Byline: Craig S. Semon
COLUMN: MUSIC REVIEW
WORCESTER - Talk about being an overachiever.
At 29, Carrie Underwood is a five-time Grammy winner, a two-time Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, a three-time Country Music Association and ACM Female Vocalist winner and Grand Ole Opry member.
To date, Underwood has sold more than 15 million albums and has scored 15 No. 1 country singles. Her latest, "Blown Away," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making her only the second country artist in history to have three consecutive albums debut on the top of the charts.
On top of all that, Underwood is very soft on the eyes.
With enough bluegrass banjos, pedal steel guitars, feisty fiddles and twangy vocals to keep it country (while staying consciously aware of her mainstream crossover appeal), the Oklahoma native set out Wednesday night to raise the roof off the DCU Center during her hour-and-45-minute, 23-song set (which included nine from her latest platinum chart-topper, "Blown Away," as well as a two-song encore) she delivered and then some.
In fact, Underwood seems to be a better singer, a better stage performer and is even better looking than she was when her "Play On Tour" stopped two years ago at the same venue.
With her giddy, girl-next-door wholesomeness and eager-to-please enthusiasm in overdrive, Underwood literally blasted open the front door of a virtual house (smack-dab in the middle of a tempestuous twister, no less) for the blustery opener, "Good Girl."
Wearing a frilly white skirt-dress combo (which was long in the back, very short in the front), matching bustier and sequined black cowboy boots, the "American Idol" winner-turned-award-winning multi-platinum recording artist advised the adoring sweet and innocent country bumpkins (that made up most of the 8,500 in attendance) to stay away from guys that say they're gonna give you the world.
Underwood went on to conduct a romantic exorcism of sorts on the feisty female-empowerment bubblegum pop anthem "Undo It," which became the first of several sing-alongs with the audience. She took it down a notch on her teary-eyed cover of Randy Travis' '80s hit, "I Told You So," which she prefaced as being her favorite song when she was growing up.
Underwood delivered the deliciously dark and depraved murder opus, "Two Black Cadillacs," while what looked like the coolest, cruelest car commercial ever unfolded on the humongous video screen behind her.
For her second of five...