Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant and Lindsay Ell joined Brad Paisley in Hartford on the Weekend Warrior World Tour.
It was just another American Saturday, err…Sunday night with Brad Paisley. The three-time Grammy award winner brought his Weekend Warrior World Tour to Hartford’s Xfinity Theatre on August 6th in support of his latest album, Love and War. The tour, which kicked off in mid-May, is making 38 stops in cities across the US, Canada and Europe.
Love and War, Paisley’s eleventh studio album, was released in April, nearly three years after he released Moonshine in the Trunk. The new album has fifteen tracks, all co-written by Paisley, and includes collaborations with Mick Jagger, John Fogerty, Bill Anderson and Timbaland. Love and War was released as a visual album – a first in the country music genre. Paisley created an hour long video to provide an enhanced experience for listening to the album in its entirety. In a press release announcing the visual album, Paisley said: “I hope you’ll laugh, I know you’ll cry. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.”
With a couple dozen number one singles, Paisley has a lot of material to choose from when developing his set list. While he did select a handful of tracks from Love and War, the bulk of his 23 song set in Hartford consisted of crowd favorites from the past two decades like Perfect Storm, She’s Everything, River Bank and Mud on the Tires. That resulted in a whole lot of sing-alongs and dancing in the aisles.
Paisley hit the stage in Hartford playing his latest single, Last Time for Everything. Throughout the show he took full advantage of having produced a visual album, displaying the videos on the giant screen behind him. For this song, it started off with the title in the Stranger Things font and featured some iconic imagery from the 80s including Knight Rider and Back to the Future.
Paisley has always been a big supporter of our military. On Sunday he brought a group of uniformed soldiers on stage to thank them for their service as the words “Never Forget” appeared on the screen with a giant waving American Flag. Paisley then asked them to hang out at one of the two bars he had on stage and enjoy a cold beer. They happily accepted.
Paisley also showed his love for his younger fans by picking one out in the pit and handing her his guitar. “Next thing you know, you have yourself another Taylor Swift,” said Paisley. “See ya up here in ten years kid.”
Opener Chase Bryant joined Paisley to perform American Saturday Night. We could have watched those two play guitar together all night.
After Paisley performed Ticks, Dustin Lynch came back out to do a duet of I’m Still A Guy. Some words of advice: Be careful if you want to try to get Brad to take a selfie with your phone. A woman in the audience had a sign asking for a selfie for her 60th birthday. Brad and Dustin took one with her, but then Brad proceeded to read off the apps on her phone.
Paisley is a master at making his fans feel special. With his stage set up with a T shaped catwalk, he is constantly interacting with the crowd in the pit. He even made it out to the back of the amphitheater to perform a couple of songs on a small B stage, including the hilariously awkward You’ll Always Be My First (Cousin).
Paisley’s first of three openers, Lindsay Ell, came back out to perform Whiskey Lullaby with Brad. Ell’s vocals were as strong as her guitar playing – which is among the best in Nashville. Between Paisley, Bryant, and Ell, we should have had to pay extra for the master class in shredding we all received that night.
Paisley closed out his set with an emotional performance of Today, the first single released off Love and War. He said to the crowd, “Here’s the thing, it’s August 6th – we’re here together and are alive.”
For his encore Paisley came back out with all three openers for a rousing version of Alcohol.
Sure, Monday morning was rough. But totally worth it.
Check out our exclusive photos from the show below:
Were you at the show in Hartford or have you seen Brad perform live elsewhere? Let us know what you thought of the performance in the comments section below!