On September 6, country music sensation and 2006 Academy of Country Music (ACM) “Top Female Vocalist” winner Sara Evans performed at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, New York.
Evans was backed by her talented six-piece band and American Idol alumna Ayla Brown served as her opening act.
As the stage was graced in blue lights, Evans commenced her set with her chart-topping single “Born to Fly,” where she had the audience clapping along with her.
“Thank you very much,” Evans said and immediately broke into “What If.”
“Put your hands together,” she said and had the audience clapping along to her catchy hit “Perfect.”
It was followed by such noteworthy tunes as “Saints and Angels” and “I Keep Looking.”
Evans went on to sing my all-time favorite song of hers, “Backseat of a Greyhound Bus,” where she showcased her impeccable range and versatility as an artist. It garnered a huge response and she blew a kiss to the audience.
“How is everybody doing in Westbury tonight?” Evans asked.
The songstress noted that she had a special guest in the crowd, which included her older brother, and further added that it was his very first time in New York City. Evans revealed that she grew up on a farm in Missouri.
Evans stated that she has been working on new music for her forthcoming CD and one of the songwriters she is collaborating with is Shane Stevens. She had written a new song with him two days prior entitled “If I Run” and she performed a few verses of it a-capella for the audience, thus asking for their approval.
The crowd loved it in return and Evans was pleased with their warm response. “Good. We just wrote that 48 hours ago,” she said.
She continued with the soothing “Put My Heart Down,” as well as her soaring new mid-tempo single “Slow Me Down,” which proved to be a major hit tonight in Westbury.
“Thank you very much,” she said.
Evans dedicated the up-tempo “Coalmine” to all the “good-looking men in the audience tonight.”
“I got married five years ago to a former football player from Alabama. I have three children and he has four and together we are broke,” she said jokingly. “I am only kidding. It has been great and really fun,” Evans added.
She also noted that she took some time off from releasing music to get settled in her personal life.
Evans went on to sing one of the biggest singles to date, “A Little Bit Stronger.” She shared that the tune was co-written by Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum and it is about going through something hard in your life and coming out from the other side, “stronger.” She showcased a lot of vulnerability and inner strength and the audience was blown away by her empowering performance, where they rewarded her with a deserving standing ovation.
It was followed by her country version of “My Heart Can’t Tell You No,” where she would have made Rod Stewart proud.
“Thank you very much,” she said and went on to sing another fan-favorite tune “Suds in the Bucket,” which was upbeat and fun.
Evans also took the time to introduce all of her band members which included Jim Bloodgood on drums, Billy McClaran on fiddle, acoustic guitar and harmonies, Kris Donegan on acoustic guitar, Brent Wilson on lead guitar, as well as her older brother and musical director, Matt Evans, on bass and harmonies.
She belted out a stunning rendition of the love song “I Could Not Ask For More,” which displayed her powerful pipes, where the listener could easily recall Martina McBride.
She encouraged the audience “to put their hands together” yet again for her final song and multi-week No. 1 single “A Real Fine Place to Start.”
For her encore, Evans returned and sang her version of Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” as well as a duet cover of Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason,” with Billy McClaran from her band, which bested out the original pop recording.
She closed with yet another cover, this time of rock group Neon Trees’ “Everybody Talks.”
“Thank you so much Westbury, New York,” Evans concluded. “Put your hands together for my band.”
Overall, Sara Evans proved to be at the top of her game musically at Westbury. Her vocals were captivating and as pure as the driven snow. Evans certainly possessed one of the most angelic and lilting voices in the country genre along with Alison Krauss. She was a great storyteller and interacted well with the crowd. To top it all off, Evans looked as stunning as ever. Her show garnered 5 out of 5 stars.
According to concertgoer Angelica McKessy, she echoed most of my remarks. “Sara Evans has a beautiful and versatile voice. She sounded great a capella, as well as with her great band. I enjoyed her versions of some recent hits better than the original artist versions,” McKessy said.
To learn more about Sara Evans, visit her official website.