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Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, July 21 

LIVE Review: BRAD PAISLEY w/ Taylor Swift, Jack Ingram, Kellie Pickler

The Deal: Brad Paisely's Bonfires and Amplifiers tour camped out at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre last Saturday along with Taylor Swift and Jack Ingram. But in this town, the featured artist was Albemarle's homemade Carolina girl Kellie Pickler.

The Good: Considering many local country music fans invest in the mega ticket encompassing all the country shows playing at Verizon throughout the summer, it was essentially the same country crowd as every concert, but with more Kellie Pickler fans. Pickler looked and sounded good for her homecoming, but she never introduced the two newest members of her band (if you know what I mean).

Brad Paisley's infamous (or famous rather) for his silly songs, like "I'm Gonna Miss Her," "Celebrity," "Ticks" and "On-Line." He's the comedian of the country music world; his songs are like an SNL skit performed via guitar. Those feel-good, happy songs translated into the mood of the crowd. For Paisley's song "Alcohol," the screen behind him played a video tribute to Charlotte's watering holes with images of Dixie's Tavern, Cabo Fish Taco, Evening Muse and Thomas Street Tavern. Random! The video screen pretty much was the show, so even the cheap seats in the back got a front-row view.

The Bad: Kellie Pickler made people cry. Her songs are like a soap opera; her boy's not calling her back, her mom abandoned her. But people are feeling the intimate stylings of their talented, hometown girl. Both Pickler and the crowd cried when she performed "Wonder."

The Verdict: "I wanna check you for ticks."

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