Last night (October 2nd) Carrie Underwood brought her Cry Pretty Tour 360 to The Most Famous Arena in the World, Madison Square Garden. Her pure talent, stamina and ability to entertain the sold-out room in its entirety was impeccable. The sheer magnitude of the stage which spanned the arena, to the giant screens, fireworks, smoke and sparkles only helped to enhance the beauty and natural singing abilities that each of the women standing on that infamous stage obtains.
In a time when fans don’t bat an eye when all-male country tours make their way across the country, it was a big deal back in 2018 when Underwood announced she would be bringing not one but two female country acts along for this epic ride. Up first to warm up the crowd was one of our favorite rising female groups, Runaway June. Hannah, Jennifer, and Naomi looked fierce taking the stage to perform songs from their debut album, Blue Roses including “Trouble With This Town”, “Head Over Heels” and their rendition of Dwight Yoakam’s “Fast As You”. “Playing Madison Square Garden is a dream come true!” Jennifer told the crowd in between songs. “Thank you Carrie Underwood for sharing your stage with us”.
The ladies closed out their opening set with one of the most poignant songs on the album, co-written by our Woman of the Month, Nicolle Galyon, “We Were Rich” and their latest top 5 smash, “Buy My Own Drinks”. The crowd immediately stood up to sing along to the female empowerment anthem that has garnered the ladies so much success in the past year.
Next up, Maddie and Tae took the stage, who are gearing up to release their next EP, Everywhere I’m Goin‘ which will be available on October 18th. Both ladies walked around the stage, singing some of their latest tracks including “Bathroom Floor”, “Friends Don’t”, and “Tourist In This Town”. Their flawless harmonies soared throughout the venue and the way they were standing on opposite sides of the arena yet still displayed perfect cohesion proved their star power.
Maddie and Tae were sure to feature two of their older hits, “Fly” and closed out their set with “Girl In A Country Song”, the one that got things started for them nearly 5 years ago. They also included what they called a “country throwback” for their NYC fans by singing a cover of Diamond Rio’s “Meet Me In The Middle”. It’s a true testament to Carrie Underwood and her team, allowing these rising female artists to take the spotlight on this huge tour, allowing them to garner even more fans as they make their way across the U.S.
As the lights dimmed and giant screens dropped to the stage, deafening screams could be heard swirling around the venue. The anticipation in the room was palpable and from the moment the superstar rose up from the center of the massive stage, she was greeted with screams, cheering and was poised for two hours of entertaining some of her biggest fans. She kicked the night off with her current single, the summer bop “Southbound” and as the songstress strutted around the 360 set up, her sparkly dress glittered throughout the grand arena.
She seamlessly transitioned from hit to hit, barely taking time to slow down, take a breath or stop moving. The concept of having fans completely surround you must be daunting, but the energy level was high, fans could be found holding hands, swaying along and screaming the lyrics back to Underwood as she made her way from one side of the venue to the other. After 15 years in this business and six, well-received, critically acclaimed albums, it must be so hard to pick and choose which songs will make each tour setlist but Underwood carefully chose tracks from each of the records that she holds so near and dear to her heart.
Between oldies like “Wasted” and “Last Name” to brand new tracks from her 2018 album Cry Pretty, “Backsliding”, “End Up With You” and “Drinking Alone”, the songstress did not miss a single note, her voice somehow sounding better live than it does on the studio recordings. She told the crowd how she is especially proud of her latest album, she did a ton of writing for this record and even tried her hand at producing, watching the song take life from the writer’s room to the studio and ultimately what is heard on country radio.
Other stand out moments included when Underwood slowed things down to do a medley of tracks she doesn’t usually perform in concert like sitting at the piano to play “See You Again” while the entire room was lit up by cell phone lights, “Temporary Home” and “Just A Dream” which she mashed with Aerosmith’s “Dream On” and in classic Carrie Underwood fashion, her endnotes would give Steven Tyler a run for his money.
She welcomed back to the stage Maddie and Tae and Runaway June to honor the women of country music’s past. “There are so many reasons that this is possible and those reasons are the women that came before us, the women of country music that blazed the trails, that paved the way, that taught us how to be up here, and to sing and taught us how to write a good cheating song,” she explained. “In honor of those women, we’ve put together a little something special to honor all of the women of country music, but we’ve used a few of our ‘sheroes’. The 6 women strutted around the stage singing a medley of songs from Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Trisha Yearwood to Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and Martina McBride. It was an epic moment and a highlight of an already empowering evening.
After a brief moment, Underwood rose from under the stage once again wearing a striking pink dress under the most stunning glittering chandelier to close out the show with “Cry Pretty” and “Love Wins”. As rainbow-colored confetti rained down, the sold-out venue walked out all smiles, impressed by the incredible country music show they had just witnessed. For more exclusive clips from the show head to NYCountry Swag’s Instagram.
The Cry Pretty Tour 360 continues through the end of the month. For remaining tour dates head to carrieunderwoodofficial.com.
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