rumble starts. Low. Then, it builds. The lights dim. From
the moment Martina McBride rises through the darkness of the
stage floor at her concert at the i wireless Center in
Moline, Illinois, you know this is going to be special.
After all this is Martina McBride. And just to create the
needed audience amperage, the 12000-seater looks rafter
packed. Yet despite the awards, the TV specials and the CD
sales, despite the legendary status, the loyal fans and a
busy touring schedule, this is McBride’s fist live DVD.
The wait has been worth it.
Recorded last year, September
29, 2007, as part of her Waking Up Laughing Tour, the
celebrated singer knows how to crank an audience. That she’s
been doing it, and so successfully, since 1992 is keenly
obvious here. Here the tunes, almost everyone a favorite,
and McBride’s polished stage savvy has the audience
lip-syncing while hanging on every sky punch and every stage
prancing move. For McBride, a 2008 CMA nominee for Female
Vocalist, who comes blessed with one of the best voices in
country music, the show moves from hit to hit effortlessly.
For fans of the singer born
Martina Mariea Schiff, this is a bonus package. The DVD, a
treasure on its own, comes backed up with an eight track CD.
While the deal comes marketed as a live CD with a DVD bonus,
the real interest will be the 20-track concert. For this
former T-shirt seller for Garth Brooks, this concert is a
showcase connection between an artist and her fans.
McBride, a musical veteran, once
tagged as country music’s answer to Julie Andrews, is
polished, confident and note perfect. On “Live”, she
works her way through a history of hits that started with
her commercial breakthrough, “The Way That I Am”. The fans
love her; a look to the mainly female populated audience,
many with signs clearly showing their adoration, shows a
loyalty that only comes when you have the score on the
board. Martina McBride has that, plus.
Reading her CV, it’s easy to see
why she is the star she is – she has sales into the
stratosphere (believed to exceed 16 million); she’s climbed
the Billboard chart with an envied 22 Top-10 hits; and along
the way, she’s delivered music across 10 albums.
She’s reliable and fan-friendly.
You only have to watch her do “A Broken Wing” to see, more
importantly hear, the impact she has. When the last song
note hits the back stalls, they’re up, clapping, cheering,
placards waving, and like the roar of a tsunami, the fans
erupt with unified approval. It’s a moving moment on the
DVD, one that shows the power of McBride’s voice, but also
shows how the audience value the talent of their musical
may be the biggest noise I’ve ever heard,” tells the clearly
moved icon; “Stop it…you’ll make me cry.” The fear of tears
hold no sway – the audience, again, respond the only way
they know, with more and more applause.
Just like that lucky audience,
there is much to applaud here. McBride uses her distinctive
voice and stage presence to fine tune a chart-topping set
list. There’s “When God-Fearin’ Women Get The Blues”, the
raunchy “Wild Angels”, there’s a great version of the Lynn
Anderson crossover hit “(I Never Promised You A) Rose
Garden”, a countrified “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and
there’s the career-making tale of spousal abuse played out
on “Independence Day, with the uplifting “Over The Rainbow
as the encore finale.
Along the way we’re front row to
hits like “My Baby Loves Me”, “Happy Girl”, and crowd
favorite, the made-for-concert-participation “This One’s For
The Girls, among many others.
Martina McBride Live In
Concert. It’s out now. The wait has been worth it.