It was a crazy weekend for us…we were fortunate enough to take our two older kids to see the American Country Music Awards on April 3rd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Our daughter is Taylor Swift’s biggest fan (if you haven’t seen her video click here), so we were excited for her to get to witness Taylor singing live in person. We took the kids to the salon at Aria to have their hair done, and my daughter got a little bit of shimmer and lip gloss. All of us were decked out and looking gorgeous. The kids had so much fun watching the celebrities sing and talk to the audience. My son was handed a program when we walked in, so he kept looking up the singers in the book as they were introduced on stage. About half way through, he got bored and pulled out his Nintendo DSi, but my daughter kept trucking along, checking out all the girls in their sparkly outfits. We dressed her in her red glittery Cowgirl Jessie boots, and she felt like she was one of them. They didn’t realize that they were witness to some pretty amazing performances that night: Carrie Underwood and Steven Tyler singing “Walk This Way,” and Taylor Swift debuting her brand new song, “Mean.” OH! Carrie Underwood is SO cool and that performance was SO amazing, it still gives me chills. I kept telling them how lucky they were, but I’m not sure they totally got it. Regardless, they were still talking about the whole experience for a few days afterwards, so it seems like they had a good time. After Taylor performed, we sent them home with the nanny so RSH and I could enjoy the rest of the show, and hit up the after party. There, we got to hear Jason Aldean perform his current single, “My Kind of Party.” And, he totally rocked it. The nice thing about the ACMA’s is that it starts early, so it ends early. Thankfully, we were back home before midnight, in bed, comparing blisters.
The next night, we were invited to attend the tribute show. The last two years in a row, we got to see some pretty amazing tribute shows, like George Strait and Brooks and Dunn. This is where the Academy recognizes top performers who have made country music what it is today. They ask current and upcoming artist to pick their favorite song sung by the honoree, and the performance is usually outstanding. This year, the Academy chose to recognize top women vocalists of Country, and titled it, “Girls Night Out Super Star Women of Country,” where powerhouses Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Carrie Underwood, The Judd’s, Miranda Lambert, and who could forget, Reba, were honored for giving the men of country a run for their money when it came to singing and song writing and winning all kinds of awards. This is a recorded show, so you have the opportunity to watch some of your favorite ladies sing, and their songs performed by bands like the JohnDeere girls, The Band Perry, Sara Evans, Rascal Flatts, John Fogerty and Little Big Town, on tonight, April 22nd from 9-11pm on your local CBS channel.
Honestly, I’m not a huge country fan. Whenever RSH has been driving my car, it’s always tuned into a country station, and I immediately switch it. This may be why I just don’t get Miranda Lambert. I see how they are really pushing for her and Blake Shelton to be the next “Tim and Faith,” but seriously, not a huge fan. I have learned to admire and respect Reba, but her act gets a little old for me. And quite frankly, the Academy chose to honor Loretta Lynn in their finale, and I think they could have done a way better job to secure a super grand finale to showcase these women. Like, put that somewhere in the middle or in the beginning, and end with a “bringing down the house” performance. I may not be the biggest fan of these women individually, but I have to say, these ladies really can rock it. They have amazing voices, and could out sing and out perform any Top 20 artist on the charts today (and I’m a huge fan of Usher and Black Eyed Peas, but sorry Ferg, you got nothing on Carrie Underwood). I also wasn’t overly impressed with their choices of tribute singers. The JohnDeere girls are adorable, but the one gal couldn’t wait to get off the stage…were they fighting or something? And who is this The Band Perry? Their look really confused me…are they country or a cover band? Sorry, I’m sure I am offending a ton of country fans right now, but I think the Academy didn’t really do these women justice.
OK, so why watch the show? For several reasons, and I don’t want to be a spoiler alert, so I will try to weave my way through without giving it away.
Reason #1: Jason Aldean. Pretty sure that’s all I have to say. Check out the opening act, and you’ll know what I mean.
Reason #2: John Fogerty. Him and Wynona rocked it.
Reason #3: I really enjoyed watching all the little bio clips about the women. It gave a nice connection to them, and shared some insight on who they were and how they got here. They were very touching, inspirational, and I did get a new found respect, or deeper respect, for all these ladies (even Miranda Lambert).
Reason #4: Blake Shelton. Him and Miranda really do have a great energy, even though he leads the conversation and the laughs, he’s very dynamic, personable, knows how to be funny, and he’s not so tough to look at. They do make a cute couple even if I”m not a huge fan of her music.
Reason #5: Now this is the most important reason. Set your DVR or stay glued to the couch for this one. To this date, I promise you, you have never seen Carrie Underwood give a performance like the one she gave at this event. And, unfortunately, it’s probably why the Loretta Lynn finale was such a dud…it had to go on after Carrie totally and completely stole the show. All I can say is that country is lucky to have this superstar.
For those 5 Reasons alone, if you are a country music fan, you’ve got to watch Girls Night Out Super Star Women of Country, tonight, April 22nd. From their cowboy boots to their down home roots…they are Country!