It took Carrie Underwood's band all night to finally step back and let her sing.
Underwood's last two songs, “I Know You Won't” and “Blown Away,” finally let her vocals shine through.
The country superstar performed for almost two hours to a near-sellout crowd — more than 13,000 people — at one of the last shows of her Blown Away Tour on Sunday at the CenturyLink Center.
Her eight-member band is a talented bunch, but they often blew away Underwood's vocals. Her voice is big-time, and it erupts with power. She could easily carry any song by herself, but the eight-member band often drowned her out with way too many guitars, banjo notes and backing vocals (which she doesn't need).
It was too much sometimes, especially because it overshadowed Underwood's generous talent.
In general, it was like many other country shows: lots to look at, pretty entertaining and full of bells and whistles, but any country fan has probably seen them all before.
The show was designed to make everyone's eyes focus on Underwood. With the band mostly off in the wings (and dressed in black) on the large, stark, dark stage, Underwood and her colorful costumes shined under tons of spotlights.
“Good evening. How's everybody doing in Omaha tonight?” she asked after singing “Wasted.” “We've been everywhere, man, and we're glad we've been saving some awesome shows for last.”
Five different costumes (dresses, daisy dukes and tons of glitter and rhinestones), six video screens that moved around and a section of the stage that floated above the audience added to the glitzy spectacle.
For four songs — “Get Out of This Town,” “Nobody Ever Told You,” “All-American Girl” and “One Way Ticket” — Underwood and three members of her band stood on the floating platform. Those songs were among the show's best as the band performed with all acoustic instruments and gave a different take on the tunes.
“Jesus, Take the Wheel” was another favorite as fans applauded and sang while Underwood belted out the lyrics.
The crowd was way into the show. When the opening notes of “Before He Cheats,” “Two Black Cadillacs” and “Last Name” filled the arena, the audience began screaming.
“Thank you so much. You guys were so fabulous,” Underwood said. “God bless you guys. Good night!”
Opener Hunter Hayes had many in the young, female-heavy audience yelling out “I love you” and “Will you marry me?”
“Storm Warning,” “Wanted,” “Somebody's Heartbreak” and “I Want Crazy” — all of Hayes' hits — were included in his short set list, which I figured would be a smash. Hayes is a popular guy in country music right now.
What I wasn't expecting was how talented Hayes actually is, especially on the guitar.
He played a few different instruments and jammed on some blues licks, finger-picked acoustic melodies and even played piano on “Wanted.”
It was a cool, quiet, intimate moment (at least until his band jumped in and killed it).
Contact the writer: 402-444-1557, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/owhmusicguy