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Concert Recap: Carrie Underwood

A week or so ago I went to the Carrie Underwood show in Reading, PA. This might have been my sixth or seventh time seeing her and every time she gets better and better. She added new high-tech and moving giant video screens, plus a stage that floated above the crowd so she could get super close to her fans.

Check out my video recap:

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Carrie Underwood: No babies…right now

Carrie Underwood was front and center at this year’s ACM Awards…she was not only nominated but she opened the show with her new single “Good Girl.”

On the red carpet, Carrie talked to Extra about the future with her husband Mike Fisher and how they are in no rush to start a family. “I’m good right now. As long as he’s playing [hockey] and I’m doing this, it doesn’t make sense…so no babies,” Carrie said. The couple has been married since 2010 and she’s been super busy, so motherhood isn’t something she’s thinking about right now.

She told Extra, “I have my best friend around me all the time. Everybody’s like ‘the first year is the hardest’ and I’m like, ‘that’s it? That was the hardest? Come on, you can do better than that!’ It’s great; he’s wonderful.”

In other Carrie news, besides the release of her new album on May 1, she’s been rumored to be a new judge on Simon Cowell’s show X Factor. However, Carrie has made it quite clear that she would ever turn her back on the show that made her a superstar…American Idol. In the same red carpet interview with Extra, Carrie said, “I think it’s great that Simon has the X Factor show, and I love seeing all of these shows giving nobodies a big opportunity. But I’m an Idol girl all the way. That’s the one that I love and watch. I can’t see myself being a part of any other show like that.”

I’m totally okay with Carrie waiting to have children…I would just like to see her decide on what she’s doing this summer. Is she going to tour to support this new album? I’ll bet she’ll be at the iHeartRadio concert in Las Vegas in September…but what about an arena tour or something. Maybe she’ll wait until this fall…but make some sort of announcement. I also think it’s about time she return to Idol. A J.Lo/Carrie song would be awesome! What do you think?

ACM Performance Recap

If you like country music then you probably caught the Academy of Country Music Awards last night…if not, I’ll sum up my favorite part of the show…THE PERFORMANCES. Many artists debuted new music, whether new singles or music from new albums. I think the music this year was very fresh and wasn’t repetitive from many of the last award shows.

Carrie Underwood opened the show with a performance of her new song, “Good Girl,” from her upcoming album Blown Away. Carrie’s fourth album hits shelves on May 1. There hasn’t been a tour announced for this summer yet, but the iHeartRadio Music Festival organizers told the media today that there would be another event this September and hopefully Carrie will be reprising her performance again. Check out Carrie’s performance below…I wasn’t too impressed by this one, she still blows away a lot of the other vocalists even for a “bad” performance, but she seemed winded at times. She makes up for it by her stunning looks and awesome stage presence…decide for yourself and leave a comment below.

Another great performance of a new song is Eric Church’s “Springsteen” off his amazing record Chief. If you’re not a fan of Eric’s yet, you need to start listening to him NOW. I think this song will be a summer hit, people just need to give him a listen and they’ll be hooked. Eric took part in the annual pre-ACM tradition of playing to hundreds of fans at the Fremont Street fan concert this year. The video below is from that show, but he also sang the song during the award show telecast. Take a listen and see how much he interacts with his audience…once you see how fun his show are, download or buy his album, you won’t regret it.

One of my favorite performances of the evening was with Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. By now everyone knows they are touring together this summer, but it was news to me (until last night) that they recorded a song together. “Feel Like A Rockstar” is off Kenny’s upcoming album Welcome To The Fishbowl. It’s definitely a departure from Kenny’s laid-back, beach approach to music…which he’s successfully taken advantage of in the last decade, but certainly didn’t upset any fans who most likely enjoyed the performance last night. It’s clear Tim and Kenny will be having one helluva good time this summer and for those of you who have a ticket to any of those shows you are in for a good time. Watch the video below and let me know what your think.

