November 29th Martina McBride graced the stage at the Arvest Bank Midland Theater in Kansas City Missouri, accompanied by an eight-piece band and three back up singers. Martina’s “Everlasting” tour began in August, and she told the audience “This is the most fun I’ve ever had on the road.” This tour is designed to promote her twelfth studio album “Everlasting” which features covers of a variety of iconic soul and R&B songs, and features duets with Gavin DeGraw and Kelly Clarkson.
With no opening act the concert started with Martina’s band tacking the stage and playing briefly before Mrs. McBride joined them. It would have been nice if someone would have introduced her, or welcomed her to the stage, but no one did and it made for a bit of an awkward start.
Martina sang many of the songs off her latest album, but made sure to throw in a few of her classic hits such as: “Independence Day”, “This Ones for the Girls” and “In My Daughter’s Eyes.”
Singing “Anyway” was likely the defining moment of the show, as it seemed to speak of exactly what she was dealing with that night.
“God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good
When I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
Yeah, I do it anyway
You can pour your soul out singing a song you believe in
That tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah, sing it anyway
I sing, I dream
Although Martina was clearly trying to give everything she had to her performance, she struggled. Even when talking she seemed hoarse, and at different times throughout the performance she would make minor changes that weren’t as vocally taxing. It definitely appeared she was a bit under the weather. Even the sound guy was trying to help out by turning her up, but this caused a period of feedback through the speakers, which ultimately made things worse. Overall, she did a good job of covering all this up, and many people in the audience weren’t any the wiser, and those that did notice her struggling definitely weren’t angry they simply felt bad for her. It was obvious that she was trying her very best, and definitely putting her heart into it.
Martina did an excellent job of highlighting the different members of her band throughout the night. Each person having a moment to really let his or her talents shine. It was clear just how much her band and singers meant to her as she introduced each of them, and pointed out that they were more than just back-up singers and band members.
At the end of her performance Martina sang a few Christmas songs. She let the audience know this was the first time she had performed them on tour as she has a hard and fast rule to never sing Christmas Carols before Thanksgiving. It was during this part of the show that part of the backdrop on the stage fell off. The crew was quick to pull it off the stage lights and the show continued as nothing had even happened.
After singing the final Christmas song, Martina left the stage to enormous applause, and quickly came back to sing a few more songs for an encore. During the encore many of the band members, as well as the back-up singers joined Martina as the front of the stage and this appeared to be the part of the show they all enjoyed the most and having each other close by seemed to be a comfort to each of them.
Overall, the concert definitely had vocal struggles, but Martina’s heart shined through it all. It was obvious that this wasn’t a typical night for her, and hopefully it was just a rough patch from a minor illness, and the rest of her tour goes off without a hitch.