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In concert: Carrie Underwood at 1st Mariner Arena

By Scott Galupo

carrie underwoodCarrie Underwood found no need to stray from her successful formula Tuesday in Baltimore. (All photos by Tracy Woodward/TWP)

Carrie Underwood launched a full-scale diva attack Tuesday night at First Mariner Arena.

In Baltimore to flog her not-so-new third album, “Play On,” the “American Idol” spinoff was hydraulically delivered from the bowels of the stage. She spat out the sassy “Casanova Cowboy” while lounging regally on a red velvet recamier.

The evening-wear costumes would be swapped numerous times, as would the singer’s mode of transportation: a wooden swing through a make-believe lush forest for “Just a Dream” and, even more vertiginously, a pickup truck dangled from the rafters during a crowd-pleasing cover of John Denver’s “Country Roads.”

carrie underwood

Fresh off a tabloid-saturated summer wedding and last week’s Country Music Awards co-hosting gig, Underwood, 27, is a battle-tested stage presence. Not a wink or a wave goes by without someone eating from her hand. On “Some Hearts” and “Mama’s Song,” respectively, she even looked convincing playing guitar and piano.

What’s most impressive, still, is the extraordinary power of her voice. The torch ballad “I Know You Won’t” proved she could cross over into R&B territory with little strain. “Temporary Home” offered a glimpse of Underwood’s developing maturity as a songwriter.

But judging from the spirited audience response to hard-to-dislike pop-country hits like “All-American Girl,” it’s obvious that Underwood’s safe post-“Idol” formula is working just fine.

carrie underwood

carrie underwood

carrie underwood

By Scott Galupo  | November 17, 2010; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags:  Carrie Underwood  
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Next: In concert: Grinderman at 9:30 Club

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