The last of the performances that I’m highlighting is Rascal Flatts. Their new single, “Bango,” hit the radio a few weeks ago and the group sang a great rendition of the tune with banjo-afficionado, comedian Steve Martin. The band’s new album called Changed features the new hit, but minus any Steve Martin banjo playing. It’s a good tune but nothing spectacular. The group has been over-shadowed the last few years by Lady Antebellum and this song isn’t going to make a run good enough to pass them. I think people will like it because it’s catchy but if you want to win back any old Flatts fans that have become Lady A fans…they’re going to need to try a little harder. Judge for yourself and leave a comment below.

Other notable performances:
-Chris Young was on par with his performance of “Save Water, Drink Beer.” It’s a departure from his last few singles…”Voices,” “Tomorrow,” or “You”…but definitely still connects with fans.
-Zac Brown Band hit the stage to sing “Whiskey’s Gone” and was joined by Brad Paisley in a great guitar matchup that made for a great unexpected collaboration.
-Miranda Lambert pulled on the heartstrings with the Blake Shelton-penned tune “Over You.”
-I loved, loved, loved the new song from The Band Perry…”Postcard From Paris”…if you haven’t gotten their album, go get it!
-Jason Aldean (who was robbed of the Best Album) performed “Fly Over States.”
-A Bono-endorsement for Dierks Bentley was well-deserved for his tune “Home.” Another great album, if you don’t already have it.
-I don’t need an excuse to watch Luke Bryan…ever. Even though “I Don’t Want This Night To End” has been out for a while now, I still thoroughly enjoyed the performance. I think he sounded great, maybe even the best sounding artist of the night.
-Lady Antebellum also sang my favorite song of theirs…”Dancing Away With My Heart.” This trio is the best around and whether they are singing the alphabet or one of their hit songs, I will still be listening.

There were other great performances but I think I summed up the best-of-the-best. I was a little bummed we didn’t hear Taylor Swift or Sugarland or even co-host Reba McEntire…but the on-stage wedding with Martina McBride and Train’s Pat Monahan or the country take-over of Lionel Richie or the odd appearance of rock legends KISS…there was certainly something for everyone.

BEST OF 2011: Red Carpet Look

Not only is the music this year top notch, but everyone was looking good too.  Whether at an awards show or other special event, there were a few stars who stood out.  I picked a male, female and group winner as my Best Red Carpet Look this year.  Let me know if you agree.

BEST FEMALE: CARRIE UNDERWOOD

Carrie didn’t release any new music this year or have a tour, but the girl knows how to look good.  She made her first appearance with husband Mike Fisher at the 2011 Grammy Awards.

Plus, she switched up colors and length with dresses at the…
ACM’s

 CMA’s

ACA’s

BEST MALE: KEITH URBAN

Much like Carrie, Keith has a great companion in wife Nicole Kidman to accompany him at most, if not all, his public appearances.  Keith always looks sharp and most might think it’s easy dressing for red carpets as a man, but not all guys can pull it off.  Here’s Keith and Nicole looking great at the Golden Globes, where Nicole was nominated.

Plus, he dressed up nice for other events, all pics include Nicole, it’s pretty hard to find a shot of him on the red carpet without her.

 

BEST GROUP: LADY ANTEBELLUM

The fashion of Lady A has certainly gotten better over the last couple of years.  Hillary has made some good choices lately and the boys are taking her lead.  The band does tend to wear black…a lot…but it works, so why change something that looks so good.  One of my favorites this year was the trio at the Grammy Awards.

There were other events where the band wore black…looking good.

 HONORABLE MENTION:

– Taylor Swift –

– Jake Owen –

– Pistol Annies –

BEST OF 2011: Country Songs

Along with the top country albums this year comes top country songs.  My list is clearly personal and by no means is determined like lists posted through Billboard.com or any other year-end lists…but I’d like to think that my choices are some of the songs that you liked listening to this year too.  So check out what songs I appreciated this year and let me know your thoughts.


