Concerts are officially back and they sure feel good after a year and a half of no live music or events!

Brad Paisley took the stage at Grand Casino Hinckley. He played the outdoor stage on Saturday, July 17th. It was a packed show and for many, the first concert back since the pandemic.

Obviously, this was also Brad's first show back in Minnesota since the pandemic as well. He is on his first tour back and he didn't miss a beat!

He started the show with his newest song, City Of Music, which is about crazy, country music life in Nashville. For example, in the tune, Brad sings about two songwriters going on a date, realizing they are both songwriters and writing a song together to end the night. The song dropped in June and I can definitely see it being a staple in his live shows moving forward.

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From there, he sang a ton of his hits and only hits for that matter. He didn't veer off into deep cut territory but that was okay, because it has been so long without live music, we wanted to hear the songs we could sing every word to.

There were a ton of notable moments, including when he shared a picture and video of where we were all at one year ago on the exact date: at home. The picture and video was of an empty concert venue and the date was splashed across the screen. He then showed video of the crowd at the concert with the current date and it really put everything from the past year or so into perspective.

There were a ton of other notable moments too. Speaking of being back on stage, Brad said he would never take playing live music for fans for granted again. He also invited for military members up on stage and thanked them for their service, which gave me chills. It was a really cool moment.

The best moment of the night had to be when he took someone's cell phone from their hand and started scrolling through it. There was a fan up front that was videotaping part of the concert. He took her phone and posted a selfie video to her Instagram story. He also started going through her phone and joked about ordering Chick-fil-A from her app. He also made sure she was following him on Instagram and then went through her contacts, making jokes that the names in the phone were "very Minnesotan" and he was right.

He didn't miss a beat and you would have never known that he hadn't played live for a crowd for over a year and a half. My favorite thing about the show was how seamlessly he went between cracking jokes, playing guitar and singing hit after hit.

The whole thing ended with fireworks which were a fun treat. I can't wait until the next concert!

If you are itching for some live music, there is no shortage of concerts you can go to in the Twin Ports and beyond. Our concert calendar is getting pretty full!

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