Tim McGraw Showed Class, Brantley Gilbert Didn't at Cruzan, West Palm Beach, May 10

Sayre Berman

The difference between Brantley Gilbert and Tim McGraw isn't just a well established western hat or a perfectly taut pair of faded jeans. The difference isn't a matter of a loyal fan base or a bad boy attitude. The difference between Tim McGraw and Brantley Gilbert is simple: about twenty or so years in age and about twenty thousand light years of experience (and maybe sex appeal).

Last night, at the Cruzan Amphitheater, when the two country stars took the stage to celebrate McGraw's twelfth studio album, Two Lanes of Freedom with a show stopping tour by the same name, the difference wasn't distinct, it was glaring.

See also
- Slideshow: Tim McGraw at Cruzan Amphitheater
- Tim McGraw Will Rough You Up Before Discussing His Almighty Hat

Gilbert took the stage around eight o'clock, rambling about being recently engaged and generally discussing the subject of rednecks with himself or whoever he is looking at in the first couple of rows. He has this badass thing going for him -- the kind that Kid Rock tried to establish for himself when he first hit the scene -- though it didn't seem to translate to much more than a parody of himself on Friday.

Sayre Berman

A chain hungs from the wallet in his back pocket as Gilbert moved from one alternative pop rock song to the next. After about three songs, he stopped the show to let everyone know that, "it's about to get real redneck in here." And the crowd went wild!. It was only about 8:15 by the time he's took his shirt off for a song called "Take It Outside "-- a testament to his tough guy efforts.

Gilbert is heavily tattooed and lacked the traditional western wear typical of most country stars. He spent the majority of his time on stage spewing unmemorable banter until he reached the subject of getting arrested, which quickly deteriorated into sounds of ignorance. The outcome of this rant amounted to nothing more than Gilbert hollering "I will shoot his ass!," as he hooted and hollered about the second amendment. All of this prefaced a song heavy in the style of Guns N' Roses, though not nearly as weird or entertaining as watching Axl on stage.

Gilbert didn't actually pick up an instrument until the very last song as he rallied what he called, "Gilbert Nation," appropriately signaled by a confederate style flag with those words scrawled across it. The flags are even on sale for a paltry $200. Small price to pay to look like an asshole.

And herein lies the difference between Tim McGraw and Brantley Gilbert.

The lights cut off, and silhouettes of the band took the stage, though McGraw's signature hat was nowhere to be seen. Just as the crowd seemed to grow restless enough, all sorts of excitement stirred from the back of the pavilion.

Sayre Berman

Just one flip of a spotlight, a big black hat started swimming though the audience from the back of the house. The gesture of entering the stage by trekking through the audience first, doesn't seem to have much of a purpose, apart from everyone being outrageously delighted to have a glimpse of McGraw up close. He wasn't singing yet, and the band was still just tinkering around on their instruments, but by the time he made it all the way to the stage, McGraw and company were already knocking out the opener, "Green Grass Grows."

Style, Brantley Gilbert, take note.

He stopped to mention, proceeds from ticket sales are donated to Operation Home Front, using his stage time to give the audience something useful to think about instead of ranting about shooting someone.

Class, Gilbert, class.

Location Info


Coral Sky Amphitheatre

601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach, FL

Category: Music

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As a fan of BG I am offended my your bashing on him and if you don't like BG don't listen to his music or buy his albums


Hmmm BG falls into the same category as Willie Waylon Hank Jr. N the man in black. They never gave a damn about what big mouthed opionated asses like you had to say. They sang for the love of music and their fans. To many country artists are worried about fashion and how good they look and the "game" I'm glad BG has truly stayed true to himself and what he is about! BG nation will always have his back. READ ME MY RIGHTS!


BG is a hell of an artist. His style is there, its a different type of style. More, outlaw country rock. I wish I could find more artist like him that kinda feel the way I feel. I agree with BG, in the sense that "old boy put his hands on a woman the next thing coming is an asswhoopin in the parkin lot". thats the way it should be, and not enough people mention that anymore. Even rappers and some rock stars think its okay to sing about hitting a woman. Even if she hits you first, still not okay. Most music artist don't care to mention anything along those lines. So what you're saying about him not having class, if your woman was decked by another guy, are you just gonna stand by? 

Just some food for thought...


As a fan of Brantley Gibert, I take offense of your very brief bashing of his style and his part of the show. Just because you didn't find it entertaining, doesn't mean that people that love him and his show style don't. I have seen him live before and I loved every single minute of his show. Now, I actually am not a fan of country music, but my wife is. Brantley is one of those stars that is capable of bridging the gap between rock and country. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have any interest in any type of country music.

His "badass" style is appealing to a LOT of people. Hence why his "Bottoms Up" video is No. 1 on CMT. Guess his "lack of class and style" isn't working for him... Shame. Just imagine what it would be like if he "had it".

Music is about personal taste. If I bought a Confederate Flag with "BG Nation" on it, I seriously doubt that I would look like an asshole. I am pretty sure if I had a Confederate Flag that said "You need a history lesson," that would make me an asshole. You continually bashing on Brantley during the entirety of your review makes you look like an asshole. Nothing professional about it.

If you didn't like the show on Brantley Gilbert's part, that sucks. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. However, that doesn't mean you need to say that he doesn't have class because he wasn't wearing "typical Western style."  Luke Bryan, Lee Brice, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton are just a few artists that are in the same genre that don't dress like that and don't wear cowboy hats. Tim McGraw is from an older generation of country music. Brantley is a more modern style. You can't compare them. It's like comparing AC/DC and SlipKnoT. It just doesn't work.

I would suggest you learn your music and generational gaps before bashing on an artist. Just my opinion. Asshole.

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