Sunday, March 24, 2013

Carrie Underwood in Roanoke


It is now official.  I am too old to go to concerts.  I am whining about the Roanoke Civic Center until I am boring even myself.  The seats were lumpy and uncomfortable.  There was no leg room.  Worse than the most crowded of airline seats with the added attraction of possibly tumbling down a very steep hill and killing those below you and, more than likely, yourself.   The worst part is it is enclosed and small (7000+ seats) and the sound systems were likely geared for larger arenas so that you almost lose your hearing.  So I take ear plugs and the sound is muffled and not great.

See?  Don't I sound like an old geezer?  "These concerts are too loud.  I don't know how young kids today keep their hearing."  Like that.  I grew up in Southern California and remember going to the open air Greek Theater and Hollywood Bowl.  They were great, even with uncomfortable seats.  More leg room, no danger of falling, no going deaf. (By the way, thank you Darryl Dickerhoff.  I don't know if I ever expressed proper gratitude for those long ago concerts. I hate remembering dumb stuff I did as a kid.)


That being said, it was a good concert.  The opening act was Hunter Hayes.  I had never heard of him, but my daughter had and said he was good.  He was quite the musician, playing on an acoustic and electric guitars and a few songs on the piano.  He did a lot of jumping at the end of songs reminding me of Michael J. Fox in Back To The Future.  The girls in the crowd LOVED him.  He even came back during Carrie Underwood's performance to sing a duet with her...more screams from little girls holding up signs that stated they LOVED him..

Lee was not too impressed because, after all, the last concert we went to in Roanoke had Lady Antebellum AND Darius Rucker as opening acts for Brad Paisley.  Hard to beat them.  But then,  we aren't little girls.  I don't remember lots of screaming during THAT concert.  I do remember both Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw doing some "unplugged" sets where I could take out my earplugs and just enjoy.  Carrie Underwood did all LOUD songs with a lot of power in the high notes and she is great, but I had to keep the plugs in all night.  No soft ballads for her.


She did have quite a few costume changes, something Brad and Tim never did. ; )  There was a really cool/scary few songs where she rode a small stage attached to a railing over the arena.  It wobbled and swayed and I prayed that it would not fall on the crowd below. 


She had some great visuals as scenes were played on the backdrop and a lot of fancy strobe lights.  I don't know it was planned that way, but we were frequently blinded by powerful lights aimed right at us.  Then we couldn't see the stage, or much of anything else when they finally aimed elsewhere.


Two more comments that have nothing to do with the show.  At every Carrie Underwood concert, $1.00 is collect from every ticket to go to the Red Cross.  At over 7,000 seats, that is a nice donation.  Every concert!

Notice all the little lights.  That is people on cell phones.  A lot of them are taking video of the performance.  But SCADS of them were people scrolling or texting or Facebooking (is that a verb?).


I don't get it.  You pay all that money and go to all the trouble to go to the concert and you can't just watch and listen?  You can't wait to tweet that you went to the concert until after?  See how old I am?

All complaining aside, Carrie Underwood gave a great show and I'm glad we went.  In a different venue, I would have no complaints. 

Next time we go to the Civic Center, I guess it will have to be an orchestra event without amplifiers for this old broad.  On the other hand, Bill Cosby is coming and I love him.  I might laugh myself sick, but I can handle that!


  1. Rebecca, I am so in agreement with your comments about live musical performances like the one you attended. Yes, I would go to a Bill Cosby show and we would dearly like to see Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theatre in MN as we listen every Sat nite we can at home. We did see a road show performace in VA Beach a couple of years ago, not really that good.

  2. I agree with you completely. The last event I went to the Civic Center very well may have been my last.

  3. Yes, I agree too. We saw the Cirque du Soleil at the Civic Center and I was shocked to find that I wasn't impressed. We were hundreds of yards away, the acoustics were awful, the seats were tiny. Same thing with Straight No Chaser. But even WORSE was the Salem Civic Center a couple weeks ago, which managed to make the Roanoke Symphony and Bernadette Peters a NOT great performance. I'm afraid that our Civic Centers were designed more for Monster Truck Shows and Flea Markets than for any kind of artistic/musical show. Ok I'm done complaining- I love your pictures of the snow!!!!

  4. Sorry to hear what Lisa said about Benadette Peters Roy and I have tickets for next month at the Orange County Performing Art Center. I will ley you know how it was.