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Review: Carrie Underwood blows audience away with powerhouse vocals in Columbus concert

Tim Kubick / For The Lantern

When Carrie Underwood performed “Before He Cheats,” the thousands of fans at the Schottenstein Center sang along at a near impossibly loud volume, helping Underwood end her set pre-encore with a bang.

Underwood came to Columbus Tuesday night as part of her “Blown Away Tour” with opening artist Hunter Hayes.

When an artist wins American Idol, chances are they have the pipes to blow audiences away in concert, and Underwood proved just that. She performed a 21-song set and a two-song encore with seemingly flawless vocals.

Underwood opened her show with power anthem “Good Girl” from her fourth album and the tour’s namesake, “Blown Away.” The majority of the audience was on its feet singing along with the beautiful blonde, who took the stage in a shimmering purple, pink and black dress.

Her set provided a nice mix of songs from “Blown Away,” including “Two Black Cadillacs” and “One Way Ticket,” along with old fan favorites such as “All-American Girl” and “Jesus Take the Wheel.”

Throughout the show she had energy that just wouldn’t quit, pleasing the crowd with hits like “Undo It” and “Last Name,” while still getting sentimental with slower songs like “Temporary Home” and “Do You Think About Me.”

When Underwood began to perform “Get Out of This Town,” from her sophomore album “Carnival Ride,” the platform she and her band stood on rose out of the stage and floated above the crowd. She sang six songs mid-air, including the emotional “Thank God For Hometowns,” which Underwood dedicated to her small-town Oklahoma roots.

Eventually the floating platform, which appeared to be carried by four giant paper lanterns, touched down back on the stage.

After a brief costume change, Underwood reappeared to sing “Leave Love Alone” with Hayes. As a duo, they sounded great together. Underwood also shared the stage with a hologram of Brad Paisley to sing their song “Remind Me,” and despite Paisley’s lack of physical presence, the two had undeniable chemistry.

Perhaps the only disappointment of the concert was Underwood’s cover of “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith. While it proved she has unbelievable range and can nail more than a country or pop song, it seemed to be an unnecessary, confusing choice.

However if that was a slip-up, she more than made up for it with her encore.

After a short break following the powerful “Before He Cheats,” Underwood returned to perform her heart-wrenching song “I Know You Won’t.” While the song was never released as a single, it is one of Underwood’s best. It shows off her incredible range better than almost any other.

Her finale was appropriately reserved for her summer hit “Blown Away.” With most of the audience singing along and a storm brewing on the screens behind her, Underwood finished the show on just as high of a note as she started it.

Country newcomer Hayes also impressed with a seven-song set to open the show, notably performing his breakout single “Storm Warning” and his more recent singles “Somebody’s Heartbreak” and “Wanted.”

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