@ Walnut Creek August 15th
I don’t know about my luck shooting at Walnut Creek this year. Three of the four shows were delayed because of severe weather. I actual left the Hootie and the Blowfish show after standing in the rain for two hours.
Riley Green was only able to preform five songs before being shut down and pulled off stage due to weather.
We then waited over an hour to get only five songs from Chris Lane so that the headliner, Brad Paisley, could perform his full set.
During my allotted time when I’m allowed with Chris Lane to take pictures for during songs 2 (Ticks) and 3 (Perfect Storm) in the pit with the crowd, I noticed there are 2 bars set up in the back. One bar at stage right and one at stage left behind the band. All the VIP Access people are back there having a drink or two and many are dancing during the show.
During A Country Boy Can Survive both Chris Lane and Riley Green join Brad on stage to sing with him. They quickly get into a little tom foolery with a member of the audience. Brad asked for a young ladies phone after posing for her to take a picture with her. He gets together with Chris and Riley to pose for a group picture for her with the audience in the background. After he asks Riley if he remembered to suck his teeth in. The audience loving it. He then makes sure they got a good picture together. Brad decides to see what pictures she has on her phone. He shows Chris that she has a picture of his ankle with a red bandana tied around it (actually it was the preview of a video she made). He shows it to the audience on the monitors. Brad notes she does not have many pictures on her phone, but picks one of a selfie with her boyfriend and shares that too with us. Then he checks to see if it IS the boyfriend she is with. Checks to see what he and the boys can order on her Amazon account but sees the Chick-fil-A app and asked them what they want to order before returning her phone to her. The entire time engaging the audience and they loved it.
After that little fun, Brad has Riley Green stay on stage to preform his new song, I Wish Grandpas Never Die, a song he did not get to play because of the storm warning.
After letting Riley sing his song and at the beginning of This is Country Music, Brad shares a little about his own grandfather. He then signs and gave away a Fender guitar to a young member of the audience in the pit. Something he seems to do at most shows. The back story is it is in remembrance of his grandfather telling him “A guitar can get you through the hard times.” He passes on that nugget of wisdom to the kids and tells them that they have to learn how to play it as he hands it over to them.
In the middle of the song, with the American flag flowing in the background, Brad stops playing to introduce a few servicemen from Fort Bragg in Fayetteville. Thanking them for their service while shaking their hands. Then offering them free beer at the bar set up at the back of the stage. Now there is a great reason for the bars behind the stage!!!
Over all it was a great show! I was told Brad puts on a dull show but I found it was anything but that! Riley, Chris and Brad And their bands were engaging with the audience in the pit. Not only shaking hands, bumping fists and high fives, but fun banter and at times meaningful moments. One of those shows I brought my “Non-Professional” camera in after returning my “Professional” cameras back to the car as us photographers must do. But, I hate not getting pictures of the special events like the guitar giveaway, the playful interaction with the girl and her phone and especially when performers have service members on stage.