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Martina McBride Brings Country Music to the High Seas

Concert was part of Carnival Live, a series of shows created by the cruise line.

photo by Kristin Barlowe/Shore Fire Media

Martina McBride played a rocking show Wednesday night (May 14), due in part to the fact that she was performing aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ ship Ecstasy in port at Cozumel.

Martina’s concert was part of Carnival Live, a series of shows the cruise line has lined up for its passengers. While cruise ships have long offered entertainment-themed cruises, this series has the performer come onboard while the ship is in port to perform one show, exiting before the ship leaves port.

Martina loved the experience, saying she hoped it was a “win-win situation for all concerned.” Vance Gulliksen, Carnival PR, echoed Martina’s sentiments. He said the concert series has been extremely popular and they are already working on 2015 bookings.

Martina’s current tour is based around her newest album, Everlasting, and relies heavily on its mix of R&B, blues and pop standards. The singer, supported by a horn section and backing vocalists, opened the evening with Van Morrison’s “Wild Night” and continued to wow the audience with 75 minutes of tunes, including Elvis Presely’s “Suspicious Minds,” her own “When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues,” “Perfect” and “Love’s the Only House” and Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me.”

Fans were dancing at the front of the stage by the second song of the evening, and her performance of “Do It Anyway” earned a standing ovation. 

Martina closed the show with her signature “Independence Day,” and encored with Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me to Do,” signing autographs before departing the stage.  

Carnival is offering 49 shows in its Carnival Live series, including LeAnn Rimes, Trace Adkins, Lady Antebellum, Foreigner, Styx and Kansas. 


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