Brad Paisley is out to prove he is still relevant for the college crowd after all.
After a successful past year, the “Crushin’ It” singer is back on the road for his second Country Nation College Tour. The country legend (as he wants to be called, considering it was on all of his props) is currently playing at universities across the country, and this year, Ohio State made the list.
Paisley and his band hit the stage Thursday night at the northwest lot of the Ohio Stadium on campus for a free show, no BuckIDs required. The setlist included songs both old and new, a playlist any country fan was sure to recognize.
Since there was no admission restrictions, fans ranging from young children to college students to parents all enjoyed an evening of positive, clean music — definitely a cleanse from the crotch-rubbing we received from a stumbling Kesha a few weeks ago.
Though it is hard to imagine country music without a cold beer in hand, the show was alcohol-free, as promised. The only vendors on site were food trucks such as Thyme & Change and Donatos. The students seemed to enjoy themselves despite the lack of alcohol sales, though a few crushed cans were revealed once the crowd dispersed post show.
Paisley opened the show by having the OSU dance team perform a few routines, including the school’s fight song. Rocking a fitted, OSU T-shirt and referring to the crowd as a bunch of tree nuts (such a dad quote), he also fired up the crowd by throwing in a few anti-Michigan comments. It was definitely cool to see the personalized, student involvement he coordinated into his show.
Many of the hits were played, including “Mud On the Tires,” “I’m Still A Guy” and of course, “Country Nation.” All of the students especially enjoyed when “Online” came on, an instant flashback to my 11-year-old self watching the hilarious music video via my Gateway desktop.
The lights and special effects of the performance were nothing too exciting, but you can’t be too picky when it comes to a free parking lot concert. The simplicity of the show was perfect for the atmosphere. Everyone was mingling and enjoying themselves, not fully consumed by the show. I think a laid back kind of feeling is what the country singer was going for.
The best part of the show were the vocals. Paisley sounds just as good live as he does on his albums. As this was my first time seeing him live, I was definitely impressed. Not to mention, his guitar skills were phenomenal.
My roommate accompanied me to the event, someone who is by no means a country music fan. Though she did not particularly enjoy the songs, she is a huge music fan in general, and appreciated his vocal talent and killer blues style he brought with his guitar solos.
Though a Brad Paisley concert may not be the first show I’d jump to buy tickets for, he is definitely a great musician that knows how to put on a great show for all music lovers, including non-country fans.