News Columns & Blogs

Acts will be country crowd-pleasers

The nagging question of who might perform at the new Intrust Bank Arena finally got some impressive answers this week, with the official announcement that Brad Paisley will open it Jan. 9 and the unofficial report that Taylor Swift will play there April 1. Though Paisley has been here before, selling out a scaled-down Kansas Coliseum in 2005, his stature in country music has soared since. And for star power, it's hard to match country-pop singer Swift, the nation's biggest-selling album artist of 2008 (and the target of Kanye West's infamous bad behavior at last month's MTV Video Music Awards). After so much speculation about the arena's opener, it's useful to remember that its real value to the economy and quality of life will be long term. Those unhappy with these acts should be patient. (No one could have predicted a Swift show when Sedgwick County voters approved the arena way back in 2004, as she was only 14 and her debut album was two years away.)