Brad Paisley rocks Orlando Kickoff Game concert despite rain

Photo by: Julia Porretto Seneff Arts Plaza at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Orlando.  Photo by: Julia Porretto Seneff Arts Plaza at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Orlando.

Country music and football fans gathered in the Dr. Philips Center Sunday night as Brad Paisley kicked off his 2016 Country Nation College Tour.

The smell of beer coupled with raucous, drunk laughter drifted across the crowd; FSU, Ole Miss and UCF fans alike were ready for a great time.

Until it started to pour.

UCF student Bre Flaherty was not pleased.

“There are so many people here and the lines are so long,” said Flaherty, a psychology major. “Not to mention that once you get into the concert, you’re still going to be in the rain. I don’t want to get pneumonia.”

Flaherty, like many other UCF students, took the shuttle downtown, courtesy of country bar franchise Stagger Inn. Patrons paid $10 for a round-trip ticket to and from the concert, as well as free drinks at both UCF and downtown Stagger Inn locations.

Rumors swirled earlier in the evening that the show would be cancelled due to lightning strikes, but The Stagger Inn’s promise of shelter and alcohol seemed just fine to some.

“I’m not too disappointed with maybe having to leave,” Jon Gitzen, UCF business major, said. “I’ll just go back to Stagger [Inn] because we don’t want to get wet at a concert.”

Ultimately, the show did go on. A sea of garnet and gold, crimson and blue, and black and gold enjoyed the loud, country twangs on Brad Paisley’s guitar. It was not long before packs of girls in UCF ponchos, with hands interlocked, swirled their way through the crowd and danced the night away.

A little rain could not stop the country music party.

Brad Paisley performs at the Seneff Arts Plaza at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Orlando.  Brad Paisley performs at the Seneff Arts Plaza at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Orlando.

The FSU Seminoles and Ole Miss Rebels kick off the Orlando Citrus Bowl game at the Camping World Stadium tomorrow evening at 8 p.m.