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Paisley entertains Arkansas audience

<p>Courtesy of Verizon Arena</p><p>Country music star Brad Paisley entertains the crowd at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock last week.</p>

Courtesy of Verizon Arena

Country music star Brad Paisley entertains the crowd at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock last week.

Country music star Brad Paisley entertained an enthusiastic crowd at North Little Rock’s Verizon Arena on Thursday, Oct. 11. The multi-talented performer brought his Virtual Reality World Tour to town, and he brought along The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery for the ride.

Wearing an Arkansas Razorback t-shirt, Paisley opened his near two-hour set with “The World.” He quickly followed with “Welcome to the Future,” “Ticks” and “This Is Country Music.” The evening moved at enjoyable pace as Paisley relied on his keen ability to balance his show between meaningful ballads like “She’s Everything” and “Letter to Me” to light-hearted gems like “Online” and “I’m Still a Guy” to the hot instrumental “The Nervous Breakdown,” which displayed his terrific guitar skills.

The West Virginia native has been cranking out country hits for almost 13 years, and much to his credit, his band remains unchanged during that span. The tight group perfectly complimented his performances throughout the evening.

Huge video screens enhanced such selections as “Celebrity,” “Mud on the Tires,” and “I’m Gonna Miss Her.” Additionally, the video screens came in handy to create a couple of unique collaborations. Footage of the late Andy Griffith appeared as Paisley sang “Waitin’ on a Woman.” Also, Carrie Underwood joined Paisley on their duet “Remind Me.”

With a crowd exceeding 7,000, Paisley proved his worth as one of country music’s top entertainers. A talent like this doesn’t roll into town too often, and the lively crowd seemed to be into every moment of Paisley’s performance. Other tunes delivered by Paisley included “Southern Comfort Zone,” “Old Alabama” and “Alcohol.”

The Band Perry presented an feisty, nine-song set. The sibling trio was definitely a fan favorite and are on the verge of being big stars. Fans were singing along with such selections as “Hip to My Heart,” “All Your Life,” “Postcard from Paris” and “If I Die Young.”

Scotty McCreery opened the concert. He was the winner of Season 10 of the “American Idol” competition. His youthfulness showed at times on stage, but his twangy, country voice was a crowd pleaser. His seven-song set was highlighted by “You Make That Look Good,” “I Love You This Big” and “Water Tower Town.”

Without question, Paisley always brings a first class tour. This one was no exception. In all, fans were left wanting more.

Beebe writer Charles Haymes is a member of the Country Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association. Email him at chaymes@sbcglobal.net.

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