Friday, February 26, 2016

Concert: Carrie Underwood at the Verizon Center

Last night I saw Carrie Underwood perform at the Verizon Center during her Storyteller Tour. I wanted to see her since I'm such a big fan of country music, and I was so glad she was performing at a venue that is easy to get to (unlike Jiffy Lube Live, which usually hosts country music's biggest stars). I went by myself, since I wanted to sit up close (4th row!) and by the time I bought tickets only single seats were available. So it wasn't as much fun since I was alone, but I still enjoyed myself (and concerts are always good fodder for my blog!). And when the concert actually started on time, my mind was blown!

When I bought the tickets, I didn't even look to see who was opening for Underwood; I didn't even think about it! So I was pleasantly surprised when the Swon Brothers came on stage first (to the soundtrack of Super Mario Brothers, no less). They performed just a few songs, including their biggest hit "Later On" and a cover of "Want to Want Me."I was surprised how often the brothers split up on stage (since all of their songs are duets), and Zach Swon never even came to our side of the stage except to enter/exit. They didn't have much stage presence, but the arena was dead at that point anyway. Most people coming to this concert were Carrie Underwood fans, not country music fans, so the audience didn't really care about the openers (but I paid over $100 for my ticket, so I was going to get my money's worth!). I thought they did an okay job, but honestly, all I could think about most of the time was how Colton Swon looks like the blonde love-child between Adam Levine and Daniel Radcliffe. (PS: In writing this post, I learned that Colton Swon had been on American Idol. Who knew?).
Colton Swon definitely owned the stage more than his brother.
After removing the equipment from the first act (They changed between every set, which always takes way too much time.), next was Easton Corbin! I had just seem him two weeks before (read about it here), but I was excited to see him again. Mostly bright white lights were used during his show, so he looked washed out in all of my pictures; he wore a horrible shiny vest though, so maybe it's better that way. He had four guitarists with him and a fiddle, so there was quite the band with him! Here are some of the songs he performed:


Lovin' You Is Fun

Yup (when he sounds a little like Josh Turner)

Roll with It (when he sounds like George Strait)

More Country Than That

Are You With Me (Before he sang this, he said that he couldn't think of anything more American than Washington, DC, and he asked the crowd to turn on their phone flashlights, which was very cool!)

The crowd was feeling this song!
Corbin's band then played some bits from other genres of music, right before Corbin himself started singing "real country" songs! Those of us who were true country music fans sang along. Well, all four of us. Here are those songs:

John Deere Green

Should Have Been a Cowboy

She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy

Corbin then finished up with two of his biggest hits:

Baby Be My Love Song

All Over The Road

In between Corbin's and Underwood's sets, the venue played a mix of music, as opposed to all country music like I would have expected. More people from the crowd sang along to the 80's songs that played during the break than during the actual performances of the Swon Brothers or Corbin. Sad.

Once the smoke (dry ice?) started pluming, you knew Carrie Underwood was going to go on soon. The staging was definitely more dramatic for her: it's just as much about the show as it is about the music! Here are some pictures I took:

Quite the light show!
Not sure about this gold armor dress with epaulettes. But her legs looked GREAT!
The rings would move up and down and tilt and light up...They did it all!
A huge jukebox came up out of the floor with fireworks!
Underwood standing on said jukebox, wearing a Star Trek inspired taupe outfit. Questionable...
Of course there had to be a disco ball for "Heartbeat." She glowed like the aliens in Cocoon!
The rings mimicked a tornado and huge sheets were blowing on stage during "Blown Away." Very creative!
If Pocahontas and Esmeralda from Disney were a fashion duo, they would design this outfit.
I don't know who made this ugly sweater-vest-scarf thing, but it is hideous. It looks like she's wearing moss!
At one point Underwood took out a video camera and filmed her fans, which I thought was fun!
Underwood played guitar AND the harmonica during her show! This black dress was the most "normal" of her ensembles...
The stage was meant to look like rain during "Something in the Water."
BUT enough about the stage and her poor taste in fashion. Now onto the music! I was so glad that she performed songs from throughout her career, since I'm not that familiar with her newest album, "Storyteller." She is incredibly talented, and I loved watching/hearing her perform live. She did an amazing job! Here are some of the songs she sang:

Before He Cheats

Good Girl
Little Toy Guns
All-American Girl

Two Black Cadillacs
Undo It

What I Never Knew I Always Wanted (her song to her son. Not as moving as Celine Dion's "A New Day Has Come" to her own son, but still really good!). Underwood said her son is her "greatest accomplishment," which I think is rubbish. Any human (animal!) can make a baby. Now if he goes on to cure cancer or win a Nobel prize? THEN he's an accomplishment.


Choctaw County Affair
Last Name
Renegade Runaway

Underwood also talked about her new album, saying that country music is full of great storytellers (hence the name of the CD), and that this genre of music has "corned the storytelling market." She said she greatly admired Dolly Parton and went on to sing "I Will Always Love You" (although I usually associate that song with Whitney Houston). Underwood held her own singing that amazing song. And near the end of the show, all three acts came on stage and sang a cover of "Fishing in the Dark."
Look at all that space between the seats and the stage!
It was too bad that the crowd wasn't that into it. The standing room next to the stage was barely full! But some people in the audience were definitely enthusiastic. A mother and daughter sitting in front of me were having a great time, and I saw one security woman singing and dancing along to every song. And during Underwood's performance of "Jesus, Take the Wheel," two men were dancing together near the stage, which was cute. I know I had a good time, and Carrie Underwood was definitely worth the money! She is so talented and an incredible performer. Two thumbs up!

Click here to read about her recent performance in Philly (with better photos).

NOTE: In between sets there was a really annoying DJ who didn't play much country music and pretended to shoot off T-shirts into the crowd but never really did. So maybe the Verizon Center shouldn't bring him in again...

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