REBA MCENTIRE AND KELLY CLARKSON, EnergySolutions Arena, Friday
Having one big name act performing on stage will more times than not result in a great show. Having two superstars on the same stage at the same time, however, can sometimes spell disaster.
That was not the case at all Friday night at the EnergySolutions Arena as two of the biggest names in country and pop music, with two of the biggest voices, Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson, showed no signs of egos or diva attitudes while delivering an energetic and entertaining two hours of music.
The appropriately named "2 Worlds 2 Voices" tour featured both Reba and Kelly on stage together, trading lead vocals and singing duets from each star's catalog.
The tone was set from the introduction when McEntire, dressed in a black tank-top, jeans and boots, sang country legend Patsy Cline's Sweet Dreams of You, followed by Clarkson, dressed in a green tank and long jeans that covered most of her bare feet, channeling Annie Lennox for the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).
Clarkson and Reba's voices complemented each other perfectly on many songs such as Clarkson's "Walk Away" and "Beautiful Disaster," and particularly on some of Reba's songs such as "The Fear of Being Alone," "The Greatest Man I Never Knew" and "Does He Love You?"
Based on crowd applause when each performer's name was said, there were more Reba fans in the audience Friday than Clarkson. Reba's fans cheered loudly as she took lone lead vocal duties for "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," "And Still" and "Is There Life Out There."
The prize for most fist pumping and crowd movement went to Clarkson fans, however, as they jumped and waved in unison for "Never Again" and Clarkson's soaring vocals for "Miss Independent."
Both women were vocally excellent all evening. Clarkson's soulful and powerful voice was especially outstanding. One of the best songs of the evening, due to Clarkson's vocals, was the big band arrangement of "Stuff Like That There" which Clarkson first performed on American Idol.
There were many in the audience who sang along to the songs of both artists such as "Breakaway," "Does He Love You," "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "A Moment Like This," Clarkson's other big Idol song.
The stage included up to a dozen musicians and backup singers at a time. The rhythm sections for Clarkson and McEntire rotated for nearly every number, depending on which artist's song was being performed. In the rear of stage hung a large digital screen, giving fans even at the opposite end of the arena a close-up look.
For the encore, the women traded vocals for Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and "Because of You," made famous by each artist's recording of the song. They ended the show with "Fancy."