Brad Paisley tour visits Vols

On Feb. 22, country music superstar Brad Paisley brought his “Weekend Warrior World Tour”  to Thompson-Boling Arena, the site of several country music tours slated for this year that attract fans from across the nation.

However, the home crowd became the focus in Paisley’s show. University of Tennessee students especially enjoyed the concert. Paisley even asked a UT business major to join him on stage for a song at the beginning of his set. 

Paisley continued to embrace the crowd and the venue. Though he played hit songs like “Whiskey Lullaby,” Paisley appealed to the audience by playing “Rocky Top.”

Being a Vol fan, Paisley reminded the crowd college football kicks off in September. The Vols face off against Paisley’s other favorite team, West Virginia, in a neutral site matchup Sept. 1. Paisley infuses his support into his music. In the music video for Paisley’s “Country Nation,” he wears a split jersey: half Mountaineer, half Volunteer.

Paisley further expressed his support on stage. He shocked a young fan when he gave him a signed guitar. Next to the signature, Paisley drew a “Power T” for Tennessee.

“You gotta learn how to play it now,” Paisley said. “Now that’s how you make a Kenny Chesney.”

Chesney, a fellow country artist, also supports the Vols. His song “Touchdown Tennessee” pays tribute to John Ward, famed former voice of the Vols.

Country artists embrace Tennessee, as Thompson-Boling attracts country acts each year. Couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill brought their tour to the arena last September. Paisley kept the trend alive as Thompson-Boling prepares to host Miranda Lambert next week. Chris Stapleton brings his tour to Knoxville this October.

In addition to well-established artists, Thompson-Boling also hosts up-and-coming musicians invited to tour.

Opening acts Lindsay Ell, Chase Bryant and Dustin Lynch kicked off the Feb. 22 concert with several songs, including Lynch’s  “Small Town Boy” which currently sits at No. 43 on the iTunes Country chart.

For information about upcoming events at Thompson-Boling click here.

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Featured Image by TNJN

Edited by Lexie Little

Yelawolf makes first tour stop in Knoxville

Thursday Sept. 21, the Cotton Eyed Joe concert series continued with Alabama native Michael Wayne Atha, aka Yelawolf, who made his first stop on his “51/50” tour in Knoxville.

With general admission tickets priced at ten dollars in advance, the Joe filled with people. Those in attendance stood extremely close together so they could be as close to the stage as possible.

The tour features three special guests as openers for Yelawolf. Cookup Boss opened up the show performing a few songs including “Dont Mean Nun 2 Me.” Mikey Mike followed with a slightly longer setlist that included “Cut My Hair” and “Going Charlie.” Big Henri did not perform any songs due to technical difficulties with his equipment.

Even though he did not perform, Big Henri introduced Yelawolf as he opened the show with “Empty Bottles.” Though the opening song was slow, Yelawolf immediately got the crowd amped up before the next song by introducing himself and the tour.

“Knoxville hasn’t seen what a real mosh pit is, so let’s show them one!” Yelawolf said. 

He walked back and forth across the stage to make sure that every person on the dance floor could see him during the performance. He sprayed water bottles at the crowd, rendering them even more excited.

In the middle of his set, Yela gave a shoutout to Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, and asked if anyone had a best friend as he transitioned to his hit song “Best Friend” which features Eminem on his album.  

Yelawolf continued his set with “Tennessee Love” and “Johnny Cash.”

While Yela performed mostly new songs, he performed a few hits from previous albums. He performed “Pop the Trunk” and “Daddy’s Lambo”  from “Trunk Muzik”, one of his first albums.

During one of the songs, Yela asked the crowd if they knew one of the verses and stopped rapping while the crowd continued the verse.  Then he, again, sprayed the crowd with water.

Yelawolf also performed “Let’s Roll,” “Till It’s Gone” and “Chevrolet.”

Yelawolf mixed up the pace of the show by singing some of his slower songs between the more upbeat and hard-hitting songs. From his “Love Story” album he performed “American You,” tying into his general American theme.

Yela mentioned little sayings like “this is America!” between songs. His interjections earned cheers from the crowd.

He finished his hour and a half set by thanking Knoxville for hosting him and his crew.

The “51/50” tour will be back in Tennessee on Oct. 8, 2017 for the “Slumfest” in Nashville.

Tickets can be purchased at:

Featured Image: Creative Commons

Edited by Lexie Little