–Brad Paisley/Carrie Underwood “Remind Me”
When this song came out I got very excited when I found out Carrie was on it.  She doesn’t sing on the song right away so you wouldn’t know it until the chorus comes around.  The song received more hype when the video came out.  It featured Carrie and Brad on the desert.  Knowing their comedic relationship, it was weird seeing them singing a romantic song…with Carrie’s dress practically blowing off her body and Brad looking good strumming his guitar…but the two made it work.  It got even better seeing them perform it live on this year’s CMA Awards.

–Luke Bryan “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”
This song became a favorite of mine really quickly and it even convinced me to buy the album.  I can proudly say that I’m am hooked on Luke and will listen to him constantly.  I first starting liking him with “All My Friends Say” and I completely fell in love after his hot performance on this year’s CMT Awards.  There are a couple other songs off Tailgates & Tanlines…but this song sets the tone and has really catapulted Luke’s career.

–Thompson Square “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”
The husband and wife duo really took off running with their debut single.  The song picked up a few trophies at this year’s ACA’s and the they are also up for two Grammy Awards for the song.  It’s a great tune that peaked at number one and is a great starting point.  I think their voices mesh really well together and they have a style and swagger that is very appealing.  Other songs from Thompson Square include one of my favorites “I Got You” and I look foward to seeing what this duo does in 2012.

–Blake Shelton “Honeybee”
If you didn’t know who Blake was before 2011, you sure do now…he’s everywhere.  Considering he is very blunt and sarcastic, it’s very refreshing to hear him sing a song like “Honeybee.”  I don’t see many other artists getting away with singing a song about flowers and sunshine.  However, he does so magnificently and everytime I heard the song on the radio I turned it up.  The number one song boosted the album to number one and ended 2011 for Blake on a high note.

–Jake Owen “Barefoot Bluejean Night”
The song became Jake’s first number one.  He’s had a lot of great hits in the past few years, but this certainly is one of those songs that will age with him…a true career song.  It was released at the right time…over the summer…and was very relatable.  There’s nothing better than a fun, upbeat song to get you through the hot summer months.  His heartthrob status was confirmed in a great video that captured his personality perfectly.

–Kenny Chesney/Grace Potter “You And Tequila”
One of my favorite Kenny songs came in this tune.  His move to include a female voice on this song was genius and even moreso when he chose Grace.  The song didn’t reach number one on the charts, but it’s a number one song in my books.  The CMA’s agreed too, because the song was awarded Best Music Video Of The Year.  It captured Kenny’s beach mentality and will forever be one of my go-to songs.

–Eli Young Band “Crazy Girl”
This band has been around for a couple years and caught my attention with their album Jet Black & Jealous…but didn’t start getting attention until this year.  With the release of Life At Best, the band is finally getting recognized especially with the number one song “Crazy Girl” which helped the album to Platinum status.  I suggest checking them out because big things are going to happen for the Eli Young Band in the future.

–David Nail “Let It Rain”
I don’t think I spent a single commute to and from work without hearing this song the last couple months.  He has a very distinct voice and no matter what he sings, I am mesmerized.  I loved “Red Light,” “I’m About To Come Alive,” and “Turning Home” from his previous album so I was excited when we started hearing new stuff on the radio.  This song hasn’t charted higher than number four or earned any award nominations but I really think this song is guiding him in the right direction.  Keep it up!

–Taylor Swift “Mean”
This is the third single from Speak Now and is definitely a departure from her usual fluffy, love songs.  I definitely wasn’t in love with this song off the bat, but I have become much more appreciative of it over time.  Her ode to those who have criticized her is refreshing and is a lot more pleasant to hearing in song than in verbal complaints.  The song itself has two nominations at the Grammy Awards…plus the record has one.  She also cleaned up at the award shows this year…highlighted by being named Entertainer of the Year at the CMA’s and ACM’s.  Not a bad year…

–The Band Perry “If I Die Young”
We found out this year that Kimberly Perry is a fantastic songwriter after winning both Single and Song of the Year for “If I Die Young” at the CMA Awards.  She penned the number one tune and opened our eyes to the new side of country music.  The newcomers also earned their first Grammy nomination.  After being out on tour all year, part of the year with Tim McGraw, they are set to start 2012 on the road with Brad Paisley…but not before appearing on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.  The band has been making appearances on many talk shows and holiday specials, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing even more of this sibling band in 2012.

