fbpx vie magazine subscribe button

Carrie Underwood’s Play On Tour Sizzles

By Rhonda Cloutier

Headliner Carrie Underwood came to the Emerald Coast on Wednesday, May 5, 2010, with Craig Morgan and growing country music sensations Sons of Sylvia. Don’t fret if you missed this concert because the successful Play On Tour has added several new dates and venues, making a stop October 23 at the Mobile Civic Center, with Billy Currington replacing Craig Morgan for the fall/winter leg of the tour. If that date doesn’t work for you, go to Ticketmaster.com to see the full schedule. This is a family-friendly concert that you don’t want to miss!

Carrie, winner of season four of American Idol and recently named Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year, used the stage and the air above it to create a high-energy, chock-full-of-surprises, rollicking good time!

But before we get to Carrie, let’s meet Sons of Sylvia. Formerly known as the Clark Brothers, Ashley, Adam, and Austin Clark won a reality television talent show, The Next Great American Band (NGAB), two and a half years ago. The show, which debuted in October 2007, had an unfortunate time slot on Friday night and did not get the viewership the producers had anticipated. (I believe that if it had been broadcast on a Tuesday or Wednesday like American Idol, the viewership would have been drastically different.) Regardless, NGAB provided a showcase for the talented Clark Brothers. Using atypical instruments—mandolin, Dobro (resonator guitar), and fiddle—and powered by Ashley’s driving voice, they managed to knock off all the other bands and win the title of the Next Great American Band. The passion in their playing moved NGAB judge Sheila E. to tears (and me along with her)! I knew I was going to be a fan of their music for life. But it wasn’t just their music—when people talk about having the whole package, this band has it in spades.

Carrie Underwood Play on Tour Sizzles Concert Country music vie magazine
Pensacola Civic Center May 5, 2010. Photo by Joe Cloutier

Their father, Freddy Clark, is a preacher who has led old-fashioned tent revivals for over forty years. Most of his family of eleven children either played an instrument or sang bluegrass/country/gospel-fused songs during the revivals. They learned to play their instruments from their dad, who didn’t read music, but used his ears to teach and play. Studying musicians at bluegrass festivals along the way, the Clark Brothers picked up tips from the masters plying their trade. A few years later they, along with a couple of their older brothers, formed a band, which met some bumps in the road and ultimately disbanded.

Ashley, an extremely gifted fiddle player, began playing with Carrie Underwood as a member of her band. Adam had his own gig with the country group SHeDAISY, and Austin played with both. While watching a promo for NGAB on American Idol, Adam, Ashley, and Austin decided to make a video and submit it to the show. They were selected for an audition where they sang “This Little Light of Mine,” leaving the judges stunned by their passion and intensity.

The prize for winning the competition was a recording contract, so for the past two and a half years, the brothers have been writing ferociously, recording and whittling down the best tracks to release. The end result is a dynamic, rock-edged fusion of country, gospel, soul, and pop. Since its release and their appearance on American Idol a few weeks ago, the album has gone to number one on the pop charts of iTunes and, this past June, was at number thirty-three on Billboard.

Carrie Underwood Play on Tour Sizzles Concert Country music vie magazine
Craig Morgan Photo by Joe Cloutier
Carrie Underwood Play on Tour Sizzles Concert Country music vie magazine
Photo by Joe Cloutier

Not only do they open the Play On Tour for Carrie, but they are also featured on her CD of the same name, and they perform with Carrie on “What Can I Say.”

They opened with a medley of “The War Within” from their Revelation CD and followed that with “Gimme Shelter,” a song they performed on NGAB; Austin’s stellar slide guitar produced dark, haunting licks.

Before starting in on “Revelation,” the title track of their CD, Ashley stated that the lyrics were based on his life experiences. It starts out “I was born the day John Lennon died”—an interesting fact! I think this is one of their best songs, and it made everyone sit up and take notice.

By the end of their set, the crowd had clearly warmed to them. At first, it seemed that most of the audience were wondering who these guys were. Then the crowd started listening and by their last song, “Love Left to Lose,” they had gained quite a few new fans. When Carrie called them back on stage for “What Can I Say,” they had a captivated audience. Carrie’s and Ashley’s voices blend beautifully together on this song; I think it is one of the best on her CD.

Craig Morgan’s set appealed more to the traditional country music lovers, and, based on the response of the crowd, he was well received. I had left my seat to get in line to meet Sons of Sylvia, but from where I was standing, he sounded pretty good.


