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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 12, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 41
Carried away
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Carried away

LGBT-positive country singer Carrie Underwood takes Seattle by storm

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

CARRIE UNDERWOOD
KEY ARENA
October 6


Reality TV sometimes gets it right. Despite all the crappy singing and 15-minute egos it's given us over the years, it has produced a handful of superstars who might have otherwise gone undiscovered, such as Carrie Underwood.

The Tennessee native won the American Idol crown in 2005 and has since dominated the country music charts, earning multiple Grammy Awards (including Best New Artist), and has recently stretched her fame beyond American shores, selling out London's Royal Albert Hall this summer in just 30 minutes. A nearly full house welcomed Underwood when she appeared on stage Saturday night at Key Arena.

Her performance began with a mini-movie that cast the Nashville-based singer as a modern-day Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, complete with a tornado and a Chihuahua standing in for Toto. Suddenly, a house facade was erected from beneath the stage and out popped Underwood from behind the front door. She dove right into the opening number, 'Good Girl,' and efficiently worked her way through two more songs before greeting the audience and re-starting with 'I Told You So.'

THE REAL DEAL
Underwood went through several wardrobe changes, but they were quick. During 'Last Name,' she wore an elegant, short silver dress with a sheer train. Her golden blonde hair was long and voluminous - big, but classy - and she sported metallic, fingerless silver gloves. What I was most impressed with, however, was her vocal ability in a live setting. This girl sang - never lip-synching once - and hit all the essential notes. Considering the number of dates she's played on this tour and the fact that she still conducts meet-and-greets before each concert, her show was a remarkable display of skill and endurance.

After performing an energetic rendition of 'All American Girl,' the 2012 CMA nominee (and co-host of November's ceremony) announced that one dollar of every ticket from the whole 'Blown Away Tour' would be donated to the Red Cross.

'THANK GOD FOR SEATTLE'
'Jesus, Take the Wheel' was wailed beautifully by Underwood on a diamond-shaped platform at the base of the stage, which was simple yet nicely decorated and utilized by a full backup band. When Underwood re-appeared after a short break, in ripped Daisy Dukes and black T-shirt with Western boots, the diamond-shaped portion of the stage rose and proceeded to slide above the heads of concertgoers as she reeled off about five songs in mid-air, including 'Get Out of This Town,' 'Nobody Ever Told You,' and 'Thank God for Hometowns' - slipping in the line, 'Thank God for Seattle.'

'A city like this is so awesome,' Underwood said.

Two duets were added to the set list. 'Leave Love Alone' featured fellow CMA nominee Hunter Hayes in person, while 'Remind Me' flashed video footage of Brad Paisley contributing his part of the song. I wasn't too crazy about Underwood's cover of Aerosmith's 'Sweet Emotion,' primarily because she didn't do anything different with it. (In other words, it sounded a little too Idol-ish.)

'I better hear you sing along to this one!' shouted Underwood as she launched into 'Before He Cheats,' and the audience responded enthusiastically, belting out the chorus as the megastar held out her bejeweled microphone. Then she descended beneath the stage on an automated lift, but returned a few minutes later for a two-song encore that included her latest, biggest smash, 'Blown Away.'

Like many female country artists - Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride, Shania Twain, et al. - Underwood has a significant Gay fan base and earlier this year she made headlines by stating her support of same-sex marriage during an interview. Though some of her conservative Christian fans criticized her for this, she has stood by her words and continues to be one of the genre's most accepting artists of the LGBT community.

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