Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Jimmy Wayne | Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader
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Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Jimmy Wayne 

When: Fri., Aug. 7 2009
Phone: 877-598-8703
Price: $25-$53.50
Though you can hardly call him a Nashville outsider, Brad Paisley definitely stands out now that so much mainstream country is basically sappy soft rock—he’s had huge chart success without shortchanging old-school honky-tonk fundamentals like twangy solos, spirited steel guitar, and sharp, easy wit. But his latest album, American Saturday Night (RCA), sometimes treads uncomfortably close to Music City formula. The romantic ballad “Then” is about as deep as a greeting card, and even when Paisley embraces the American melting pot on the title track—a maverick move given country’s often reactionary politics—his take is disappointingly shallow, framed in terms of products (Amstel Light, Brazilian leather boots, Canadian bacon) instead of people. Still, it’s nice to see him give voice to real loneliness and misery in a song like “Everybody’s Here,” since that kind of hurt—which used to drive so many country hits—doesn’t tend to make it onto the radio anymore. Everybody knows how it feels to hit a bar for the first time after a bad breakup: “Now I look around and see a lot of single people / But there ain’t a single one like me / Because they all wanna leave here with somebody / And I just wanna leave.” Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne open. —Peter Margasak

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