On to the main event! Carrie Underwood is a star; there is no doubt about it. I don’t think I have been to a concert before where the headliner was a female, but I can tell you that 99 percent of the people there were there to see her.

I did have the privilege to see her perform “I Told You So” live with Randy Travis on American Idol last March, and I think it was that performance that won me over as a fan. I didn’t watch American Idol the year she won, so I missed watching her rise to the top.

I lost count of how many songs she sang, how many wardrobe changes she had, and how high her heels were, but one thing I can tell you is that every song stood out and I would be hard-pressed to call out a favorite.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the place when she performed “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “How Great Thou Art,” her powerful voice leading her own revival, filling up the entire arena and making believers out of all of us.

“Temporary Home” also made me cry. If I had to pick my favorite outfit, it would be the one she wore while singing this song—she was a country belle in a blue denim shirt, wide leather belt, and white hoop skirt with yellow lace flowers. My husband noticed she had a matching leather microphone pack on her back as well.

Carrie Underwood Play on Tour Sizzles Concert Country music vie magazine
Photo by Joe Cloutier

One of the more interesting outfits she wore was during the song “Change.” She rose up from below the stage on a pedestal, and it appeared she was wearing some type of metal dress. The dress took on attributes of a Lite-Brite from the ’70s; illuminated graphics bounced off the dress! The best part was when the song was over; she walked out of the dress—it was a dress form!

The other number that left fans with their mouths wide open was “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” We were seated at the side of the stage, where a large cloth-covered object sat on the floor between us and the stage. The crowd was awestruck as a ‘50s vintage blue pickup truck, emblazoned with Carrie’s name across the back, was lifted into the air on a monorail-like system. Carrie held on to a microphone stand in the back of the truck and took a ride high above the crowd. As the truck made its way through the entire arena, Carrie had a bird’s-eye view of every fan there. The crowd was on their feet in appreciation, and the cheers were deafening.

She put on a larger-than-life show; but at the end of the day, props and costumes aside, her voice needed no embellishment. Well done, Carrie Underwood!

— V —

Read Responsibly

VIE Magazine - The Art & Design Issue November 2021
VIE Magazine January 2021 Special Commemorative Edition
VIE Magazine September 2020 Wanderlust Issue, Fancy Camps, The Idea Boutique
VIE Magazine August 2020 Art & Culture Issue, Nathan Alan Yoakum Art
VIE Magazine - Architecture & Design Issue - July 2020
VIE Magazine - Decor and Home Issue - June 2020
VIE Magazine May 2020 Entertainment Issue, Leslie Odom Jr
VIE Magazine - April 2020 Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine March 2020 The Fashion Edit, VONDOM, Alys Beach Fl, Digital Graffiti, Tres Chic, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors, Digital Graffiti Festival
VIE Magazine February 2020 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Travel Issue - January 2020 - Tanzania Safari Cover
VIE Magazine - Women's Issue - December 2019 - Tina Brown Cover
VIE NOV19 Goodness Issue
VIE Magazine, September 2019 Art & Culture Issue, Paul Hanninen
VIE Magazine - August 2019 - The Architecture and Design Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2019 - The Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - June 2019 - Fashion Edit
VIE Magazine - May 2019 - Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine - April 2019 - The Health & Wellness Issue
VIE Magazine - Special Entertainment Edition - March 2019
VIE Magazine February 2019 Luxury Homes & Technology Issue with Robbie Antonio of Revolution Precrafted
VIE Magazine - January 2019 - Southern Sophisticate Issue Cover
VIE Magazine - Special Anniversary Travel Edition - December 2018
VIE Magazine - The Goodness Issue - November 2018
VIE Magazine - The Art & Culture Issue - October 2018
VIE Magazine - Home & Garden Issue - September 2018
VIE Magazine - August 2018 Animal Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2018 Architecture & Design Issue - Subscribe to the magazine!
VIE Magazine - June 2018 Travel & Tech Issue
VIE Magazine - May 2018 Couture Issue
VIE Magazine - The Culinary Issue - April 2018 Cover - Chef James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
VIE Magazine - The Entertainers Issue - March 2018
VIE Magazine - February 2018 Destination Travel Issue
VIE Magazine - January 2018 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine, The Sophisticate Issue, December 2017
VIE Magazine - November 2017 Art & Culture Issue
VIE Magazine - October 2017 Home & Garden Issue
VIE Magazine | September 2017 | The Stories and Storytellers Issue
VIE Magazine - The Adventure Issue - August 2017
VIE Magazine - July 2017 - Art & Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail