Photos by Laura Fox (LLFoxphotos)
Review by Dave Fox
When I first heard Brantley Gilbert was opening for Nickelback’s Get Rollin’ tour this summer, I thought, "WTF?" A lot of my friends said they thought the same thing. But after seeing Brantley Gilbert live last night, I get it.
Yes, Brantley Gilbert is country. But it’s not the “I lost my truck and my dog and now I’m gonna drown my tears in whiskey” country. It’s the “We’re rednecks and we like to party and kick ass” country with some rock and rap thrown in. My wife and I didn’t think we’d like it, but we did. I think that’s because it was a helluva fun show.
One of the things I really liked was the way stage had a trucker theme. There were monster truck tires right up on the stage, along with heavy, chain-link microphone stands. The drum kit was on its own stage that looked like an 18-wheel trailer, with big diesel stacks on either side that were used for pyro. It could have been hokey, but it was very well done.
The best part of the show was watching how much fun everyone was having on stage. When they weren’t jamming out, the band goofed around with each other, and Gilbert had great interaction with the fans, encouraging them to stand up and sing along.
The 17-song set started with “Kick it in the Sticks,” a tune with a strong beat that got the fans dancing. Most of the songs were upbeat and high energy, and included cuts from all of Gilbert's albums, along with a couple of covers. There were also some serious moments, though, like when Gilbert paid tribute to his wife and brought his kids on stage for the live debut of “Indiana’s Angel,” and again when he thanked the US armed forces with the patriotic “One Hell of an Amen.”
The show ended with the raucous, rebellious, and rowdy, "Read me my Rights." It was a great selection to get the crowd revved up for headliner Nickelback.
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