Carrie Underwood talks about coming to Tulsa, co-hosting CMAs
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Thursday, November 01, 2012
11/01/12 at 10:50 AM
Check out the revamped, exclusive Tulsa World mini-site on Carrie Underwood
Country songbird Carrie Underwood is looking forward to the holidays. She returns to the BOK Center on Nov. 21, just in time for Thanksgiving.
"Coming back to Oklahoma for concerts is always exciting - I'm definitely looking forward to it," she said during a recent telephone interview.
But like any family holiday, she also gets the jitters.
"I cross the state line, and I definitely feel like I'm at home," she said. "I've spent so much time around Tulsa my whole life, so when I'm in Tulsa, even though it's an hour away from my parents house and my hometown, and that's why all of this still feels like home," she said, then paused.
"I have to add, there still feels like there's a little added stress because we generally have so many family members and friends coming to those shows.
"I'm like 'Where are your tickets, where are your tickets?' 'When are you going to get here?' 'Yes, I want to say hi to you, don't leave without saying hi!' So, yeah, it can get a little hectic sometimes."
Whether her husband will join her also adds a bit of stress, she admitted.
"The lockout with the NHL is still happening, so there's no telling if he'll be with me or not. Honestly, he wants to play hockey, so that's what I hope he's doing. That's his job."
Thankfully, the couple have three weeks to figure out their plans for the Tulsa tour stop.
Thursday night, however, Underwood will be in Nashville as a co-host, performer and nominee in the Country Music Association Awards show. For the fifth year, she'll join Brad Paisley at 7 p.m. Thursday on the ABC network as the gala is broadcast live from Nashville.
Both are well-known for their senses of humor - "I told Brad I'd kill him if he pranked me on that stage," she said.
"But, boy, we have a lot of fun. It's fun to be the ones that get up there and drive the bus, so to speak. It makes me not worry about performances or nominations. ... He's actually always been a perfect gentleman on those days, which I really appreciate."
She's also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, a competitive category that pits her against Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Martina McBride and Kelly Clarkson.
One of her favorite moments in recent years was when Hank Williams Jr. walked onstage last year to poke fun at himself during a parody of Williams' hit "Are You Ready for Some Football?"
"That was a really cool moment, to stand there with him, he's a legend, and Brad and I couldn't keep a straight face. Hank is really funny. That was a really cool moment," she said.
The laughs during the awards show feel spontaneous because many of them are, she added.
"Yeah, we wear many hats. A lot of it is scripted, but not down to the word, like we don't always say what's on the Teleprompter, so I think that helps us stay more off-the-cuff. ... I think we get better every year and have more fun with it every year because we know what to expect."
Co-hosting the CMA Awards isn't a gig she or Paisley are ready to end, either, she said.
"It's a good thing to do, so we'll be doing it as long as they'll let us."
After Thursday night's awards show, Underwood goes back on tour.
The whirlwind of her daily life and the tornado scene from her latest hit, "Blown Away" makes a real appearance in her stage show, she said.
"I don't want to give away all of our tricks, but we do have some pretty big things to re-create that environment onstage," she said. "Lots of tanks and fans and CO2 tanks to carry around with us, yeah, really. So we get that visual happening."
Even her ticket sales contribute to the night's overall theme, she said.
The American Red Cross gets $1 for every ticket sold, she said.
"We can have the whole storm theme going throughout the show, and the Red Cross has helped so many people in need after storms like these, so we thought it would be a really good tie-in to do something for local communities all over the United States.
"It's fun to pass that check over at the end of the tour."
She also plans on playing plenty of new music, along with her hits, she said. Also, opening act Hunter Hayes will join her onstage for a duet.
"He's so amazingly talented. We wanted to have that special moment together on stage because it always amazes me how everyone reacts to him and to us when we're together. I look forward to that moment every night."
Her wardrobe changes are another thing that she - and fans - look forward to every night. She breaks her concert into four "sets," plus an encore. So, that's five wardrobe changes every night.
"We make everything really easy - we'll make really complicated outfits then put one zipper in them. So it looks complicated, but it's really not.
"There are two people under the stage that are helping me like get my clothes off and put new clothes on. It's organized chaos, definitely."
She also doesn't wear the same outfits more than one night in a row.
"I don't want to wear the same clothes to work every single day. Also, when people come to see a second or third show, they won't see the same thing. Wardrobe definitely helps keep it all different."
COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION AWARDS
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: broadcast live from Nashville on the ABC network
with opening act Hunter Hayes
When: Showtime 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21
Where: BOK Center, 200 S. Denver Ave.
Tickets: All-ages. Tickets are $46, $56 and $66, available at tulsaworld.com/bok, the Arby's Box Office at the BOK Center and all Tickets.com outlets, or by calling 1-866-726-5287.
Nominees for this year’s Country
Music Association Awards include
a lot of Oklahoma-tied acts. Read
Friday’s Tulsa world newspaper to see
who won, or visit tulsaworld.com.
Original Print Headline: Right At Home
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Carrie Underwood performs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. She'll play the BOK Center with opening act Hunter Hayes on Nov. 21. GARETT FISBECK / The Oklahoman
"I cross the state line, and I definitely feel like I'm at home," Underwood says. "I have to add, there still feels like there's a little added stress because we generally have so many family members and friends coming to those shows." GARETT FISBECK / The Oklahoman
"I don't want to wear the same clothes to work every single day," says Underwood, who doesn't wear the same outfits more than one night in a row for her tour. "Wardrobe definitely helps keep it all different." GARETT FISBECK / The Oklahoman