Carrie Underwood won’t be resting on her laurels this year. There won’t be time.
The eight-time Grammy Award winner will perform at Charlottesville’s John Paul Jones Arena on Friday evening as part of her “The Denim & Rhinestones Tour,” which will come to a close at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena on March 17. Then she’ll be getting ready for her continuing Las Vegas residency, “REFLECTION,” which will keep her busy for the rest of the year.
For each ticket sold to Friday’s concert at John Paul Jones Arena — and every other stop along the tour — $1 will be donated to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which provides mortgage-free homes to Gold Star families and families of fallen first responders with young children. The foundation builds custom-designed smart homes for veterans and first responders with catastrophic injuries and also works to eliminate homelessness among American veterans.
Tickets to Friday’s show start at $39. For tickets and details, head to johnpauljonesarena.com; that’s where you’ll want to keep an eye out for parking option updates, too, as pre-paid parking passes have sold out.
Underwood recently took the time to respond to some emailed questions from the road.
You’ll be going from the second leg of your tour to your Las Vegas residency in what seems like a pretty short time to prepare (March to June). What aspects of touring appeal to you, and what about residency appeals to you?
We are having the best time on “The Denim & Rhinestones Tour” — it’s so great to be back on the road and coming to the fans where they are. It’s a super-fun, high-energy show that’s literally a party every night. We’ll wrap the tour in March, then will be back at Resorts World Las Vegas for my ongoing “REFLECTION” residency in June, for 2023 dates scheduled through the end of the year.
I love that I get to do both — the tour really celebrates the new music from “Denim & Rhinestones” in addition to the hits, and we are able to do certain things production-wise in Vegas that we couldn’t pack up and move every night. It’s also great to play for audiences that have come from all over the world to see us.
You’ve had so many hits that it’s clear you recognize a good song when you hear (or write) it. To you, what qualities make a good song? How do you recognize when a song is one you definitely need to sing?
I think a good song is one that makes you feel something right away — whether it’s emotion or a more physical response, like the ones that get your foot tapping, head nodding or immediately get you up on your feet. And, of course, songwriting is really all about storytelling, so that’s the most important element to me, whether I’m writing or when I hear something someone else has written.
When you’re on the road for an extended time for tours, especially this time of year, how do you stay healthy? Is it challenging to keep up with exercise? Is it easier finding good vegetarian food on the road these days? And how do you take care of your voice?
I’m definitely committed to my health and fitness all the time, but when I’m on the road or doing my Vegas residency, I’m actually able to be more consistent with my eating and workout routines. It’s so important to me in life, but especially so when I’m performing for several hours on stage and need that strength and stamina to do everything I’m asking my body to do — whether it’s covering the entire stage in heels all night … or performing all of the aerial moments in this show.
I actually posted on Instagram recently about what my day looks like on a show day: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18341958985036947/
Are you able to work on new music while you’re on the road, or does it work better for you to do that at home?
I’m always writing or thinking about song ideas. Of course, when we’re getting ready to record new music, that process becomes more focused, but it’s really an ongoing process for me. It’s also important just to live life in between albums, which is a big part of my inspiration and that creative process.
You did such a beautiful job in the live production of “The Sound of Music” on NBC a few years ago. Do you have plans for any similar musical theater performances in the future? How important is it to stay versatile and draw on different genres and talents to keep moving forward as a musician?
I grew up listening to almost every kind of music, so my musical tastes and inspirations cover a lot of ground. I’m lucky to be able to infuse my music with so many different influences, like we did on “Denim & Rhinestones.”
What advice would you share with young singers who are just starting out in the music industry?
Work hard and treat people with respect. You should do it because you love it, not just because you want to be “famous.”
Is there something about your life that you wish your fans knew?
Apart from my time on stage, I am the most normal person — I cook, I clean, I work in in my garden, I love my kids … just the average life of a working mom.