A version of this review appears in Friday’s Weekend Life section of The Oklahoman.
Carrie Underwood’s “The Blown Away Tour: Live”
The flashy costume changes, the force-of-nature special effects and the humungous hits are expertly showcased on Carrie Underwood’s “The Blown Away Tour: Live.”
But the Checotah native’s powerhouse voice still rightly steals the show on her first concert DVD.
For fans who missed the country music superstar’s theatrical yearlong tour, which featured 112 dates in 110 cities, in six countries and on three continents, or attendees who want to relive one of her compelling concerts, “The Blown Away Tour: Live” captures the entertaining experience with crystalline picture, close-up views and superb sound, plus all the comforts of home. The 2012 leg of Underwood’s third headlining trek included Oklahoma City and Tulsa concerts, and the DVD gave me fond flashbacks of her Chesapeake Energy Arena show 11 months ago.
The DVD was filmed in March at the six-time Grammy winner’s sold-out show in Ontario, Calif., with Christian Lamb directing and Domenic Potter producing the one hour and 40 minute live concert. The 20-song set list is dominated by chart-toppers like “Undo It,” “Last Name,” “Cowboy Casanova,” “Two Black Cadillacs” and “Before He Cheats,” but the 2005 “American Idol” victor also rocks album cuts like “Flat on the Floor,” “Leave Love Alone” and “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun.”
“We have got a mighty fine show for you guys tonight, one that I am very proud of,” Underwood declares after belting “Wasted.”
She has every right to be: The singer delivers a show-stopping medley of her hit “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and the hymn “How Great Thou Art” and nails one of her earliest live renditions of her 2012 “Blown Away” album’s latest emotional single, “See You Again.” In one of the tour’s highlights, Underwood and her band soar high above the crowd on a small stage fashioned like a rustic corral for the uplifting cuts “Get Out of This Town” and “Nobody Ever Told You,” stay aloft for her smash “All-American Girl” and then toss leis into the cheering crowd for the island-inspired ditty “One Way Ticket.”
The show is divided into four acts and an encore — titled “Storm Warning,” “Lightning,” “Calm,” “Twister” and “Blown Away,” respectively — with Underwood’s signature wardrobe quick-changes setting the tone for each one and the manmade tornado that spins up during the title track providing an appropriately grand finale. While the lyrics and video to “Blown Away” make obvious references to “The Wizard of Oz,” tour director Raj Kapoor reveals in the DVD extras that more subtle nods to Dorothy and friends were sprinkled throughout the production, from the “Over the Rainbow” colors that fill the giant video screens for “Good Girl” to the Emerald City motif that goes with “I Told You So.”
Bonus materials: Four behind-the-scenes featurettes that include interviews with Underwood and Kapoor; a fascinating time-lapse video of the setup, performance and breakdown of a show; a still image gallery; and the four music videos from her “Blown Away” album — “Good Girl,” “Blown Away,” “Two Black Cadillacs” and “See You Again.”
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