As an avid concert goer and fan of live music, I get excited for shows when I know they will be outstanding live performances. I had the pleasure of attending the Carrie Underwood concert this month in Des Moines and was fully expecting to see an amazing show. Even if you aren't a fan of her music, you have to admit, the girl can sing.
A friend and I purchased our tickets several months ago, long before I knew anything about becoming an Emmetsburg resident. To be honest, the show had slipped my mind but I made the trip back to Des Moines regardless of feeling a little under the weather the week prior. Like many of you this time of year, I have been battling a cold, and when I am sick, I feel like the world should stop for me and let me catch up when I'm feeling better.
Loaded up on cold medicine, I awaited the opening number. It didn't take long to notice her voice was a bit scratchy on certain notes and seemed a little lower than normal. She also brought a cup of hot tea on stage indicating she may not be feeling so hot herself. Apparently Underwood lost her voice earlier in the week following the Chicago date on her 2012 Blown Away tour.
I didn't think anything of it. Everybody gets sick and despite her self-proclaimed subpar performance, I still really enjoyed the show. That's why I was so surprised to hear the person next to me complain about her performance. "She sounds awful," and other negative proclamations came from the lady next to me.
I must have been sitting by the only cynic in the audience because the majority of people were sympathetic of her struggles. Her lack of sick days made me think about how much I complained all week when I could have been in her shoes, singing at the top of my lungs in front of thousands of people. Instead of acknowledging my neighbor, I sat quietly enjoying the show secretly wishing I could have a cup of tea as well.
About midway through the set, she hoarsely announced she was going to find a way to give the proceeds from the show back to the community. "I feel real guilty about making any money on this show tonight," she noted. "So whatever I'm making is just going to go right back into this community."
The gesture was enough to appease the audience as they continued to cheer despite her disappointment in her own performance. She powered through 90 minutes of the show but ultimately had to shave a few songs off the set list in order to make it to the encore. I heard the next day she had to cancel her show in Kansas City the following night. I couldn't help but wonder what the person next to me would be saying if she had tickets to the Kansas City show. I imagined a similar ungrateful reaction.
Carrie Underwood may have struggled with some vocal problems, but she showed fans there's absolutely nothing wrong with her heart. Although I wasn't "blown away" by her singing as previously expected, I still enjoyed a lively and entertaining show while feeling like I did a small part to give back to the community. That was all due to her generosity.
Whether you are a famous singer, a performer in the local Community Theater or the lead role in your own personal life biography, live performances are a daily part of life. Not everybody is blessed with an understudy so it's good to know most people are understanding and realize the show (and life) must go on.