BY HEATHER HACKNEY
Friday, August 10, Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center was filled with cowboy hats, boots and giant belt buckles as they welcomed to the stage Brad Paisley as a stop on his Virtual Reality World Tour. Opening for Brad was American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and The Band Perry.
The tour has brought great reviews from critics and reviewers across the country. Not just for the music which undoubtedly is fantastic, but for the benefits that have come along with this tour. In every city/town the tour has had on the schedule, they have created a “Virtual Reality Food Bank,” at which Paisley’s tour has collected food and then delivered to local food banks.
The center grounds were filled almost to capacity as the twang of the guitars and banjos flooded the air. Opening the night was Scotty. His adolescence charm won America over last season and Friday night was no different. Singing a few songs off his album, including his breakout single, “I Love You This Big,” Scotty gave a mellow and somewhat dull opening to what seemed like a shorter than usual night.
Following up was The Band Perry, who is still coming into their own. This sibling band put on quite a show, almost redeeming the mellow Scotty opening. They sang all five of their chart making singles from their debut album, all of which included a fantastic fiddle player and a rocking guitarist (even if he did look like a girl).
Finally, the man of the hour took the stage. Brad Paisley. Equipped with lasers and lights Paisley’s band was indeed worth sitting through McCreery’s 14th minute of fame. As in the past, he brought energy and comedy to the stage. The entire amphitheater sang his songs at the top of their lungs making even the parking lot lingerers sing along.