Then from beneath the tough exterior Underwood unleashed her powerful southern voice singing the emotional “Wasted.” It was then that the crowd knew why they had come — Underwood’s legendary voice packed a punch that was not to be missed.
Underwood stepped onto the Reno Event Center stage fresh from the Academy of Country Music Awards, where she won top female vocalist for the third year in a row. The singer held her own against the other nominees: Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes and Taylor Swift.
The Carnival Ride tour paired two voices that are in a league all their own. Josh Turner warming up the crowd with his deep voice and country-crooner style. Turner, who’s 45-minute set opened with “Firecracker.” Turner packed a vocal punch with selections from his latest album released, “Everything is Fine.”
Turner’s one-of-a-kind voice was a fitting introduction to Underwood, a singer whose strong southern voice can hold its own against other female country legends. Monday night Underwood proved to the Reno crowd why her voice won female vocalist of the year.
After performing a few selections from her 2007 album, “Carnival Ride,” Underwood descended below stage, reemerging transformed from country rocker to fairy tale beauty. As soft clouds floated on the screen behind her, Underwood sang her breakout hit, “Jesus Take the Wheel.” She turned the microphone over several times to a crowd that seemed to know all the words by heart.
After one more ballads, the clouds that had been floating across the projector parted and Underwood left her princess’s pedestal declaring “I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore.”
A few more songs and another costume change later, Underwood let her voice fly and rocked the crowd with her bad-girl hit “Last Name.”
“Now kids, that’s bad,” Underwood warned the crowd after performing the song that describes a wild, drunken marriage in Vegas. “That’s why we sing songs about it so we don’t actually do stuff like that.”
Underwood was the innocent girl from Checotah, Oak., again as she performed “Don’t Forget To Remember Me,” and thoughtfully strummed her guitar.
As the show wrapped up, Underwood sang a fist-pumping cover of the Guns N’ Roses classic, “Paradise City” and ended with the vengeful “Before he Cheats.”
The performance was an exhibition of country vocal talent.
Underwood will be making a special appearance on the season finale of Fox's American Idol, the TV show that launched her career, Wednesday at 7 p.m.