We headed out a little before 4, and just barely made it to Cibo Matto in Mansfield for a 5:30 reservation outside. We had to bundle up for the concert anyway, so we didn't really care, but if you eat outside at this time of year, maybe angle for a table closer to the heaters. We told our server we were in a little bit of a hurry for 7:30 at Xfinity Center and she took our entire order at once and put it all in at the same time. I had a whisky drink with "ancho reyes" in it, and that was yummy. R. had a Pimm's Cup. Very salad-y, tasty, but unlikely to sway me from my innate preferences. He had the house salad (with fennel!); I had a brussel sprouts, strawberry and walnut salad that was quite wonderful. We split a half dozen oysters on the half shell and a cheese-free version of their sausage and mushroom pizza. We left comfortable and happy and in plenty of time to rejoin traffic as we entered the venue lots.
Opening act was Mickey Guyton (One of her better known songs seems to be this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHgPt2UPciE). She is very charming and was a pleasure to watch.
Next up was Justin Moore (who is the listed additional act on the ticket) and a good chunk of the audience, while liking Brad Paisley, seems to have come for Moore. Not so, us! We found him somewhat painful to listen to. (You've been warned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55GAUgjpDQA).
Then there was a longer break to remove the Moore layer of lights and kits and finally time for the main act. As everyone reassured me ahead of time, Paisley is a good guitarist and does put on an excellent show. The screens are amazing (at least to someone who hasn't been to a large venue show in over a decade) and the props were hilarious (altho the kid playing Super Mario Kart got kinda old, that was mostly because first person driving games, like oh so many things in life, make me queasy). One brief encore and then the traffic scrum home. We were back home and settled in by 1 a.m.
While R. goes out at intervals, he usually goes to bars/small venues in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/Arlington. Neither one of us can remember with any certainty the last time we went to a large venue (presumably it was something at Bumbershoot, but I couldn't tell you what or which year, and even then, Bumbershoot is its own thing). We had a good time, and the kids seem to be okay with the evening out going so late -- they were asleep when we got home and are in a good mood this morning. I don't know when I'll do this again, however, because it's kind of tiring (R. is really sleepy this morning, and my knees are feeling my not-decision to jump up and down on concrete for a couple hours last night. They're okay, but I'm sure glad I didn't jump up and down AND walk five miles. I only walked 2, so I think it's all gonna be fine).
We'd happily go to Cibo Matto again, and recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in Mansfield, MA, whether for a show or some other reason.
(ETA: Our seats were amazeballs. I bought them months ago and paid extra on whatever the hell website I used. So I had section 2 seats at Xfinity, specifically, row T seats 25 and 26. Translation: we were seated, 10 rows back from dead center in front of the stage. Nice spot, only drawback is I felt too awkward to read FB while Moore was performing because I was afraid he might see me doing so and you just never know what a performer with control of a couple live HD vidcams, big screens on either side of the stage and spotlights will decide to do. So I had to wait until enough people around us were standing to snark on FB. There was no FB'ing during Guyton and Paisley because I really enjoyed them.)