Since she first hit the charts in 2005, Carrie Underwood  has been one of the hottest stars in country music. She's probably the one act in the format who could record "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and take it straight to the top of the charts. That being said, Underwood brought her "Blown Away" tour to Nashville's Bridgestone Arena Sunday night, and proved why she's been so successful over the years.
Yes, there is the allure of her being one of the genre's most attractive and likable stars. But, at the end of the day, it comes down to her voice. She's got one of the widest ranges of any artist recording right now. At one point in the show, she offered back-to-back examples of her ability to amaze - on two totally different performances. There was the wide-open crossover feel of her 2007 smash "Wasted," which still stands as one of her best singles, and then segued into a song that she recalled listening to on a cassette growing up - "I Told You So." She gave a sterling performance of the Randy Travis classic, one that should answer any questions on how she can handle a country song.
Underwood gave the fans what they wanted - and plenty of it. She performed for two hours, offering up powerful ballads as "Jesus, Take The Wheel" and "Temporary Home," and also vamped it up on such uptempo hits as "Last Name" and "Before He Cheats," which inspired many in the crowd to sing the lyrics back to the Oklahoma native in such a manner that any cheating boyfriends in the audience would likely think twice before doing so!
Underwood was joined on stage by duet partner Brad Paisley for a riveting version of their 2011 "Remind Me" hit, and closed out with an encore of her current single "Blown Away," as well as a jaw dropping version of "I Know You Won't," from her "Carnival Ride" disc. Just like Reba and Martina before her, Underwood has become the gold standard when it comes to being a power vocalist in country music. She was also all over the stage, and even above it for awhile, as she and her band were transported in the air for a few songs. If the rest of the "Blown Away" tour is anything like Nashville, look for Underwood to gain even more respect than she has already gotten in the industry.
Underwood's opening act, Hunter Hayes, also proved why he is gaining fans by the minute. Rolling through an emotional version of his "Wanted," he was presented with a plaque for a million sales of the single. Hayes then proceeded to perform the song, which is currently number one on the Billboard Country Songs chart. He gave fans several cuts from his debut disc, such as "Love Makes Me" and "Everybody's Got Somebody But Me."
Hayes then returned during Underwood's set for a duet of "Leave Love Alone," from her current disc, which electrified the crowd.
- Country