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.|
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!|
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
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."|
Before He Cheats
Two Black Cadillacs
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
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!|
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...