A rare contemporary country singer who stays true to country roots and the old sound, Paisley uses a combination of his slight southern twang and modern-day trending topics to draw in listeners and take us on a journey that's both relatable and fun.
Take, for instance, the hilarious "Online." The melody may be reminiscent of a more traditional country sound, but the subject matter itself is fairly new school. Here, Paisley sings about a middle-aged man who essentially still lives with his mother, using lines such as, "I'm so much cooler online" and "I get home, kiss my mom/And she fixes me a snack" to hint at one version of today's modern man.
Paisley also surprises us with some twists in his sung stories — "I'm Gonna Miss Her" is the perfect example. The title may suggest a sappy tear jerker, but it's a bit of a misnomer. The song starts off about a nagging wife and her husband. When asked to choose between his wife or fishing, the husband (Paisley playing the part) seems remorseful at first, but here's the twist: He chooses fishing over his betrothed; hence the title.
Paisley's stage presence also embodies the traditional country music mindset, but with his own comedic modern twists. The complete antithesis of bro-tank, backwards baseball cap, flip flop-wearing country dudes, Paisley keeps himself the way you would expect a country singer to look: boots, jeans, cowboy hat.
Those who aren't as familiar with Paisley or country music may still remember him for his hit "Alcohol." In a rather tongue-in-cheek way, the singer assumes the role of alcohol, claiming to help white people dance and "make anybody pretty." Lyrics such as "I got you in trouble in high school" have the potential to provoke funny, albeit embarrassing memories from listeners.
These are what gives Paisley his almost immortal standing in country music today. His commitment to the traditional country sound, with his ability to update and add a twist of humor to the classic yarns, makes him an unstoppable force. His songs are not merely melodies with trendy, catchy, or seasonal lyrics; they have the staying power to remain relevant and popular for years to come.
Brad Paisley with Justin Moore and Mickey Guyton. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 3 Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach 33411. Tickets cost $25 to $80. Call (561) 795-8883 or visit livenation.com.