Country lovers line up for Brad Paisley in San Diego

Brad Paisley rolled into San Diego on October 2nd with special guests Kameron Marlowe and Jimmie Allen. Kameron Marlowe walked onstage with radiant energy beaming from his smile alone. Who needs a spotlight with that energy! That sultry voice, tight black jeans and that big smile got the fans on their feet dancing. Kameron was a Top 24 finalist on The Voice in 2018, walking away with nothing but his dream. Here he is on tour with Brad Paisley. He joined Brad Paisley later for “I’m Still A Guy”, walking out with his red solo cup. 

Jimmie Allen came out in looking sharp in his bling jacket and tight black jeans. Jimmie was also on a talent search show you may have heard of, American Idol. He got the golden ticket to Hollywood, but was cut next round. Jimmie Allen is the 2021 ACM ‘New Male Artist of the Year’… just goes to show to never give up on your dreams, even when you get turned down! Jimmie, repping San Diego in a Padres jersey, joined Brad Paisley onstage for their duet, “Freedom Was A Highway”.  

If you follow me, you know, I’m the metal girl here, but I do love a bit of country. Brad Paisley was one of the first country artists to show me there’s more to country than songs about trucks and heartbreak. Okay, maybe that’s a bit stereotypical, but that’s what I assumed. He’s an amazing guitarist, comedian and philanthropist. As we anxiously awaited Paisley to take the stage, the video screen showed the crowd with the date “October 2, 2021. Mid-Pandemic”; this appeared a few different times during the show. We can all interpret it in our own way. I saw it as a reminder that we are here in this moment… this is all we have, right here, right now, all together. Be present in this moment, never take anything for granted. Two years ago, we would have never expected live music to be shut down. One year ago, we didn’t know if it would ever recover. Here we are, so soak it in.  Tight black jeans seemed to be theme of the night… hey, I’m not complaining, just an observation. Wink.

In the front row was a little girl, maybe 7 years old, with a sign that read “I’m Paisley”.

After a few songs, Brad walked out, signed a guitar and handed it to her. After she had it in her hand he asked, “Is your name really Paisley?” She nodded with a look of shock. What a great surprise! 

My favorite Brad Paisley song is “I’m Gonna Miss Her”, choosing between fishing and his girl. That was so fun to hear live and sing with everyone! He paid tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen with “Hot For Teacher”, also paying tribute to Alabama with “Mountain Music” as the band is celebrating their 50th Anniversary. We heard faves “Celebrity”, “Mud On The Tires”, “She’s Everything”, “This Is Country Music” and “Whiskey Lullaby”. Appropriately, the show ended with “Today”. Or, is it the end? Wait… the lights weren’t coming on, is there an encore? Rarely do we get old-school encores anymore. Yes! Closing out the night, Paisley returned with the fun song “Alcohol”. 

I did mention that he is philanthropist. What does he do, you ask? Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams Paisley, founded The Store, a free grocery store to help families with basic needs. Part of tour proceeds go to The Store, so be sure to check out 2021 and 2022 dates near you!

Photography by Heather Vandemark

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