Photos - Martina McBride - November 29, 2002, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
Official Site
Martina McBride said performing a pure holiday show is something she has always thought about doing. Both for her and her fans. And with the success of her last few records and now with the 2002 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award under her belt, McBride could not have picked a better time to put on her show.

With all the look and feel one would expect from Radio City Music Hall in late December, McBride's festival appeared like a Norman Rockwell painting was strewn across Nationwide Arena. With movie screen backgrounds, a stage straight from a Dickens’ novel and a cast the brought together the feel of being in a late 1800’s city street, McBride and crew put together a show that made all feel in the holiday spirit over a month before Christmas.

It has been over three years since McBride released her “White Christmas” album, and that made hearing her voice roll out songs like “Silver Bells,” “Silent Night,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” very refreshing. For whatever reason, country artists are putting together holiday records and shows every year, but McBride was able to capture more than most.

With her soft, angelic voice that is often unheard on her more upbeat tunes, McBride showed a side of herself that isn’t normally seen at her shows. Because this was so different from her high-energy live performances, it proved to be a wonderful contrast and didn’t make the fans feel they have been there before.

Often times, musicians' holiday performances are structured much the same way as all their other live performances, but McBride almost did a 180 and went in an opposite direction. Slowly moving across the stage and milling around with the extras, McBride showed another side of her. Not better or worse, just different. Whereas most are used to seeing her run from one side of the stage to another and burning up calories like an Olympic athlete, here McBride was more in tune with the audience, the show and the expectations of a holiday special. McBride graced the stage much like a Broadway performer. Not only singing the songs, but playing the part as well.

McBride did herself proud with this show and performance. It was great to see that McBride took pride in what was being presented to her fans, and just didn’t go through the motions. McBride said she wanted her show to be like her visits to Radio City Music Hall every year. And since many of fans in Columbus and around the country cannot get to Radio City, it was nice of McBride to bring Radio City to them.

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