone with a taste of what was to come.

“Waiting on you” while one of her newer singles, was sung along with by many in attendance. She has the talent and the look to become one of the bigger names in country. Don’t pass up on an opportunity to see her before she’s the headliner.

            Chase Bryant is another young and rising country star. With music flowing through his veins (his grandfather Jimmy played with Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings), this artist has released two albums in the last 3 years, along with 4 singles.

Songs like “Hell If I Know” and “Little Bit of You” bring a nice little mixture of 90’s and new country to life. Some of the loudest screams came from the ladies in the audience as he played on.

 

One of the best moments came from him singing directly to a child in the standing pit right next to the stage. Watching him interact with this young lady was a true example of how family friendly and wholesome country music can be.

            Up next was Dustin Lynch. With the three albums under his belt and currently the top country song in the Nation, he’s definitely not new to country music. “Hell Of A Night”, “Small Town Boy”, and “Seein Red” certainly got people off their feet and excited. With more energy than a bucking bull, Dustin left no question as to why he has climbed the charts again, and again.

 

His infectious stage presence didn’t need gimmicks, rather he simply connected with the audience. Taking full advantage of the walkway going out partially into the crowd, Dustin found an opportunity to showcase why he is at the top, and quite honestly, he will be headlining his own major tour within a year if the response from this show is any indication.

            With the opening theme of “Back to the Future” playing, Brad Paisley took the stage. Not to be outdone by his opening acts, Brad opened the set with an entrance that somewhat resembled the entrance ‘Dusty’ would have made in the classic film “Pure Country”.

With a catalog of hits behind him, and a huge stage this was no ordinary country concert. After the first song, the lights calmed a bit more. It instead became a more intimate show. Sure there was the aforementioned honoring of the US Army (and other branches), clips of his appearances on South Park, and even a guitar given to a young man in the audience. Yet this set was incredibly impressive even if all of that had been left behind.

With his opening acts joining him on stage for some theatrics, he truly found a way to make the audience feel as if they are a part of his family. This had stopped being a concert. Rather it had become a family get-together. People who had been strangers at the start of the show were singing along and looking at one another as if this was a long lost relative who had finally came home. No fighting, no cursing.

While “Whiskey Lullaby” and “I’m Still a Guy” certainly hit some in the perfect spot, barely a voice was silent during “Mud on the Tires”. Even the boyfriends who you could tell had been dragged along with their ladies were having a blast by the end. This is honestly the type of guy most wish played the corner bars. Down to earth, appreciative, respectful, funny, and the kind of guy most women would love to take home to meet the parents. Do yourself a favor, catch Brad Paisley out on tour. You will not regret it.

 

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