Fresh off her performance and two wins at the 2013 Grammys, Carrie Underwood brought her Blown Away Tour to the 1stBank Center on Thursday night. The show kicked off 40 new dates in support of her latest album by the same name that debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. It also debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.
The “Blown Away” concept tied the entire show together with the visual effects of being caught in a tornado on the plains of Oklahoma, loosely mixed with themes from the “Wizard of OZ.” At one point an entire section of the stage rose into the air and glided over the crowd with Underwood and her band suspended by cables and giant Chinese lanterns that gave the illusion of her riding in a hot air balloon.
The distinction between country and pop is very hazy these days. While rising divas like Taylor Swift are leading that charge, Underwood holds onto at least the sounds that make the music country. She keeps a lap steel petal player in the band and when the songs are at their best you can hear the twang of fiddles rising to crescendo.
Highlights of the show were performances of the major hits that propelled her to stardom, “Jesus, Take the Wheel” (2005), and “Before He Cheats” (2006).
The night included a couple of special guests as she brought opening act Hunter Hays back to the stage for her song “Leave love alone.” Then she sang alongside a digital projection of male country star Brad Paisley against a desert landscape for his song “Remind Me.”
Underwood admitted that even though it was Valentine’s Day, most of her songs are about revenge like chart rising single “Two Black Cadillacs.” In spite of the revenge filled night, she did manage to belt out “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun” toward the end of the show and then left the stage only to return for a encore to sing title track “Blown Away” complete with a 20 ft fog and confetti tornado sweeping her away off stage to end the show.
Evan Semón is a Denver freelance writer and photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his work.
Glenn Ross is a Denver-based photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his work here.