Concert Review: Brad Paisley Brings 'Southern Charm' to Mansfield

Brad Paisley performs at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on August 23rd as part of his "Country Nation" tour (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

Tailgating, beer, and plenty of country music: Brad Paisley, along with Charlie Worsham, Leah Turner, and Randy Houser, brought a warm & friendly slice of the South to Mansfield, MA.

The night kicked off with a very energetic rock and roll performance by Charlie Worsham.  Charlie made a point of getting up close and personal with his fans, even playing guitar through the aisles.

Leah Turner performs at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on August 23rd as part of Brad Paisley's "Country Nation" tour (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

Next came Leah Turner.  Turner and her band burst onto the stage with a smash, blasting Fall Out Boy's "Light Em' Up".  Early on came Turner's hit single "Take the Keys", where she shined as bright as her glittery microphone.  You could tell she enjoyed every moment on stage.  Leah was very playful with the audience, singling out fans to "Be my Steve McQueen".  She began each song with a short monologue from the coming song, such as, "This song goes out to all those with tobacco running through their veins, lord knows I do, and bless my heart."  The following song, "Bless my Heart", then included a singalong with the audience.  Other highlights from the show included her performance of the Dixie Chicks' "Cowboy Take Me Away" and a spirited performance of Turner's own "My Finger".  

The night was moved along by DeeJay Silver, who played bass-heavy remixes of popular country and rock songs.

  Randy Houser performs at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on August 23rd as part of Brad Paisley's "Country Nation" tour (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

Randy Houser performs at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on August 23rd as part of Brad Paisley's "Country Nation" tour (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

Next came Randy Houser and his band in a cloud of smoke—some of from their own cigars and pipes.  Houser's performance consisted of quintessential party-country music, exemplified by Houser's genuine twang.  Houser brought the most energetic performance of the night, getting the audience on their feet with his "Boots On."  All the country elements were at play here, from song themes such as never-ending summer in his "Growin' Younger" to the traditional country organ and pedal steel guitar.  After a few songs, the band drifted back into the smoky green backdrop, allowing Randy to take center stage.  Randy performed his more sensitive "Goodbye Kiss", where he featured a singalong.  He even wore one lucky audience member's Coors Light cowboy hat!  Other highlights from the set included a performance of Garth Brooks "Friends in Low Places" and Houser's own hit "Like a Cowboy."  Houser's set was easily the most crowd-rousing of the night, getting everyone on their feet and primed for Paisley's closing act.

Paisley's set was huge, covered in more lights and LED screens than one can imagine.  The visuals were dominating, included a NASA space launch, a '69 Camaro, and a personalized satellite zoom-in on the Xfinity Center itself.  Paisley's performance featured a few instruments unique to the night, including a fiddle, a weird mandolin/baby guitar, and (of course) a paisley guitar.  Paisley got the audience going with his cleverly lyrical "Ticks."  He got huge cheers for his "Waitin' on a Woman" in honor of the late Andy Griffith.  His hit "Celebrity" was augmented by a hilarious montage of Paisley doing illicit things in a mascot head, including riding a wrecking ball like Miley Cyrus.  Another highlight was "This is Country Music", paying homage to country legends such as John Denver and Johnny Cash.

Paisley's brand of country was the more steady paced, storytelling brand, which served as a great cool-down for a night full of country from all walks.  If you love country music, and you want to have a good time, you know just where to go.

See more photos from the show below: