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Martina takes the Stage


Martina McBride

Martina McBride

Bobbi Smith
Okay so I'm going to make a confession first of all... I've never been a big fan of Martina McBride. But I have to say that listening to her live is COMPLETELY different than listening to her on the radio. And watching her sing makes you feel everything she's putting into it, and all the emotion of the song.

Martina's music is full of inspiration and positive messages, sometimes aimed at women, but very often universal. This showed right from the start of her set when she opened with the uplifting ballad "Anyway." She followed this up with the fun and upbeat "When God Fearing Women Get the Blues."

The one thing I look for at concerts is that little gimmick or special moment that stands out and is unique. Martina's set included video footage of a dry erase board set up at the venue before the show. While Martina sang her current single, "For These Times," they played the video which showed various fans stepping up to the board and finishing the line "For these times in which we live..." Some were inspirational such as "I wish for health, love, and happiness" or "I wish for clean water for everyone in the world." And some were funny, "I wish for NO MORE SNOW!!!" or "to marry a cowboy!" It was a lot of fun to read what each person wrote! Unfortunately we didn't get to the venue early enough to put our own message on the board.

Martina showed her commitment to true country music by covering several traditional songs such as "Rose Garden" from her album Timeless. As well as a fantastic version of "Help Me Make it Through the Night." She reminded the audience of just how risque this song was for a woman to sing when it was first released. Martina told us how she had the pleasure to work with Canadian superstar Anne Murray recently and treated the audience to a cover called "Danny's Song." She even had the crowd sing the final chorus, proving we all know Ms. Murray's music.

The second half of the set was filled with Martina's trademark ballads which showed off the purity and strength of her voice. "Concrete Angel" was absolutely incredible and brought the crowd to their feet in applause. But two songs later she outdid herself with "Where Would You Be" and we all stood up cheering once again.

Martina finished her set with two of the most powerful songs of her career, both dealing with the abuse of women. "Broken Wing" tells the story of a women who finally gets courage to leave a bad relationship, while in "Independence Day" the abused woman gets her revenge by burning down the house with him and herself inside. It is obvious that Martina is very commited to women's issues and bringing awareness to the abuse of women and children.

We got to see a different side of Martina when she came back to the stage for her encore. Suddenly the country crooner became a rockstar with two fantastic classic rock covers! The first was "Don't Stop Believeing" by the 80's group Journey and the second was "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," a huge hit for Pat Benatar. Martina worked with Pat on an episode of CMT Crossroads a few years ago.

I was very impressed by Martina. She is beautiful, talented, and a wonderful ambassador for the Women of country music. The countless young women in the audience certainly have a classy role model to look up to! If you get a chance to see this tour I recommend you go... and DON'T MISS THE OPENING ACT!!

Set List:

  • Anyway
  • When God Fearin Women Get the Blues
  • Happy Girl
  • Rose Garden
  • For These Times
  • Wild Angels
  • My Baby Loved Me Just the Way That I Am
  • Danny's Song
  • How I Feel
  • In My Daughter's Eyes
  • Heartaches by the Number
  • Help Me Make it Through the Night
  • Concrete Angel
  • Love's the Only House
  • Where Would You Be
  • This One's For the Girls
  • Broken Wing
  • Independence Day
    • Don't Stop Believing
    • Hit Me With Your Best Shot
  1. About.com
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  5. CD Reviews - M-Z
  6. Martina McBride's "Waking Up Laughing" Tour in Hamilton Ontario - Part 3

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