He’s a seriously talented singer, songwriter and guitar player, but when it comes to touring, Brad Paisley brings the funny — and inflicts it on his opening acts by way of some unforgettable pranks. In celebration of this week’s release of his Moonshine in the Trunk album, we’ve unpacked a few of our favorite Paisley pranks that concertgoers — and the entertainer’s unsuspecting targets — have witnessed through the years, leading us to ask: What’s with all the diapers?
Caged Heat: Although Jack Ingram was aware of Paisley’s penchant for pranks, it wasn’t until the last show on 2007’s Bonfires and Amplifiers Tour that he walked right into one, literally. The tour boss and his crew had fashioned a cage out of PVC pipe and Ingram had little choice but to get in and start his opening set. Luckily, they did provide him with a hacksaw and he got out… two songs into his show.
You’re Busted: Also during the Bonfires and Amplifiers Tour, Paisley played up Kellie Pickler’s ample assets with a JumboTron video that turned out to be a real hoot-er. Titled “You Be the Judge,” the clip, parodying an investigate news segment, racked up the laughs with Photoshopped “before” and “after” images of Pickler that Paisley admitted made her go — or grow — from “small boy” to “Dolly Parton.”
Swift Decline: Opening select shows on Paisley’s 2007 tour, Taylor Swift was only one album into her career but already showing signs of impending superstardom. In a hilarious forward-looking parody of those warts-and-all VH1 Behind the Music biographies, Swift’s career was chronicled, including her fall from grace — which, the clip purported, would include money laundering, gambling debts and underground dog fighting. Happily, the video reported, Swift managed to shake it off by becoming a happy homemaker who sings in her spare time while raising children and doing her household chores.
Hip Replacement: The Band Perry, whose “Hip to My Heart” was the sibling trio’s debut hit single, fell victim to Paisley’s pranking ways via animation during the Virtual Reality Tour in 2012. At a show in Darien Lake, New York, while the Perrys performed that first hit, footage of kiddie cartoon trio the Doodlebops played behind the group while each member of the colorful TV threesome was rechristened as one of the Band Perry members.
Cinderella Men: In 2008, Chuck Wicks (along with Jewel and Julianne Hough), was one of the openers for the Paisley Party tour. But on one tour stop, Paisley turned the show into a princess party for Wicks, who was riding high with the hit single, “Stealing Cinderella.” While Wicks performed the song, two adult men dressed as Cinderella took the stage, following the singer around and hitting him on the head while also attempting to kiss him. Not quite the fairytale ending he’d hoped for.
Loaded Diaper: In spite of its name, the 2010 American Saturday Night Tour proved pranks were possible any day of the week and no one was spared. During one of Justin Moore’s opening sets, the singer —who has taken a lot of ribbing for his smaller stature — found himself face to chest with a hulking man wearing nothing but an oversized, saggy diaper. The occasion was the recent birth of Moore’s then 2-week-old baby girl, Ella Kole. Later, Justin donned the diaper (over his clothes) and strolled onstage during Paisley’s performance of “Alcohol.”
Liar’s Club: Also an opener on that 2010 tour, Miranda Lambert had yet to marry the man of her dreams and it’s a wonder she ever did. While the gun-toting girlfriend of Blake Shelton performed her hit, “White Liar,” the video screens behind her were filled with countless images of her man cozying up to a series of random, unidentified other women. Paisley later revealed, however, that the photos were all taken backstage at Shelton’s meet-and-greets.
Chicken Run: In 2011, it was Shelton’s turn to fall prey to Paisley’s mischief. The scheming singer replaced the contents of a stick-on air freshener with raw chicken and placed the freshener in the front lounge of Shelton’s bus. The contents began to smell —badly, but not right away. A few days later, however, because the air freshener was the perfect disguise, nobody on Blake’s bus could figure out where the offending odor was coming from.
Say Cheese: The 2011 H2O Frozen Over Tour was awash in the sweet smell of success, but not for opener Darius Rucker during the trek’s stop in Charlotte, North Carolina. Right before the singer took the stage, Brad’s crew smeared his microphone with hunks of aged Limburger cheese. Good thing he had a back-up? Not really, since they cleverly managed to cake that one in the stinky substance as well. Later, a large man in a diaper sprinkled the singer with purple glitter and confetti. (While he was performing Prince’s “Purple Rain,” of course.)