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Pickler, Ingram, Swift and Paisley Entertain A Sunday Night Crowd
By: Brianna Nightingale, CSO Staff Journalist

It may just be my strong attraction to lights, but when Taylor Swift asked a crowd of approximately 20,000 people to hold up their cell phones, the view while looking uphill behind me was incredible. That night was when I realized how quickly Swift has become a true superstar.

Taylor Swift had the crowd overwhelmed as she put on a show in Tinley Park, Illinois with tour mates Jack Ingram, Kellie Pickler and Brad Paisley. 

Kellie Pickler kicked off the show with a handful of her best tunes including her current single “I Wonder,” which was very difficult to write since it is so personal. Soon after that she sang “Nine To Five” to show her admiration for Dolly Parton. In her website biography, Pickler says “I have always loved Dolly Parton; I felt like we had something in common. We both came from nothing, and had big, big dreams." Her short, although thrilling, set that really warmed up the crowd ended a few songs later with her first single, “Red High Heels.”

Jack Ingram was up next, launching into his short set with his first single for Big Machine Records, “Wherever You Are.” Until I heard it live, I didn’t realize how much I truly loved “Maybe She’ll Get Lonely,” from This Is It, Ingram’s first studio album in 5 years. On his website he says “when it gets to the point that you have no control over what somebody else does, and really we are always at that point, the only thing you can hope for is that the other person will come back around.” Then, Ingram introduced the next tune “Great Divide” by repeatedly mentioning that there’s not much on the radio in west Texas during high school football season besides the games. His current single, “Measure of a Man,” which is another song that is true about his life, had the audience yearning for more. As if that wasn’t enough, he really had his fans interested when he ended with “Lips of an Angel” and his humorous single “Love You.”

Beginning with “Our Song,” Taylor Swift also performed a handful of fine picks from her self-titled debut CD, which is now platinum. Swift kept the energy flowing as she played a few more including “Teardrops On My Guitar,” “Should’ve Said No” and her first single, which debuted on the radio only a year ago, “Tim McGraw.” Just before she ended her set with “Picture To Burn,” the crowd gave Swift a standing ovation, which was “the loudest I’ve ever heard a crowd here,” according to a security guard standing near me. This 17-year-old luminary seemed to genuinely enjoy the moment as she thanked her fans over and over again. 

Animations, lights and music flooded the venue as Brad Paisley came through the doors of his stage set. He opened with his humorous tune “Online” and then let us know that “it’s time to put a ring on the finger I’m wrapped around.” 

After the first 2 songs of his Sunday night set, Paisley laughed when he said “we’re going to play some country music for ya tonight, you’re going to pretend this is Saturday; you’re going to skip work tomorrow.” He then launched into “Mud On the Tires,” stating that it was “for all you Chicago rednecks who can’t keep your trucks clean.”

He continued on to 12 more songs, the last two being “Ticks” and “Alcohol.” His two-song encore included “The Fishin’ Song,” also known as “I’m Gonna Miss Her.”

Pickler, Ingram, Swift and Paisley collectively put on a tremendous show that made sure nobody regretted their decision to attend a late concert on a Sunday. After all, Paisley did tell us we could stay home from work the next day…

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