View the original review at: http://www.countryweekly.com/reviews/carrie-underwood-blows-away-adopted-hometown
The wind began to switch and Bridgestone Arena began to pitch Sunday (Sept. 23) when Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away Tour stopped into the Nashville landmark for a hometown show.
Thankfully, there was a “Storm Warning,” when opening act Hunter Hayes took the stage. A true showman, Hunter regaled thousands of screaming young fans while playing cuts from his debut album, along with an energetic cover of the Bruno Mars hit “Just the Way You Are.” Aside from his much-lauded guitar prowess, Hunter, an engaging entertainer, kept fans on their feet for most of his performance and whipped the already enthusiastic crowd into a frenzy for Carrie’s arrival.
And arrive she did! In a flurry of graphics, flashing lights and electric guitar, Carrie set the pace for the entire show kicking things off with the rockin’ opener, “Good Girl,“ before rolling into the equally sassy “Undo It.“ She then slowed things down for just a moment with the poignant “Wasted.“
With a set list neartly two dozen songs strong, the audience was treated to a roller-coaster ride of tempo and emotion—from ballads to rockers, from tender love to intense anger. And Carrie liberally peppered new cuts such as “One Way Ticket” and “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun” in with big hits including “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Before He Cheats,” “Temporary Home” and “Cowboy Casanova.” She also revealed her diverse musical taste, covering Randy Travis’ “I Told You So” and Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion.”
Carrie showed off her smart sense of humor between songs with usually humorous banter. The fact that she was performing at the home of her husband’s Nashville Predator’s hockey team wasn’t lost on Carrie. She smiled as she said that Mike had told her, “You’re on my turf now,” but she was quick to remind him, “I was here first.“
The evening was filled with magical moments that ran the gamut of technical bells and whistles—from five costume changes, to visually compelling graphics.
Carrie has definitely upped the ante when it comes to getting up close and personal with the supersize crowd. While catwalks, runways and floating devices of all kinds are being utilized to bring the stars to the closer to their fans, Carrie brought her entire band to the center of the arena on a suspended stage that resembled a front porch hanging from paper lanterns.
Hunter Hayes came back onstage midset to perform “Leave Love Alone” with the headliner, but it was another special guest that even caught Carrie by surprise. After singing the first verse of “Remind Me,” which is usually performed by Brad Paisley, Brad himself walked out onto the stage, causing Carrie to cover her mouth in shock. She recovered quickly to finish the song, wiping tears from her eyes.
In keeping with the show’s stormy theme, for the encore Carrie performed the compelling “I Know You Won’t” from Carnival Ride. She then took center stage, where she was surrounded by wind and confetti for “Blown Away.”
If anyone has ever questioned Carrie’s standing as one of the best female vocalists in the history of country music, with her Blown Away Tour, she now establishes herself as one of the best overall entertainers.