Underwood introduced her concert with her 2015 hit “Church Bells, paying homage to her album Storyteller.
Underwood introduced her concert with her 2015 hit “Church Bells,” paying homage to her album “Storyteller.”
Annabella Mireles

Carrie Underwood and the Tale of One Fantastic Concert

Growing up, if I ever had a question regarding music or a musician, I would always go to my dad, no matter what. One of the staples of our home was our giant, thick wooden shelves built by my dad that held hundreds of vinyl records. Each is stacked tightly together, ranging in different cover arts and genres from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones to The Flying Burrito Brothers or the fifth album by The B-52’s Cosmic Thing. My dad passed this love of music to myself and my brothers. Soon, music became my refuge, and listening to anything was a way to help calm and entertain me whenever needed. 

Carrie Underwood performed at the UTEP Don Haskins Center on March 21st, 2024. Annabella Mireles.

However, there was one music genre I struggled getting into, Country music. Even with the limited knowledge and experience I had in listening to country music, I could not groove into that world. Whether it was hearing Willie Nelson on the radio or my friend’s mom belting a twangy tune in her kitchen, I couldn’t see the appeal. As I started maturing and venturing into the world, I saw how popular Country music was, and to be open-minded, I recently accepted the assignment to attend a Carrie Underwood concert.

Sharp-colored strobes that would continue throughout the whole show filled the venue, and a spotlight emerged. Underwood took the stage with shiny blonde hair and a sparkly gray and light blue jean outfit. Along with her highly talented band, Underwood began with “Church Bells,” a rock-inspired tune with crashing drums and a beautiful falsetto recounting a tale of a woman ready for revenge by a man not worthy of her. It wasn’t a coincidence Underwood started her show from her fifth album, “Storyteller”, where throughout the night, she stressed the love she has for songwriting, whether it be a serious or not-so-serious song.

Underwood opened her show in sparkly gray top and silver cowboy chaps, with blue jean shorts. Annabella Mireles.

After “Church Bells,” Underwood greeted an electric and exhilarated crowd. Soon, Underwood would play “Cowboy Casanova” and “Good Girl,” two tunes plucked from the classic country genre. Traditional instruments like the steel guitar and various string instruments were thrown in, with Underwood’s twangy line delivery in addition. Now, the traditional instruments and grooves of classic country music I had always avoided were translated differently in a live format. I was being introduced to a new side of country music.

As we cruised through the set list, Underwood played “All-American Girl,” a track that got one of the biggest crowd reactions that night. It is a song based loosely on Underwood’s life, about what happens when life can unexpectedly give a girl to a family, but most importantly, a “Beautiful, wonderful, perfect, All-American girl.” That, to me, was what the concert was all about: a fantastic artist showing a crowd of women and everyone alike that anything is possible.

Underwood would play more slow-paced and contemplative tunes in the middle of the show, like “Garden,” my favorite song of the night. It is a song where Underwood recounts lessons from her life about her love of nature and her garden that correlates to people understanding that what they sow is what they reap. Soon, the pace picked up, and the latter half of her show included her biggest hits like “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Flat on the Floor” and “Before He Cheats.” It was the most significant high note the show could finish with; the energy was palpable.

Throughout her setlist, Underwood included her biggest hits “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Flat on the Floor” and “Before He Cheats.”Annabella Mireles.

This show proved to me why Country music is so popular, and like me with other genres of music, why so many people find solace in it. Whether it was the expert use of instrumentation from the band or Underwood’s amazing talent as a stage presence, this show was nothing but fireworks. And I will make sure to tell my dad all about it.   

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