If there was ever a picture of elegance, it is definitely Trisha Yearwood. The very cozy amphitheater at Sandia Casino housed this picture last Sunday night as Yearwood performed 11 years worth of great hits.
Anyone who has heard a Trisha Yearwood song is already familiar with the passion and power with which she sings. This night, however, it became more apparent to her fans that even the best recordings do not do justice to seeing her perform live. Every song that she sang throughout the night was filled with the passion and power that classify Yearwood.
Yearwood needed no flashy introduction as she walked on to the stage and was greeted with a standing ovation from her fans and broke into “That’s What I Like About You.” More great hits, such as “The Song Remembers When” and “Thinking About You,” followed.
Her set was well mixed. Yearwood spaced upbeat tempo songs, such as “Perfect Love” and “She’s In Love With the Boy,” at appropriate moments, never allowing her audience to give in to the sorrowful lyrics of songs such as “Walkaway Joe,” ” Like We Never Had A Broken Heart” and the other numerous ballads that have brought her acclaim.
Yearwood felt right at ease as she joked and talked with her fans. She told stories about her 11 years in show business and teased herself about song choices. She spoke with great admiration and respect about the numerous songwriters, such as Matraca Berg, who have contributed to her career. From their seats, audience members shouted their love for Yearwood, and one individual requested to hear “Down on My Knees.”
As the concert neared its end, Yearwood and her band did a blues/rock version of “The Wrong Side of Memphis.” Lead guitar player, Johnny Garcia, wowed the crowd with great rock licks. “How Do I,” the love theme from the movie “Con Air,” one of Yearwood’s biggest hits, was the last song of the set and a crowd favorite. A fan handed her a bouquet, which she graciously accepted, bringing more cheers and applause from her fans.
As the last notes of the song died, Yearwood received her second ovation of the night.
As Yearwood re-appeared on the stage for her encore number, the applause grew louder. “First of all,” she said jokingly, “sit down.” The crowd complied and was once again caught in Yearwood’s charm as she joked about how cheering for encores was unnecessary, because the band wanted to come back out anyway. For one lucky fan, the encore performance made the night, as Yearwood complied to his earlier request and performed an acoustic version of “Down on My Knees.”
It is easy to see why Yearwood has had such success in her 11-year career. She is charming and yet humble in the face of such great moments as becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry and singing in the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games. Her love of music is evident in every note she sings — a love that has garnered her three Grammys, two consecutive CMA Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1997 and 1998 and has made her albums go platinum. And, ultimately, it is the sincerity and passion which she has given every song that make her one of the great voices of country music.