Underwood shows she understood the assignment with a new show that sets the bar for future Vegas performers
It is rare to see a Las Vegas residency before quotes are plastered all over their advertisements. It is rarer still to catch an artist opening their first-ever Vegas spectacle. This past weekend, TMU was on hand as Carrie Underwood opened her Reflection residency at Resorts World Las Vegas.
The show opened with Underwood’s hit “Cowboy Casanova” as and stayed mostly upbeat throughout the 100-minute, 20-song show. Every album is represented in a satisfyingly-paced performance. Even when Underwood changed clothing (a seeming prerequisite for female Vegas acts), the interludes were never obnoxiously long.
The set of the Reflection spans the absolutely massive Resorts World Theatre stage. Three screens sit behind a triangular shaped platform. A ramp to that platform opens up for Underwood’s quick-changes. Above the stage hang triangular screens that evoke shards of the mirror through which the “Jesus Take the Wheel” singer is reflecting upon her career.
The highlight of the night was not an Underwood rocker. Instead, it was her take on the gospel classic, “How Great Thou Art.” Her sweeping vocals transcended time and space as Resorts World seemingly reached heaven. It had the entire audience on their feet, and this reviewer screaming “What?!” It must be heard live to be believed. It is truly one of the best vocal performances you will ever hear.
To give you a sense of the production’s scale, at one point, Underwood emerges on a Cadillac throne wearing a long black robe. Like a glittery grim reaper, she launches into the “revenge” portion of the evening, belting “Two Black Cadillacs,” “Church Bells,” and “Blown Away.” During the latter, she rises several stories above the stage, wind blowing her hair — all while untethered to any safety pole.
Underwood has everything you could want in a Vegas residency: fireworks, set-changes, and even some very skilled aerialists. The elements have been sorely missed as 8K OLED screens and light shows have replaced the practical magic of Las Vegas. But the way Underwood uses them never overpowers her presence or incredibly powerful vocals. Instead, they amplify everything about Underwood’s catalogue and elevate her performance beyond a typical concert.
Now for a little history: In 2009, Celine Dion took the idea of a Vegas residency to new heights by partnering with Cirque Du Soleil for …A New Day at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. With that show, Celine became synonymous with Las Vegas.
With Reflection, Carrie Underwood has taken on that mantle as the new Queen of Las Vegas. Given some time and the accolades this residency is sure to rack up, Underwood will soon be easily associated with Sin City herself for many years to come. As the meme says, Underwood understood the assignment: You don’t just bring your tour show and plop it down in a Vegas theater (Looking at you, Pitbull). The Vegas tradition is to create an experience that cannot be seen anywhere else on the planet.
If Underwood is the new Queen of Las Vegas, then the Queen Mother of Vegas residencies, Celine, will be joining the roster at Resorts World next year. For now, Carrie Underwood will leave you absolutely “Blown Away.”
Oh, and since those posters don’t have quotes yet, here are some Underwood and the Resorts World team are free to use, shamelessly and publicly offered from TheMusicUniverse.com.
“Underwood Right at Home on Vegas Stage”
“A magical first residency by the New Queen of Las Vegas”