On Saturday night, I went to see Carrie Underwood at Scotiabank Place. I bought the tickets for my little brother's high school graduation, but let's be honest: Those tickets were as much a present to me.
I'm a relatively new country music fan. I think it all really started the summer I broke up with my first boyfriend. I spent a lot of time on my own, taking road trips, learning how to sew, and writing. In a quest for new music, I started requesting music from all of my friends. A good friend of mine refers to herself as a "closet country fan". Once I stole her music, the secret was out, and I'm so glad to have another friend to share the obsession with! I find that country music is one of those things that you always think everyone hates, until you start paying attention. While there are a fair number of country music detractors in Ottawa, it actually has one of the largest country fan-bases in the country. My little brother and I include ourselves proudly in that!
Since becoming a Carrie fan, I don't think there has been a single situation in my life that there hasn't been a song of hers to relate it to (I know some people that feel the same way about Taylor Swift). I'll demonstrate:
Lessons Learned: Great for when I got that speeding ticket, messed up on a major assignment, got caught gossiping about a coworker, and had that really bad hangover.
Wasted: Great for breaking up with (two different) boyfriends, finally deciding to drop that class, and deciding to cut a toxic friendship from my life.
Jesus, Take the Wheel: Any time I've just been completely overwhelmed by life and needed that reminder that it was okay to not control everything.
Starts with Goodbye: Also good for breaking up with boyfriends, and every time I've left home in the last few years (seems to happen a lot!). Perfect for driving away when you're trying not to cry and remembering why you are leaving.
Play On: When you need that extra push to keep going when all you want to do is bury your head in the sand.
(links instead of video because most didn't allow embedding)
Okay, true story: Last spring I was lying on my bed in my dorm room, feeling completely overwhelmed and kind of hating school, and work, and everyone around me. Not a good time. I was scrolling through Tumblr when someone posted something about Carrie's album being released May 1st. I felt like the sun started shining, and I said to myself "You'll be okay. May 1st, you'll be home, and you'll listen to Carrie's new album, and everything bad will be over and gone and you will be okay."
And by the time May 1st came along, I was able to look back on that whole time with fondness, and enjoy the album as an album, but that might give you some idea of how much her music means to me.
The concert yesterday was AMAZING. Kira Isabella opened up. I didn't know much about her, except that she was an Ottawa girl and that a few of her songs had been on Canadian country radio. She was, in a word, incredible. She's got a great voice, and a good personality for stage performing Her songs are also really fun--I especially liked "A Little More Work to Do". She also got teary eyed when she talked about Ottawa being her home, which was sweet.
Hunter Hayes is obviously incredibly talented, especially for someone his age. He did a cover of "Keep your Head Up" by Andy Grammar which I loved.
And Carrie was phenomenal. The whole show was impressive, but I especially loved the tornado theme that came up a few times during the show (I'm fascinated by tornadoes). And she's always a joy to watch. Is it weird if I say I'm positive we would be best friends if we met? Probably.
When I saw her last summer at the Capital Hoedown, I cried a little during one of the songs (I think it was Wasted). Last night, it only took first song before: tears, everywhere. It wasn't even an emotional song! (she opened with Good Girl). But I really think her music just means that much to me.
I always think I am so much better than people who get obsessed with celebrities (note: I'm not). On the way back home from the concert, I turned to my brother and said, in a dreamy voice "Tell me again how Mike and Carrie met?"
He told me, then asked: "Why don't you just look it up on Youtube?"
"Please," I said. "If I started looking up Carrie Underwood videos, it would become a career."
Keep Calm and Carrie On, y'all!