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Brad Paisley closes up CMA Music Feset

LP Field, Nashville, June 10, 2007

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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The CMA Music Festival consisted of 70 hours of live country music, and it was Brad Paisley who treated fans to the final half-hour of the festival on Sunday night.

Paisley closed the show with his party anthem, "Alcohol," and "Ticks" and also sang a tongue-in-cheek song - "Online" - about a loser who is "so much cooler online."

The West Virginia native showcased his versatility, performing the ballad "She's Everything" and excelling on a few guitar solos. Paisley headlined a show that also included Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich, Taylor Swift, Kellie Pickler, Miranda Lambert, Billy Currington and Rodney Atkins.

Wilson played for about 25 minutes, mixing older hits like "Redneck Woman" with new cuts like "A Place in the Whiskey" and "One of the Boys."

Big & Rich provided the most electric performance of the evening with a rousing performance of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy". They invited fellow Muzik Mafia members Cowboy Troy and Two-Foot Fred to perform on stage during their 30-minute set.

Swift, returning off two days suffering from bronchitis, put together a mix of ballads and uptempo songs during a 20-minute set, highlighted by the song "Tim McGraw."

Pickler, Lambert, Currington and Atkins all turned in quality performances, but they weren't able to get into any kind of rhythm because their sets were so short. Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead" proved to be much better live than on the record, and Pickler sang the emotional ballad "I Wonder."