First things first: I was absolutely floored by Carrie’s voice. But more on that later.
The Apple Music Festival, aka iTunes festival, hosted at the Roundhouse didn’t catch my eye until I heard that Mumford & Sons are playing. It was only then I checked the line-up. The idea is that you can only win tickets rather than purchase them. This is generally a lovely gesture from the usually expensive, pay-for-everything Apple company. However, after the gig I have to say a draw is still fine, but you should charge people a small fee, maybe £10-£20 per ticket. This will remove a lot of Apple hipsters from the audience who don’t know who the artist even is and only attend to say they’ve been to the Apple Music Festival. It was very disruptive and annoying. You could tell that about 50% of the audience did not know who Carrie Underwood was or even how massive a star she is in the country music scene. Hence, the appreciation from the crowd wasn’t as intense as it might have been had the room been filled with fans only.
Supporting were CAM and The Shires. We only caught the last bit of Cam’s set but she was adorable. Super talented, she owned that Roundhouse stage with her yellow plaid onesie and cute southern accent. She had this new artist enthusiasm and was genuinely excited to be part of the festival and to be in the UK for her first show in England ever. Cam was full of energy and transferred that onto the entire audience, which is what a good support act should do.
The Shires are a UK country band. Now, country is not very big in the UK or in Europe in general. However the fan base is strong and committed. They were greeted with a very buzzing audience and proved why they deserve to be Britain’s first country band to have a top 10 album. However, I felt that Crissie was a bit over the top with her hand movements while singing, it was very Mariah Carrie and not enough country. The Shires have earned their spots in the hearts of British country fans and they don’t seem to be going anywhere in the next few years other than up.
Carrie Underwood. Miss Carrie Underwood. She won the fourth season of American Idol in 2005 and has since risen to mega stardom in the country music world. The cute blonde from Oklahoma has turned into a strong powerhouse that sells out stadiums all over the world. I knew she was good, but I did not expect what I was about to see and hear. From the first note to the last, she hit every single one of them, high or low, long or short. Her more rocky version of country was very enjoyable and did not take any of the stereotypes but rather created a show of its own. Although there were some elements to let you know this was still a country show, like the barren lands on the screens or her lyrics. She is the kind of artist I would happily let my daughter look up to and aspire to. Heck, I want to be her! Carrie definitely rocked the socks off the Roundhouse and for just a bit took us from a rainy London to a sunny Southern small town in the middle of Tennessee.