At the Heart of Carrie Underwood’s Tour

Why She Surrounds Herself with Fans

Leave it to Carrie Underwood to be a glass-is-half-full kind of girl.

When the Tennessean asked her about getting her first CMA nomination for entertainer of the year, it seems like she just thinks all the years that she wasn’t nominated led her to this moment now.

“It ended up being kind of a blessing,” she said, “so I could just realize what we do is all about and being out on the road and seeing people and having people sing your songs back to you and just seeing the crowds grow and grow and grow and feeling stronger in myself as a performer and as an entertainer.

“It’s really incredible to have that nomination, but I think it was kind of good for me to be able to focus on other things.”

One of those “other things” has been her in-the-round stage set up for her current Storyteller tour. That idea came from the way teachers tell stories to little kids sitting around on the floor. “It just kind of made sense to think about maybe doing the tour in the round,” she explained.

“When we started putting it all together, it was intimidating, to be honest,” Underwood said. “You’re not just entertaining the people in front of you. You have to do 360 degrees of entertainment.”

But then again, when any artist performs right in the thick of things, there are times when they’re closer to one part of the crowd than the other.

“It’s frustrating sometimes when I am on one end of the arena and I can only see the first few rows in front of me and the rest is this one entity,” Underwood said. “So we always tried to give me those moments where I could see other people and get to them and hear people singing and having fun. That’s just giving me energy.”

“I feel like it just flies by because everything is put together so well.”

The Storyteller tour with Easton Corbin and the Swon Brothers comes to Nashville on Thursday (9/22).

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.