CMA’s Countdown: 2 days

Rehearsals are underway for this week’s CMA’s.  The show is just two days away.

Hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood met with several Clear Channel radio people to talk about the show and lots more! Check it out below…some of it is pretty funny.

Besides Brad and Carrie…Martina McBride, The Band Perry and (my fav) Faith Hill were among the first artists rehearsing for the show on Sunday (Nov.6).

The 45th Annual CMA Awards airs live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, November 9 at 8PM on ABC.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Kelly Clarkson Covers Carrie Underwood

Kelly Clarkson covered a old favorite of mine “I Know You Won’t.”  It’s a classic Carrie Underwood song and if you’ve seen or heard Carrie sing it live you know she nails it everytime.  I couldn’t imagine someone else attempting to sound as good or better than Carrie when she sings that song.  However, Kelly did a fantastic job at singing it at a recent concert.  Check out Kelly’s rendition below plus Carrie when she sang it at the Grand Ole Opry and let me know which you like more.

iHeart Radio Music Festival Recap

Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts represented country music at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas over the weekend.  The two day event that quite possibly be the greatest idea ever for  music buffs went down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.  Artists such as Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson and many others.  The full lineup included acts from all different genres and considering tickets went at around $45 just about anybody could have snagged a ticket, of course before they sold out in a matter of minutes.  Radio giant, Clear Channel, definitely scored with this hopefully annual festival and maybe there will be a chance to actually get to the show instead of relying on either listening online or through a gaming device.

Here’s some video of Carrie performing:

She also met up with Joe Jonas, but she was plastered all over gossip websites for her new hairstyle, bangs included…what do you think?

   

Rascal Flatts also hit the stage, performing their recent hit “Easy” with Natasha Bedingfield.

Plus, the trio performed one of my favorites “Fast Cars & Freedom”:

And Day Two of the festival included Kenny Chesney. 

He performed hits such as “Beer In Mexico” and “Living In Fast Forward.”  Check out the performance below:

Carrie and Miranda Duet in Canada

Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert shared the stage during the Capital Hoedown Country Music Festival Friday night (August 12), offering a mash-up of Carrie’s Number 1 smash hit “Before He Cheats” and Miranda’s first Top 10 single, “Gunpowder and Lead.”

The Canadian music event, held in Ottawa, Ontario, hosted more than 45,000 eager country music fans throughout the three-day event.  Reports of fan friction created after Carrie’s hockey player hubby was traded from Ottawa to Nashville, were obviously greatly exaggerated as Carrie’s performance was clearly well-received by her hubby’s former hometown crowd.

The two joined a lineup that also included Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Billy Currington, Sara Evans, Easton Corbin and Justin Moore.

Check out video footage below.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Carrie/Brad’s ‘Remind Me’

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley have gotten to know each other pretty well the last couple of years.  They’ve co-hosted the CMA Awards for the last two years and are set to take the reigns again this November, so it wasn’t a surprise when Brad asked Carrie to sing on a duet with him for his latest album This Is Country Music.

On recording the song, Carrie notes, “It was the most unorganized thing I had ever been a part of. I had never done anything like that before. It all worked out so perfectly. I was so happy. I felt like that was given to us. I was so excited about the song once the words became established and I was so happy he didn’t deliver [his album] on time. It kept it in the moment, just doing it off the cuff. It wouldn’t have been the same song had we recorded it and recorded it.”

Well it seems to all have worked out.  Plus it doesn’t hurt that two of the best voices in country music are on the song.  You can watch the official video below.  It’s definitely not what I would have expected and I’m not sure if a dress was the best option for Carrie, although if you had legs like that who wouldn’t want to show them off.  Take a look!