Country music superstar Brad Paisley and comedy icon Kevin Nealon hosted thousands at Chaifetz Arena on Saturday night for the inaugural Glennon LIVE celebration, a benefit for the Children’s Fund at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
A unique night of entertainment started with Kevin Nealon, known for roles in a variety of Adam Sandler films, a decade on Saturday Night Live, and a main character position in the TV series Weeds, jump-started the night with his widely appreciated style of humor and lit the room ablaze in laughter, a tone that was carried throughout the night by long-time friend Brad Paisley, who at times throughout his shows feels like a comedian himself.
Brad opened his set with one of my personal favorites, “Ticks”, a song of which the context can only be truly understood by genuine country music fans. He took the opportunity to fire up the St. Louis crowd by ad-libbing one of his lyrics, saying “I’d like to see the other half, of your Albert Pujols tattoo” – which, to nobody’s surprised, was
received with a thunderous applause from a room full of the “Best Fans in Baseball.”
Next on the list were performances of “Riverbank” and “Water”, similar tracks that were set to the theme of the backdrop video – a clip of a waterskiing squirrel from his official Riverbank music video.
Though Paisley has a history of creating Nashville radio country music, one would be pleasantly surprised by his guitar playing ability and the heavy use of instruments like the fiddle, banjo, and steel guitar in his live performances that give a much more traditional country feel to his music. After about a half dozen songs, the crowd was treated to a call-and-answer style duel between Brad on his guitar and his lead fiddle player, Justin Williamson. Shortly after this instrumental showdown followed a series of classic rock covers, such as Prince’s Purple Rain and Van Halen’s Hot for Teacher – which included a Brad Paisley guitar solo that the word “impressive” would not do justice to. Wrapping up the series of fan-favorite covers was a lengthy performance of Mountain Music by Alabama (who will pack the Enterprise Center this Saturday, the 29th!) during which the official music video played in the background.
Presumably to catch his breath from the hour of energy he had brought to the stage, Brad took an opportunity to engage with the fans by taking a young woman’s phone who stood stage-side. With this phone Brad took a selfie, including the phone’s owner, then proceeded to take her phone to his mic stand and entertain the crowd with some fun at her expense. Almost immediately the phone received an incoming FaceTime call, which Brad answered, to find out it was another fan within the crowd. Brad conversed with this fan momentarily before joking “I think I have better seats”, and then continued by checking the phone’s Amazon shopping history. Brad joked about the fan’s self-tanner purchase from earlier that day, saying “…should’ve gotten it sooner, you’re looking a little pale tonight!”. After returning her
phone Brad finished singing his “I’m Still a Guy” which carried an instrumental background throughout this series of events.
Akin to a professional sporting event, a crowd-favorite Kiss Cam highlighted couples throughout the building while Paisley performed “She’s Everything”. Next up was “Mud on the Tires”, which Brad kickstarted with a light-hearted poke at the crowd – “For all you Missouri hillbillies that can’t keep your trucks clean!” Last but not least was “Alcohol”, which he appropriately performed with a bottle of Miller Lite in hand that he later used to strum his guitar during the track’s instrumental solo.
While the show was far from short on entertainment, including something for everyone with its combination of humor and music, the best part of the night was knowing that all proceeds benefitted such an outstanding cause as the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital – I’ve never felt better about spending $14 per beer and I sincerely look forward to the second annual Glennon Live event in 2023! For more music content and commentary follow @AustyTalksMusic on Twitter and @ArchCityMedia on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.