Carrie Underwood wraps a resilient Country USA

Weeks of torrential rains in the Midwest have left ground conditions questionable, especially in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley. The annual Country USA music festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin had questionable handling of the weather situation as the festival kicked off earlier this Tuesday (read here), but as the week progressed conditions of the festival grounds improved. Known for her hit singles “Blown Away,” “Before He Cheats,” and “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” country superstar Carrie Underwood closed the nearly week long country music festival.

Opening for Carrie Underwood, Rodney Atkins¬†took the stage as the sun dipped below the horizon setting out with chart topping hits “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)”, “These Are My People”, and “America”. The quickly rising country star ran into little resistance firing up an anxious and playful Country USA. Atkins praised the thousands gathered for the occasion and seemed to feel right at home with the backcountry county fair feeling festival. Atkins’ bass player, from Sun Prairie, WI, fed fans a little change of pace turning out a fiery bass solo, dropping down to the stage and clawing his way back up.

Underwood knew when she pulled into Oshkosh today that this was going to be a fun show. As Atkins’ set drew to a close fans rushed to the bar for last call before Underwood’s performance – not wanting to run dry before the end of the night. Having played the Countryfest the night prior, one of Country USA’s biggest rivals,¬†Underwood had already become aquatinted with country loving Wisconsinites, though this was not her inaugural visit. Her peppy energy flowed all night, but fans weren’t as up and out of their seat as they could’ve been. Sure they were glued to Underwood the duration of her set, but I expected a bit more dancing and response to Underwood.

Ending the annual festival with a female country artist has been somewhat of a rarity in past years but after Underwood’s stellar closing of 2014 I think we’ll be seeing a bit more from the female side.

Carrie Underwood

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Rodney Atkins

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