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A broken wing flies through Pueblo

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Martina McBride, one of country music’s finest and iconic women, performed Sept. 1, at the Colorado State Fair Events Center. Drawing an almost sold-out crowd, McBride belted out her top hits, from “A Broken Wing,” to her latest single “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.”

Martina McBride performs at the Colorado State Fair Events Center Sept. 1. Photo by Jenna Mangino.

Once McBride took to the stage with her microphone held high in the air, the energy level in the room immediately rose as the crowd cheered. McBride proved that she is an iconic singer in the sense that once listeners hear her clear and bright voice, they never forget it.

Although the Events Center is composed primarily of cement and other reflective materials, which causes the sound to reverberate, the acoustics were well balanced throughout the evening. McBride hit the high notes without hesitation and demonstrated her vocal range in its entirety.

Her live performance was comparable to that of a studio recording in terms of clarity, tonality and dynamics. Even though the harmonica, played by McBride, is an acquired taste and peaked at times, the singer emanates such joy and pride in her career that the crowd just went with it.

Her stage presence and confidence mixed with her vibrant personality is what forms the strong bond fans have with her. This was demonstrated during her tear-jerking performance of “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.” This composition is an anthem of hope for those who have had cancer and their loved ones.

The atmosphere of the Event Center was breathtaking as she undoubtedly touched the lives of those who have directly or indirectly experienced the effects of cancer.

Her encore consisted of two well-known hits that are usually butchered during karaoke night: “Don’t Stop Believing,” from Journey, and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” from Pat Benatar. Both songs illustrated that McBride is capable of singing different styles and ranges of songs, all while bringing the audience to their feet and making them part of the experience.

Her final bow with her band showed that although McBride is a multi-platinum artist, she is still humble and down to earth. A $40 ticket bought a priceless moment for fans Thursday night.

McBride’s meaningful lyrics and ability to connect with audiences caused listeners to reminisce to the early years of country music. Early singers like Kitty Wells and Loretta Lynn were able to relate with women and the issues they were facing at different periods of their life.

McBride can be compared on the same platform as the early women of country in the sense that she has stayed a constant and current voice in country music. McBride can connect with women that have gone through child and spousal abuse, to those afflicted with cancer or those that are in healthier and happier relationships.

Connecting with an audience of a wide age range is essential for any artist to succeed in the music industry. Competition is fierce and many artists such as Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler are limited to the 12 to 24 age range. However, McBride has stayed relevant during her 21-year career, resonating strongly among women ages 13 to 80.

Generally, many of her songs are about women, daughters, mothers, sisters and friends. From having a girl’s night, to dealing with relationships and trials, McBride has many songs that cover a wide range of emotion, and she’s not finished yet. Her new album “Eleven” is scheduled to be released on Oct. 11.