Brad Paisley at the Houston Rodeo: Fan selfies, ‘Purple Rain’ and Dan Crenshaw on tambourine

If you’ve never seen Brad Paisley at RodeoHouston, are you also a fan of country music?

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Saturday nights were just fine for Paisley. Its 15th performance attracted 74,577 fans, the second highest number this year. Earlier in the day, he was inducted into the Star Trail of Fame for his “significant impact” on RodeoHouston and the community. Paisley is the tenth artist to receive the honour.

“Favorite day of the year right here,” Paisley said on stage. “Isn’t that just the biggest event anyone throws anywhere?”

Paisley has a carefully structured RodeoHouston formula. But there’s enough variety in there, and it does it so well, that it feels different every time. Saturday’s show included an onstage military tribute and beer (or water) toast and an appearance by U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw on tambourine on “American Saturday Night.”

Paisley is a lively stage presence and serves him well at RodeoHouston. It is the best in bridging the huge gap between the audience and the performer. He was also in too much vocal form.

“River Bank” kicked off the set. “Perfect Storm” was built on a Coldplay-style oh-oh chorus and sent Paisley offstage the first of several times. She hummed a bit of the theme song to “The Love Boat” before launching into her “Water” amidst hugs, handshakes, and selfies.

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The centerpiece of the show was a perfect encapsulation of Paisley’s unique live charm. He effortlessly and instantly went from sweet (the ballad “Then”) to satirical (Celebrity”); he inserted some “Stranger Things” theme to lead to his wistful nostalgia (“Last Time for Everything”); and finally transitioned from the Prince classic “Purple Rain” to country group Alabama’s “Mountain Music” as an introduction to his “Old Alabama.”

Soon enough, Paisley was back in the wings, interacting with a crowd he called “a beautiful mix of Budweiser, cowshit and Brut cologne.” He grabbed a woman’s phone, snapped a selfie, then uploaded it to his Instagram account with the caption, “Hot man.”

“Let’s see what else is on this young lady’s phone. I bet Aurora has some very cool social media here,” she said.

“Right now he has 130 followers. I bet we can beat him”

By midnight, @aurorafernandezsordelli had more than 3,000 Instagram followers and the photo had 1,500 likes.

This is the power of Paisley.

Brad Paisley Setlist RodeoHouston

“River Bank””Wrapped””Perfect Storm””The Love Boat””Water””Waitin’ on a Woman””Then””Celebrity””Stranger Things””Last Time for Everything””Purple Rain”” Mountain Music””Old Alabama””I’m Still a Guy””This is Country Music””American Saturday Night””Ticks””She’s Everything””I’ll miss her (The Fishin’ Song )””Mud on the tires””Alcohol”

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