Fans roared in approval when West Virginia-native and country superstar Brad Paisley put up the hook’em sign during his performance Thursday at the UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
To kick off the football season, Paisley and special guest Pat Green, a three-time Grammy Award nominee and Texas native, brought energy and excitement to thousands of students with the second concert in Paisley’s Country Nation College Tour presented by Zaxby’s. The tour, a free concert series on college campuses, kicked off at Virginia Tech on Sept. 6
Thursday’s performance, which featured a rally from the Texas cheerleaders and an air-guitar bit from UT’s mascot, served as a lead-in to the Texas vs. Rice football game Saturday. Channeling the spirit of football, Paisley performed his newest single from his chart-topping album Moonshine in the Trunk, “Country Nation.”
The song serves as an ode to Paisley’s love of football with lyrics that include 18 different college sports mascots, among them UT’s with the lyrics “We’re a herd of Longhorn steer.”
Paisley, who wore a black “Texas Football” tee shirt and a cowboy hat, proclaimed “It’s so great to be in Texas” and went on to perform many of his hit singles, including “Crushin’ it,” “Perfect Storm,” “She’s Everything,” “Mud on the Tires” and “Letter to Me.”
The peak of excitement came as Paisley was about to sing “Remind Me” solo, seemed to remember something and pulled out his phone. A minute later, students went wild as Underwood appeared on the big screen through a Facetime call. She joined Paisley for their duet, quipping afterward that she could “hang out with [the fans] without actually having to hang out with [Paisley].”
With his special UT-themed guests, friendly banter with Green and fan-favorite song choices, Paisley’s performance seemed to succeed raising the student body’s school spirit just in time for the first home game. In the end, the crowd gave Paisley a warm, Texas-sized ovation.