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In concert: Martina McBride and Trace Adkins

Martina McBrideMartina McBride was deserving of the closing spot on Sunday night's show at the Patriot Center. (All photos by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

By Juli Thanki

Trace Adkins and Martina McBride are two of country music's biggest voices; so the two of them co-headlining a tour makes perfect sense, despite their stylistic differences. The Shine All Night Tour played to a packed Patriot Center on Sunday; as its title suggests, it was an evening brimming with optimism, even with the occasional song about domestic violence and dead kids.

(Adkins underwhelms, McBride delivers, plus more photos after the jump.)

Trace Adkins

During his slightly underwhelming 70-minute performance, Adkins ignored the early material that made him one of country's A-listers, largely restricting his setlist to upbeat, similar-sounding singles from the past decade. Though his swaggering, good ol' boy anthems received the biggest crowd reaction, gentle giant Adkins was at his best on soulful ballads that allowed him to showcase his rich baritone, including "All I Ask for Anymore," (which came up short at that night's Grammys) and "You're Gonna Miss This." After singing his ode to shapely backsides, "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," Adkins returned to the stage with six members of the Howard Gospel Choir for an encore, dedicating "Muddy Water" to his mama before ripping into a sternum-rattling version of "Higher Ground," complete with fiddle solo.

As a disco ball glittered on the screen behind her, a sequined Martina McBride appeared onstage as its human equivalent, starting her set with, appropriately enough, "Ride," a feel-good pop country tune about "[shining] when you have the chance to shine." An energetic entertainer, McBride worked up a sweat as she strode from one end of the stage to the other, at one point remarking "I probably look like Amy Winehouse by now," while she dabbed her eyeliner.

Though her 90-minute show was brimming with typical bells, whistles, and wardrobe changes, McBride proved she can easily captivate an audience with only the majestic power of her voice, as she did on a stunning acoustic cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night." Immediately following this display of minimalism, however, she perched on a giant, neon crescent moon 20 feet above the crowd to sing "Concrete Angel," a song about a child beaten to death by an abusive parent.

Where Adkins stuck to his more recent work, McBride's set spanned her career, reaching back to '90s hits "My Baby Loves Me" and "Independence Day." To cap off the night's theme of hope, she ended with an exuberant cover of "Livin' on a Prayer." Should these two acts ever forgo their country roots, it seems they'd have quite a future in arena rock.

Martina McBride

Martina McBride

By David Malitz  |  February 1, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Martina McBride, Trace Adkins  
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