Saturday was a big day for Country Stampeders. The last time headliner Brad Paisley performed at the largest country music concert in Kansas, he put on an incredible show, and many of those returning for Saturday night's performance were aware of the sort of theatrics he had in store.
However, before he even took stage, there were a few other big name performers in Jerrod Niemann and Blake Shelton. Niemann, who was born in Harper, Kan., but raised in Liberal, Kan., sang a few of his most well-known songs, including "Lover, Lover" and "What Do You Want?" He also sang "Good Ride Cowboy," a tribute song for fallen country singer/rodeo star Chris LeDoux that he co-wrote for Garth Brooks and a few of his funnier, yet lesser-known songs such as "The Buckin' Song" and "For Everclear," a hilarious song about his party days in college. He topped it off with a cover of "Santeria" by Oasis, which was phenomenal.
Brendan Handy at the Country Stampede
After Niemann, Blake Shelton took the stage and put on an incredible show of his own, getting the whole crowd singing along with his hits like "Hey Romeo," "Austin" and "Some Beach," with his loudest ovation following his latest hit "Honey Bee." He also played a few songs from his youth, explaining how his whole family would listen to their music as loud as they can. He first told of his parents, who blasted "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" while having relations, then his brother, who listened to "Mr. Bojangles" by Billy Joel while smoking pot in his room, then about his sister who blasted "My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown, a song which he hated.
Following Shelton's performance, the wait for the final performance of the night filled the crowd with excitement. Paisley's live performances are well-known for their uniqueness, as he sets up a huge video board behind the stage that switches between a live feed of the show and computer animations for each song, which are lined up perfectly with the timing of the songs. As Paisley entered, the entire crowd was on its feet, where it stayed for the remainder of the night.
Paisley played almost all of his hits, including "Online," "Water," "Ticks," "Then," "The World" and "Waiting on a Woman," just to list a few. Paisley, an avid outdoorsman, has a few songs in his arsenal geared toward hunters and anglers alike, such as "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)," "I'm Still A Guy" and "Camouflage," a relatively new song that was a huge hit with the audience at Tuttle Creek. "I'm Gonna Miss Her" also received a huge response from the crowd, which was insanely loud and sang with all of his songs as it was. Paisley is unique from most of the artists at the Stampede because he literally has too many hit songs to waste time playing cover songs. He didn't even get to play "We Danced" or "Start a Band," which are two of his well-known songs. My biggest disappointment is that there wasn't more time for Paisley to play, because had he decided to do some cover songs, he would have destroyed them. Shelton and Niemann also joined him on-stage for a few songs, which was cool, and they all seem to get along really well.
Overall, it was an amazing show, and it was cool to see songs about hunting and fishing get such a huge response from a crowd.