Carrie Underwood brings some wholesome girl power to Vancouver

Carrie Underwood with Runaway June and Maddie & Tae at Rogers Arena, 5/25/19

Photo by Ryan Johnson

Country music star and American Idol alum Carrie Underwood brought her Cry Pretty Tour 360 to Vancouver over the weekend, and the show was all about girl power. Underwood was supported by an all-female lineup of country acts Runaway June and Maddie & Tae.

Most poignantly, the Saturday Rogers Arena show coincided with the 14th anniversary of her American Idol win, which inspired Underwood to take a trip down memory lane with former favourites like “Temporary Home” and “Just a Dream.” The early portion of Underwood’s set had some pretty high-power hits like “Good Girl,” “Cowboy Casanova” and “Last Name”—all of which are quintessential Underwood. She was dressed in a sparkly short, red dress with black ankle boots, and would keep the glitz going with multiple costume changes throughout the evening.

Photo by Ryan Johnson

The whole night was extremely wholesome. Underwood’s setlist featured some of her most faith-centered tracks, from “Temporary Home” to the now seemingly classic “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” In between songs the country star reiterated that love, family and God were important to her, saying that some of her colleagues in country music choose to sing about drinking and drugs. That’s not her style, she said.

Even though Underwood had two opening bands, she began her set at 8:30 p.m., which is one of the earliest weekend headlining shows in recent history. The arena was also filled with guests of all ages, from toddlers to teens to adults to grandparents.

Photo by Ryan Johnson

The stage sat at the center of the arena in a large oval shape—it had moving platforms and Underwood continuously walked from side to side of the stage to give everyone in the audience their money’s worth. Openers Runaway June and Maddie & Tae joined Underwood for a women of country music medley which included homages to Dolly Parton, “9 to 5,” Tammy Wynette, “Stand By Your Man,” Trisha Yearwood, “She’s in Love With a Boy,” and Shania Twain, “Man, I Feel Like a Woman.” While the songs are beloved classics, the renditions seemed a little forced and low-energy—mostly due to Runaway June and Maddie & Tae, who were a little stiff.

Underwood’s voice left nothing to be desired; it was on and it was powerful. The tracks that got the biggest reactions were “Before He Cheats” and “Undo It,” which came near the end of her set. It was clear concertgoers left satisfied, most likely getting everything they came for.

Photo by Ryan Johnson