Brad Paisley launched his 2010 H20 Tour this weekend with stops in Virginia Beach and Bristow, Virginia, and it was a wet and wild show. The music started at 5 p.m. and only stopped for quick set changes and a move to the main stage at 7:30, then kept on going until after 11, giving fans 6 bands and 6 hours of music for the price of admission – a great deal!
And of course it was also a great show. The rain
fell and often poured throughout the Bristow show (just outside
which did make many of the water-themed “Water World” attractions less
appealing. But who needs to cool off in a rain tent or waterslide when
already soaking wet from the ongoing downpours? The crowd didn’t care –
there for the music, and a little water and mud was just part of the
deal. (Want proof? Watch the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=
The Water World Plaza Stage acts did a great job putting the crowd in the mood. Steel Magnolia opened the show with their catchy, pop-flavored tunes and really impressed with their top-10 single “Keep On Lovin’ You” and their version of the Tom Petty/Stevie Nick duo “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”
But the soaked and shivering crowd really got going when Josh Thompson took the stage. Everyone seemed to know every word to the working man’s anthem’s “Beer on the Table” and “Way Out Here,” singing along on the top of their lungs.
Josh’s stage confidence is really growing. While he was a bit subdued when I saw him earlier this year opening for Eric Church, he now seems at ease, having fun and even a touch cocky just a few month later. I haven't seen a performer flirt the girls/women in audience this much since I saw a male stripper at a girlfriend’s bachelorette party! Not that there's anything wrong with that. The “ladies” he called to 20 or 30 times throughout his 30-minute set sure loved it (including me).
Easton Corbin finished the side stage performances with his laid-back tunes, including the crowd-pleasing No. 1 hit “I’m a Little More Country Than That” and the new single Easton wrote for George Strait, “Gotta Get to You.” Easton didn’t have Josh Thompson’s stage presence or anthems, and the crowd was a bit quieter during his set, but it could have just been hypothermia setting in after two hours in the rain.
Definitely get to the H20 Tour early enough to catch the side stage acts. While I thought Josh Thompson was by far the best of the three, both Steel Magnolia and Easton Corbin did not disappoint and definitely made some new fans with their performances.
The main stage and lawn areas opened up at 6:30 and the crowd quickly moved on, happy with the musical appetizer but more than ready to feast on the main course of Justin Moore, Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley. And what a meal it was!
Opening acts Justin Moore and Darius Rucker started the main stage show off with their own great performances. Justin’s “Small Town USA” and “Backwoods” were sing-alongs, and his redneck and proud attitude was sincere and endearing.
And of course who doesn’t just love Darius? He may not be a showman, but his nice-guy persona and that brilliant, amazing voice singing those songs we all know and love always makes for an enjoyable set.
But the real star, of course, was Brad.
See also "Brad Paisley Sure Knows How to Throw a Pool Party!}