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Concert Reviews:
Carrie Underwood ends tour with treats for Halloween crowd at Little Caesars Arena

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2019

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DETROIT -- "Someone who lives here told me that we saved the best for last," Carrie Underwood told fans Thursday night, Oct. 31, at Little Caesars Arena.

And while modest in size -- likely owing to Halloween conflicts -- the crowd did its best throughout the two-hour show to let the multi-platinum "American Idol" champ know that was indeed the case.

Underwood certainly brought her best to the final night of her Cry Pretty Tour 360. With her voice showing only slight wear and tear after 64 shows, she presented a dazzling visual, pyrotechnic-laden spectacle while still keeping the focus on the 26 songs she and her eight-piece band, full and partial, played throughout the night. And as the closing show, of course, it had a little extra meaning for Underwood.

"it's hard to believe it's ending, it's over," she said at one point. "It has been a super duper fun ride. We're gonna miss all of it. I'm looping all these things in my mind so I never forget them."

Underwood's support acts gave her something extra to remember, too. During a medley of hits by her country music forebears -- the musical highlight of the show -- she was joined by Maddie & Tae and Runaway June, all sporting masks and costumes, while members of the former's band dressed in drag. "I feel like I had a dream like this in some part of my life," Underwood quipped, though she didn't let the gags interrupt the flow of the 10 song snippets.

As its name suggests, the Cry Pretty Tour 360 is another in-the-round production for Underwood, who sported six glittery outfits and spent the night working her way around a massive stage shaped like a crying eye, with fans on the general admission floor cheering from all sides. Platforms on the stage raised and lowered Underwood and her band members at various junctures, while a network of scrims above doubled as settings and video screens.

The troupe started on a sprint with an energetic "Southbound," Underwood flanked by fireworks, and seldom took its foot off the pedal as it romped through "Cowboy Casanova," "Good Girl" and a brawny "Last Night." Even ballads such as “Backsliding," "End Up With You" and "Low" had a muscular quality that set up Underwood's lung-busting final notes. She also dipped deep into her catalog for another medley of seldom-played material such as "Temporary Home," "See You Again," "I Know You Won't" and "Just a Dream" -- the latter bisected with a bit of Aerosmith's "Dream On."

The slinky "Drinking Alone" was particularly well staged, a fedora-adorned Underwood sang on a chase lounge as projections on the scrims turned the stage into a temporary speakeasy. And as part of a tour promotion, Underwood brought one fan -- Nick from Grand Rapids -- on stage to perform Ludacris' rap during "The Champion," which he dedicated to his mother in the crowd.

A potent trio of "Before He Cheats," "Cry Pretty" and "Love Wins" brought the show, and the tour, to an end, with a full-company dance party celebrating a job well done. We'll next see Underwood co-hosting the 53rd Annual Country Music Association Awards, where she's up for Entertainer of the Year and other prizes. And as far as fans at Thursday's show were concerned, she should win every one of them.

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