The Queens of Country Draw Huge Crowds on the Second Day of Capital Hoedown
With the success of Thursday’s show, I had doubts that Friday could top the likes of Kenny Chesney and Doc Walker. But Jason Blaine, Billy Currington, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood certainly gave them a run for their money, playing to a packed Le Breton Flats on a warm evening.
Jason Blaine started out the night with an easy listening set, his crisp, classic country voice preparing the crowd for a night of incredible music. The Pembroke, Ontario native sang many songs off of his upcoming third album – ‘Sweet Sundown’, out September 27 – including his next single, ‘They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore’. The singer explained that the song was inspired by his 78-year-old grandfather, and became choked up when he noted that both of his grandparents were watching in the crowd. “Every single lyric in this song is absolutely true,” said Blaine.
Following Blaine in the line-up included Billy Currington, who started his set with a fan favourite, ‘That’s How Country Boys Roll’. The popular singer had the crowd going, performing hit after hit while onlookers sang along. Currington’s #1 hit, ‘Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer’ was sang to deafening cheers – apparently this crowd could relate to the songs’ subject matter!
The Georgia native is becoming a powerful hit-maker on the country music scene, with an impressive ten Top 10 hits and six #1 songs. He is now touring with Kenny Chesney, promoting his newest album, ‘Enjoy Yourself’.
Capital Hoedown has not failed with ensuring each artist takes the stage at the time recorded on the program, and Miranda Lambert sauntered out on time, at 7:30pm. The 25-year-old star is known for her honest, somewhat aggressive lyrics, with songs like ‘Gunpowder and Lead’, ‘Kerosene’ and ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ making for hard-rocking hits that have captured the hearts of country fans.
Lambert celebrated her place as a top female artist, her energetic performance punctuated by a pink guitar and sparkling pink microphone. Fans cheered as the singer performed hit after hit, singing along to the beloved lyrics without missing a beat.
Lambert’s powerful vocals mesmerized the audience when she slowed things down for ‘The House That Built Me’, which won Song of the Year at the 2010 Country Music Awards. The singer swept the awards show, with nine nominations and four wins.
After the sun went down, it was time for Carrie Underwood to take the stage. The beautiful country superstar – who until recently called Ottawa her home while her husband, Mike Fisher, played for the Ottawa Senators – emerged wearing a sleek black blazer, navy sequined t-shirt and black skinny pants with leather accents.
Underwood began by singing her upbeat single ‘Cowboy Casanova’, after which she joked that she was keeping track of how many bugs she had swallowed. “I’m already at three!” laughed the singer. She later gushed that it was great to be back in Ottawa, and in dedication to her northern fans and husband, changed the lyrics from ‘American Girl’ to ‘Canadian girl’.
Underwood went on to impress everyone with her vocal versatility, delivering a rendition of Aerosmith’s ‘Walk This Way’ and Guns’N’Roses’ ‘Paradise City’. Finally, she indulged fans with her smash hit ‘Before He Cheats’, and surprised the audience by bringing out Miranda Lambert for a mix of her song with Lambert’s ‘Gunpowder and Lead’. With ‘Gunpowder and Lead’ being my favourite Lambert song, I was not alone in my excitement that the singer did not, as we had all previously thought, let us down by failing to sing the popular single.
To say the least, the Underwood-Lambert duet was an amazing end to an incredible day of country music, and a perfect lead into the final day of Ottawa’s biggest summer party.