Carrie Underwood hit the stage with a massive concert at the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night. The nearly four hour concert was part of the Storyteller tour for her latest 2015 album and certainly lived up to her all-star reputation.
The Swon Brothers got the crowd warmed up with their original country songs and rousing stage presence. The two brothers, previously seen on The Voice, jammed with their band and even handed out a guitar to a lucky audience member.
Easton Corbin and his band brought similar energy and featured his songs including “Baby Be My Love Song,” “Are You With Me,” and “A Little More Country Than That.” An unexpected surprise came when he covered Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” because he lost a fishing bet with his lead guitarist.
Carrie made her grand appearance in a black dress with gold accents at the peak of a multi-tiered rig of lights. The crowd lost its collective mind at her entrance with her roaring opener “Renegade Runaway.” The next two hours were packed with killer vocals, multiple costume changes, impressive rotating and elevating stage elements, captivating light displays, and hits from her past four albums as well as Storyteller (2015).
The interaction with the crowd really kept everybody engaged and cheering until voices were lost. Carrie singled out individuals to wave at and even took a selfie on a fan’s phone during “Before He Cheats.” While singing “All-American Girl,” she personally ran a video camera around the edges of the stage to feature the starstruck audience members on the Jumbotron.
The ballads, including the classic “Jesus Take The Wheel” and her newer “Heartbeat,” brought the audience together and drew everyone into the beauty of Carrie’s voice and lyrics. The white fringe wings on her dress symbolized that she is practically an angel among the crowd.
No matter the song, the entire production supported the message it conveyed. High intensity songs were matched with stunning colorful lights projected on the stage and the audience, such as the tornado-like spinning lights in “Blown Away.” She emerged from below stage on a giant jukebox with flames shooting out for “Cowboy Casanova,” and an epic harmonica battle broke out during “Choctaw County Affair.”
The most truly touching moments included her two main speeches. The first was about the great influence of Dolly Parton, and she followed this by singing a tribute to her with “I Will Always Love You.” Secondly, she gave a heartfelt speech about appreciation of mothers. She was even moved to tears during “What I Never Knew I Always Wanted” when images of her one-year-old son and husband appeared.
Carrie Underwood definitely knows how to put on a show as well as be a down-to-earth performer who connects with the audience. Through this concert, she proved that she is a dynamic entertainer as well as role model.