I have to start this one off by acknowledging that yes, I have been a little lazy over the past few weeks as far as writing goes. If you follow the Facebook page, you know this isn’t the first concert I’ve been to as of late, but this is the first one I’m actually going to be writing about. Maybe eventually I’ll circle back around and write on LoCash at the Greeley Stampede or Santana at Red Rocks (both fantastic shows) but for now I’m just going to write on what is the most fresh in my mind at the moment and that would be Brad Paisley with special guests Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant and Lindsey Ell at the Pepsi Center Saturday July 15th.
This show was the total package for any fan of modern country music. Brad Paisley has been around for quite some time, but still continues to stay relevant by constantly releasing new music and putting out hits, and is on track to be remembered as one the greatest of all time. Dustin Lynch has emerged over the past few years and is considered to be one of the hottest names right now on country radio and continues to expand his fan base by being attached to such big tours, fresh off of touring with Luke Bryan and Little Big Town last year. Chase Bryant is a fresh face on the country scene, but already has two songs that any modern country fan will know every word to and Lindsay Ell is still in the early stages of her career but is already showing major promise.
Lindsay Ell kicked the show off right on time with a short set (probably only about twenty minutes) and a performance that really showed her confidence and charisma. Her stage set wasn’t much and really just included a giant banner set up in front of Chase Bryant’s set, but she still managed to start the night off with an amazing and captivating performance, especially considering her current position as an up and comer. No one in the crowd really knew any of her songs but she played as though we did and was able to keep me, and the majority of the crowd intrigued throughout her set. Her billed time is usually the spot where you would see a no-name up and comer, playing while people are filing in, not giving much to the performance or crowd, but that was definitely not the case with her. A lot of folks don’t know her name, but I have a really good feeling they will shortly.
Next up was Chase Bryant, who also was only given about twenty minutes, which was unfortunate because it went by REALLY fast. This was my second time seeing him and it was even better this time. There’s a couple main things to take away from a Chase Bryant show. The first, is how well he controls the crowd and gets everyone hyped up. Name dropping the Grizzly Rose and Denver several times, as well as having the crowd sing along, he had us all on our feet the whole time. The other main thing to take away from his shows, and I saw him perform a short set at the after party as well and it held true there too, is how crazy talented he is. Chase Bryant only has a few songs that actually get radio play and only two that people really know, so the rest of his set is really just made up of covers that allow him to really show off his musical chops and its fantastic every time. one thing I thought was odd though, and he didn’t play it at the after party either, was that he passed on playing his single ‘Room to Breathe’. Still an outstanding performance, you’d think someone with such a small musical catalog would capitalize on playing the songs of theirs that people may actually know. Did not take away from the performance in the slightest though.
Dustin Lynch rounded out the slate of openers with a set that was a spectacle in itself and really showed that he’s not to far out from headlining tours himself. His stage set included risers, a giant screen and tons of lights, which mixed with his great musical talent and all his well known songs, made for a great showcase. Lynch’s set was probably about an hour long and he had the audience captivated the whole time, joking with us, calling people out, giving away drinks, and having us sing along to all his hits. This was my first time seeing him perform at all, but I won’t be surprised if this was the last time I get the chance to see him in that supporting spot. His stage set alone was that of a headliner, not to mention the presence he brought with him, if he grows his brand just a little bit more, in my opinion he is close to being a household name among country music fans, and if your not a fan of his, you probably will be after seeing him live.
And closing the night out with a close to two hour long set including pretty much all of his hits and plenty of new flavor, was the man most had come to see, Mr. Brad Paisley. With a stage set similar to that of his opener Dustin Lynch, Paisley’s set really utilized the power of the mega stage screen behind him to its full potential, showing clips of music videos for every song, and he even had a small platform stage halfway though the floor crowd that he came out to and played on for a song about halfway through his set. He kept the crowd the whole time mostly just through his charisma, and some crowd interaction, but besides working in a few tracks from the latest album yet to be released as singles, he played nearly all his hits, which is surprising for someone with so many. A lot of the songs were shortened, with us only hearing the chorus once or twice, but because that meant we got to hear more, it didn’t take away from it all. I was curious going in how someone with such a catalog would be able to please the audience 100% because he’d have to limit which of his hits he played and skipped but that ended up not being an issue in the slightest.
Throughout his set he brought out each of his opener’s for a collab on one of his songs including a stunning duet with Lindsay Ell filling in for Allison Krauss on ‘Whiskey Lullaby’, a song I was surprised to hear at all. He did one song where he brought out several military members which is always cool to see and he ended by bringing out all of the openers at the same time which was incredible being able to see all that talent share the stage at once. One thing he included in his performance which I found a little weird and you could tell it was more than likely just a money thing, but towards the end of the show, there was literally a two to three minute commercial for Disney’s ‘Cars 3’. I’ve never really seen something like that at a concert before and it did take away from the show for me just a little bit because the song he performed as the clip was rolling in the background that I guess he did for the movie didn’t even have any lyrics if I remember right, and it didn’t flow at all with the vibe of the rest of his performance.
All in all, it was a great show and I’m glad I went. Besides a few complaints, here and there, it was definitely one I will remember for quite some time. All the artist’s bands, though not really recognized or acknowledged were fantastic and every artist on the bill delivered captivating and fun performances. After the show I did a quick meet and greet with Lindsay Ell, who was very charming and nice, and then headed to a bar in Denver where Chase Bryant was performing at the ‘official’ after party and got to talk with him for a bit before his show, which was another great performance though dialed a lot. Definitely recommend catching this tour if you get the chance or catching any of these artists at all.-Johnny K