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Paisley still satisfies

Staples Center, Los Angeles, February 19, 2010

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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Nobody sent up the bat signal, but Brad Paisley landed in L.A.'s fair city once again - this time dressed in a stylish Batman t-shirt - to share his winning wit and wisdom, all wrapped in lovingly electric guitar spiced country music. And while this show differed little from the hunk's recent California visit to Orange County a few months ago, it was hard not to enjoy these songs just as much a second time around.

Paisley's concerts are so chock full of visual aids, this show almost amounted to the hillbilly equivalent of seeing Avatar once again. Furthermore, When I Get To Where I'm Going -- which has evolved from a song about heaven, to a video-accompanied tribute to entertainment inspirations who have passed on to the other side -- featured added images of the recently-gone actress Brittany Murphy and Olympic luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, whereas Michael Jackson's sudden death was the more newsworthy celebrity during Paisley's last time around.

This time out, Paisley also gave further emphasis to his latest single, Water, with is thirst-inducing visuals. However, one never gets tired of concert staples like Waitin' on a Woman (with Andy Griffith's warm video presence), the close-to-the-bone laugh at Hollywood fame (Celebrity), and many funny fishing, hunting, and manliness odes. Paisley also has a touchingly sentimental side, as Then and Letter To Me are but two good examples of this worthy artistic trait.

As if the words to Celebrity weren't sardonic enough, Paisley also took gleeful shots at SoCal weather wimps. Yet he praised the region's ability to survive consistently bad traffic and dolled out equal respect for the Lakers - who play their home games at Staples Center.

Miranda Lambert preceded Paisley and came off as a one-woman Dixie Chicks, full off tough-chick-talk and sincere country soul. Before filling her set with songs from the recent "Revolution "album, Steve Earle's The Revolution Starts...Now! appropriately played over the sound system. Her toughness was well represented by the single, White Liar, whereas The House That Built Me, which reminisces about the house she grew up in, revealed a strong nostalgic streak.

Justin Moore got this party started with a 20-minute set, yet the singer's best intentions were badly drowned out by a too-rocking backing band. It's as though they amped it up loud in order to make an immediate impact. However, 20 minutes is just not long enough create any sort of momentum. So we'll withhold judgment for now.

Perhaps there was an unspoken bat signal sent up by the collective country music-starved music fans. And if so, all of these previously-hungry folks left filled tonight.