Entertainment & Events

Carrie Underwood ‘Underwhelms’

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You know that feeling when you know an activity is going to be bad, but you do it anyway, and you find yourself asking, “Why?”

That was the exact situation I was in when I headed into the Carrie Underwood concert at the Valley View Casino Center (known colloquially to locals as ‘The Sports Arena’) on Friday, Sept. 16th.

Clearly, Carrie is as hot as ever, even after giving birth to a bouncing baby boy 19 months ago.  From gracing the Sunday Night Football intro with a whole new treatment, hosting awards shows and showing up on social media almost daily, Carrie is also in the midst of her new tour. So I decided to do my duty, take one for our Entertainer & Lifestyles Magazine readers and review the show.

Going in, there were already two red flags. The first one was the fact the concert was being performed ‘in the round’. If you never learn another thing from me, know this for a fact; it is never a good thing to attend anything ‘in the round’.

This should present a serious flag that it is not about the music, but instead showcasing the talents’ physical appearances and providing a social media opportunity for those in attendance. People nowadays are more concerned about ‘being there’ and showing their followers, than the actual experience itself. The stage was an oblong monstrosity, parts of which kept elevating up and down, not just facilitating Ms. Underwood’s multiple (and unnecessary) costume changes, but propelling her band up and down throughout the night.

The entire night was spent with Carrie strutting around in her various costumes, all of which were carefully orchestrated to show of her great legs. Meanwhile, she was constantly on the move, always seeming to be far away, with her back toward our section. I’m sure if she was wearing a FitBit, she’d have logged over five miles. Meanwhile, most of the time, my seat had one of her band members strutting around in my face. It wasn’t cool…

The second red flag was that Valley View has always had ridiculously bad acoustics and the stage setup would undoubtedly make them worse. And that was most assuredly true. Sports Arena Management supposedly spent money improving the sound in recent years, but still, there are only about 10 percent of the seats in the house where sound quality is even acceptable in a normal concert setup. But a concert ‘in the round’, combined with those crappy acoustics, made it an embarrassment. Even with a great seat provided by this magazine, (thanks to support from Atlas Tickets), it made one uncomfortable because it was literally impossible to hear Underwood, even when she was speaking and singing acapella. So there we had one of the absolute best voices in America, unable to be heard by her audience. It was shameful.

The experience was so much different from seeing Underwood in concert five years ago, when she produced a simpler, but brilliant show. I call it the ‘Taylor Swift’ effect. At one point, I counted well over half the people on the general admission floor (another abomination to discuss at another time) with their cameras pointed stage-ward, so when she happened to be in front of them, they could record their experience for posterity and of course, social media, letting all their followers know what a wonderful life they supposedly lead.

Life is, indeed good. This concert was not…


  1. AlleyG

    September 19, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Wow. Your “review” was more like a grump Roast. For you to being with a statement like you “took one for the team” by condescending to appear at the show demonstrates your bitter, biased attitude from the start. You never gave Carrie a fair chance, as you clearly do not like either her or her music. So for you to pretend to give her a fair “review” is a joke. She is one of the best vocalists in the world, in any genre, and you were lucky to be in her presence. She has 7 Grammys and over 150 major awards, & is also a nice person. Your nasty attitude is better served for a Tonedeaf Taylor Swift concert, as she actually deserves the rough critique. Carrie, however, does not. It was a great show, and I think we went to two different events altogether. Have a lovely day! Hope your next victim does not suffer such a cruel roast.

  2. ALopez

    September 19, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I saw the show and I could hear everything perfectly. I agree about “in the round” shows though, I hate them. I can’t complain at all about this experience though. I agree with AlleyG. It seems like you went into this event expecting to dislike it.

    “You know that feeling when you know an activity is going to be bad, but you do it anyway, and you find yourself asking, “Why?”

    “So I decided to do my duty, take one for our Entertainer & Lifestyles Magazine readers and review the show.”

    Maybe someone else should have covered this assignment?

  3. Ann

    September 20, 2016 at 7:52 am

    This entire so-called review is a joke. Her Storyteller Tour is critically acclaimed worldwide. I am certain you will not read this article, however it is an article with quotes from reviews. Seven countries and two more on the second leg. Critically aclaimed tour, album, voice, songwriting – not to mention all of the charities she is involved in (and many many are not spoken of) – plus an athleisure clothing line with Dick’s Sporting Goods – oh, and she is contributing $500,000 this year to girls athletics to empower them as they are always left behind. So take your nasty review and – well, I will not say the words – but you know were you can stick it.

    P.S. I could add so much more regarding this amazing, kind, caring – hero to our military – woman (and yes, I have met her), but I will not waste my time nor my breath on you.

  4. Ann

    September 20, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Oh, please forgive me, the wonderful journalist that you are – I left off the link to the article which I am sure you will not read. So, here is the article: http://www.carrieunderwood.fm/news/news/carrie-underwood-wraps-spring-leg-of-the-biggest-tour-of-career-the-storyteller-tour-stories-in-the-round

    I made a mistake but I am strong enough to admit it.

    Have a wonderful day!

  5. Erin

    September 20, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Too bad for San Diego Entertainer Magazine. Apparently their journalists are idiots.

  6. Melissa

    September 20, 2016 at 10:03 am

    You know, I’m not really sure why you attended this show as the others mentioned. It’s clear you have a distaste for Carrie in the first place. I have to say that we must have seen different shows. You see the show I saw, was the most entertaining show I have had the good fortune of seeing. (And I’ve seen many, ‘many performers including Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan to name a few) In fact Carries show was so good, by the time it’s all said and done I will have seen it 5 times. Maybe you don’t like 360 in the round shows because she isn’t in your face 100% of the time. But you know what, this show gives Carrie the opportunity to at one point or another be up close and personal with every single fan in the arena (you know, instead of only being able to see those who were just given corporate sponsored front row seats ).

    You see Carrie isn’t just a singer. Carrie is an entertainer. Entertainers entertain the crowd. That’s why there’s costume changes, and a moving stage, and amazing lights and pyrotechnics. Singers stand on their stage and sing (I could mention several that come to mind but I won’t) Now that’s a snoozer of a concert.

    Now, I am sorry that you couldn’t enjoy yourself at the concert because you were put off by the stage and venue from the moment you had a ticket (that was given to you) Maybe next time you can reach out to me, or better yet a deserving fan who maybe isn’t as fortunate to have the opportunity to see Carrie yet but would have valued what their eyes were witnessing instead of sending some ungrateful “journalist” who had no interest in being there in the first place and writing this “underwhelming” review.

  7. patrick

    September 21, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t even know what this was aside from a rant. All this reviewer did was talk about things in life he does not like. It had almost nothing to do with Carrie Underwood at all. Nor did any of his complaints.
    I am pretty sure I would be happier seeing Carrie Underwood in concert than wasting another few minutes of my life reading your silly reviews……done…..

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