Last night my wife and I went to a concert in Huntington, WV featuring Brad Currington, Sara Evans and the headliner, Brad Paisley. I do not know how many country music fans we have here, but I really recommend the show to those who like that genre of music.
I don't know all that much about Currington, who had a hit a couple of years ago singing a duet with Shania Twain. My wife thought he was cute.
Sara Evans was great. She is one of the rare singers I've heard (Martina McBride is another) who is every bit as good "live" as she is on recordings, not needing any studio "sweetening" on her recordings. She has one of the better and most powerful voices in country music and had good stage presence. In addition to singing her hits, she sang a song that may be her new singles, "Coal Mine," which to no surprise went over very well in the crowd of West Virginians.
Brad Paisley is a native West Virginian, hailing from the northern panhandle. He mentioned previously playing at local venues as he was breaking into the business, including the Mountaineer Opry House in Milton and the Pumpkin Festival. One member of his stage band was from nearby Portsmouth, Ohio. Every other band member was a West Virginian, including guys from Bluefield, Big Ugly and Huntington.
Paisley is a good singer, but that is perhaps one of his lesser talents. He is a gifted and inventive song writer, has good presence, and is an amazing guitarist. He also just appears to be a good person and a guy who would like to simply jam all night if he could.
Paisley of course sang all of his hits, including "I'm Gonna Miss Her," "He Didn't Have To Be," "Celebrity," "Whiskey Lullaby" and "Alcohol."
My favorite Paisley song is his current single, "When I Get Where I'm Going," a song affirming the singer's belief that when he dies he will be in Heaven, that he will be reunited with loved ones, and people should not mourn him. As he sang, videos of departed celebrities flashed on screen, such as late country artists Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Minnie Pearl. The audience applauded in recognition of each decedent, who also included John and Bobby Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. At first, the loudest recognition was for Dale Earnhardt, not surprising for this area. However, towards the end of the song the names of each of the West Virginian coal miners who perished earlier this year in mining accidents were shown on the screen. I was surprised to feel a tingle go down by spine when their names were shown. Paisley later stated that relatives of the miners were at the concert.
A great show.