THE NASHVILLE CHART-TOPPER RETURNS WITH HIS INCREDIBLE NEW ALBUM
While she had to work a bit harder with the crowd, as many were unfamiliar with the material, hopefully the UK exposure means she’ll be back with her own show in no time.
After a quick set change, UK country fans were delighted to see the ever-popular The Shires enter the stunning theatre. Their growth and popularity on the country scene was evident immediately, with a bigger band, bigger stage presence and a tighter and slicker performance all round.
Singing Nashville Grey Skies, Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes, proved that their many appearances over the summer and big opening gigs has created a very impressive unit indeed. They then told the crowd how excited they were to be watching Underwood’s performance and that they recognised many fans from the front row.
All Over Again was sung with impressive melodies, as was State Lines, with its sun-kissed harmonies that saw Ben move from guitar to the keyboard for the performance, and Friday Night was delivered with high energy. Praise must also go to the talented young backing band The Shires have accumulated, all of whom seemed in their element playing the rockier tracks, as well as crowd favourites, such as Tonight and Brave.
When it was time for Carrie Underwood to take the stage, the audience’s excitement could be felt with anticipation, as the band played an epic rock opening and clocks broadcast across the stage began a countdown.
Storming the stage with supreme confidence – and dressed in rock-chick black lace and silver shorts – she opened with Blown Away, delivering powerhouse vocals and the high notes with ease. The audience was treated to the full-on stage production experience, with an incredible band playing keys, guitars, fiddles, slide guitar, drums and bass, with full screen photography blasted from the background.
After performing a great rendition of Two Black Cadillacs she announced how good it was to be back in London, before launching into Wasted from the GREATEST HITS: DECADE number one album, which ended with dueling fiddles.
Announcing to the crowd; “this is the Nashville invasion, y’all,” Underwood then introduced the next track, the Randy Travis hit I Told You So, saying he was one of her heroes and how thrilled she had been to co-write with h im. After receiving th e mosh-pit version of a standing ovation when she announced to the crowd that she had been in the business for ten years, she then performed hit after hit from her back catalogue. These included Little Toy Guns, Cowboy Casanova and Don’t Forget To Remember Me, a ballad which she performed simply, sitting on a stool, with her acoustic guitarist by her side.
Next, the crowd was overwhelmed to see Underwood take on Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again, mastering the song’s rap with spectacular ease, leaving the audience in shock, even though many fans would have seen it coming.
Care had been taken when drawing up the set list for the evening, offering long-term and new fans, with a good mix of all her hits. This was shown when she played Jesus, Take The Wheel, (the 2005 country-Christian crossover hit that helped first catapult her to stardom) telling the crowd she may have sung it up to 10,000 times over the years, but it’s a song she will, “never get sick of singing.”
After plowing through more iconic tracks, she gave a sensational showcase of, Something 1n The Water, featuring the stunning sample of Amazing Grace, that brought the house down, and ended the show by smashing out the revengeful classic, Before He Cheats.
With extraordinary stage presence throughout the show, Underwood displayed a wealth of experience and talent that proves her star quality, incredible vocal range and natural ability to work a crowd.
The Apple Music Festival meant country was streamed live around the world, representing the genre loudly and proudly, and displaying the sensational Roundhouse in all its majestic glory. Megan Gnad www.cam-ochs.squarespace.com
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