From Muskogee Phoenix...
TULSA — The BOK Center was silent as a mime Sunday night — until country superstar Carrie Underwood powered on to the stage.
Billy Currington had left, his crew rolling up the homey carpet that was part of his stage set.
Not many people wandered out of the BOK Center arena during the break — which was packed to the rafters.
As the crowd watched stagehands prep for Underwood, originally from Checotah, the arena got quieter and quieter, heavy with expectation.
Suddenly, bright lights came on across the stage, then another set, and another.
The black curtain stretching across the whole stage was pulled away, and the audience erupted, not a soul left sitting down.
A giant cylinder, spinning and lit with “Play On,” the name of Underwood’s tour, gently descended on the stage.
When it rose, there sat Underwood, on a red velvet lounge, dressed in silver.
Picture perfect with her signature wavy blond hair, Underwood began singing — but the audience still didn’t sit down. She gave an energetic performance and “Played On” from there — her fans loving every moment along the way.
“Amazing; I started crying when she sang ‘Just a Dream,’” said Jessica Ferguson of Sapulpa. “Her costumes are beautiful and she is so energetic.”
Though Underwood puts on a spectacular show, using incredible stage sets and light shows, Ferguson found her to be a genuine Okie.
“Carrie seems genuine when she says it’s good to be home,” Ferguson said.
It was apparent the thousands of spectators Sunday night love Underwood, cheering enthusiastically throughout her show and staying on their feet.
Ferguson got a kick out of the show just before the halfway point — Underwood came out “driving” a pickup truck suspended in the air. Everyone else seemed to enjoy the moment, too.
As thousands of people held cell phone cameras up in the air trying to get a shot, it looked like a starry night inside the BOK Center.
No doubt Underwood entertained, but her second opening act, Currington, impressed as well.
“He was unbelievably sexy, but that’s a given,” Jaylene Erwin of Sapulpa said. “He was a lot of fun and I love his new song! I never sat down once while he was on.”
Currington took the stage before Underwood, in worn out blue jeans, sneakers and a T-shirt.
The audience practically danced in their seats, when they weren’t standing up and cheering for songs like “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer.”
Sons of Sylvia performed before Currington. While they put on an entertaining show, particularly with their “crazy-shredding, bluegrass-pickin’” portion of the show, not everyone was prepared for their rocking sound.
“They were good, but I think they are more pop than country,” Emily Huckleby of Claremore said.
“They put on a good show, very energetic,” said her friend, Brittany Mayfield.
Not everyone felt the Sons of Sylvia — some in the audience shaking their heads and calling the group “hard rockers.”
Nonetheless, the group brought an energetic start to an even better night of Currington, and home state favorite Underwood.