Country music star Brad Paisley entertained an enthusiastic crowd at North Little Rock’s Verizon Arena on Thurs., April 12. The multi-talented performer brought his 2018 Weekend Warrior Tour to town, and he brought along Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant and Lindsey Ell for the ride.


Paisley opened his near two-hour set with “Last Time for Everything.” As the song went out, Paisley gave a snippet of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” leading into a bit of Alabama’s “Mountain Music” before delivering the crowd-pleasing “Old Alabama.” The evening moved at an enjoyable pace as Paisley relied on his keen ability to balance his show between meaningful ballads like “Perfect Storm” and “She’s Everything” to light-hearted gems like “Online” and “Ticks.”


The West Virginia native has been cranking out country hits for more than 18 years, and much to his credit, his band remains unchanged during that span. The tight group perfectly complimented his performances throughout the evening. And of course, Paisley’s guitar skills were more than evident throughout the evening.


Huge video screens enhanced such selections as “One Beer Can,” “Celebrity” and “I’m Gonna Miss Her.” Additionally, the video screen came in handy to create a unique collaboration of Paisley and the late Andy Griffith on “Waitin’ on a Woman.”


With a crowd exceeding 5,000, Paisley proved his worth as one of country music’s top entertainers. Plus, his unselfishness was displayed as each of the opening acts returned during Paisley’s set for a song. A talent like this doesn’t roll into town too often, and the lively crowd seemed to be into every moment of Paisley’s performance. Other tunes delivered by Paisley included “This Is Country Music,” “Mud on the Tires” and “Alcohol.”


Lynch hopped and bounced around the stage during the majority of his 45-minute set, pleasing the more modern, country crowd. His set featured such tunes as “I’d Be Jealous Too,” “Seein’ Red” and “Small Town Boy.”


The left-handed guitar picking Bryant made the most of his half-hour on stage with stories about his previous trips to Little Rock and his love for country music. Fans cheered on tunes like “Take It on Back” and “Change Your Name.”


Ell took the stage prior to many of the concert goers making it to their sets. The Canadian is a fine guitarist and drew a big applause on her current hit, “Criminal”


Without question, Paisley always brings a first class tour. He is top-notch and left fans wanting more.


Beebe writer Charles Haymes is a member of the Country Music Association and a music historian. Email him at charleshaymes@gmail.com.