Carrie Underwood @ Choctaw Grand Theater, Durant, OK

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
As in all my reviews, I always try to convey my true thoughts and feelings of an artist’s performance. And almost always I’m a fan of the band or entertainer I’m seeing. But with Carrie Underwood, it was a bit different, I only really knew about a handful of her songs. I know, “Mr. concert review guy, you should expand your horizons.” Well let me tell you after seeing her live at Choctaw Casino’s Grand Theater, I will be paying closer attention to the lady from Muskogee, OK!

I knew about the voice, I knew about American Idol, I knew she sang the song, “Two Black Cadillacs”, and that my friends is about the extent of my Carrie Underwood knowledge. One thing I certainly didn’t know, this chick is also a rocker! She has performed with Guns N' Roses, hung out with Papa Roach, and covered “Mama I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy Osbourne! But I think what I was least prepared for was the fans, they’re some of the most devout followers I think I’ve ever seen! And this one-off show brought them out in force, sold out to be exact!

Songs about all things dark, light, and somewhere in between are scattered throughout the beefy twenty-two song setlist. Underwood’s stop in the Sooner State comes hot on the heels of a successful residency in Las Vegas at Resorts World Casino. The Vegas appearances were centered around her latest release, Denim and Rhinestones (Deluxe Edition). The Okies sent up big cheers as she talked about her recent travels and how nice it was to be close to home. She also shares with her audience that she enjoys playing characters in her songs. Reenforcing this sentiment the superstar entertainer brings the apparition of “Ghost Story” to life with her vivid vocalization.

If anyone in attendance was non-believer of Underwood’s talent, her live rendition of “Cry Pretty” would remove all doubt. The overall conviction in the delivery of this song makes you believe Miss Underwood has lived this song more than once. Many held hands high in praise as she sang the spiritually motivated tune “Something In The Water.” In stark contrast she followed up with “Last Name”, a number that focuses on a drunken evening and subsequent wedding vows said shortly thereafter. It becomes apparent no subject matter is off limits for this idol.

After a supercharged cover of Guns N' Roses' “Paradise City”, it appeared the 2020 Entertainer of the Year was leaving the stage to await an encore. Stopping suddenly, she addresses the crowd, “normally this is where I walk offstage, wait for your applause, and come back out for the encore.” But tonight, she saves everyone the trouble by sliding directly into “Before He Cheats.” Of course, everyone goes bonkers and then they go home happy! So, you may ask what did I take away from the show? Real talent is out there, I just wish it didn’t take a TV show for it to be discovered.

Thank you, Carrie Underwood, for allowing MTC MAG to be in the house. And Choctaw Casino thank you for hosting another great show!

Photos of the show are below:

Contributed by Duane Clawson
Carrie Underwood @ Choctaw Grand Theater, Durant, OK Carrie Underwood @ Choctaw Grand Theater, Durant, OK Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on October 23, 2023 Rating: 5
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