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The Boston Globe


Music Review

Brad Paisley and fans party at Comcast Center

MANSFIELD ­— Brad Paisley made it through exactly one verse of one song before he’d had enough of the standard country-singer pose of a man and an acoustic guitar. And so he heaved that acoustic to a member of his crew as another handed him a Telecaster so that “Southern Comfort Zone’’ could fly. The twanging, lightning-fast electric solo he spat out before it ended gave notice to all who were at the Comcast Center on Friday: Paisley would be his own guitar hero.

He might not have been half as charming otherwise. That’s not the insult it appears. Minus his fretboard skills, Paisley was humble and just a little sly; he was a party facilitator, not a leader by example. (The real joke behind “Celebrity” making fun of his public image is that he sort of has none.) But add some six-string wizardry and suddenly he seemed a lot more frisky. It helped temper his corny jokes — punny party songs like “Outstanding in Our Field,’’ coy flirtations like “Ticks,’’ the general goofballery of the puppet-headed Paisley mascot appearing periodically — by putting some solid substance behind it.

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