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For Martina McBride, a night to remember

Beacon Theatre, New York, October 25, 2012

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

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New York's Beacon Theater is known for its flawless acoustics, making it only fitting that it played host to one of music's most flawless voices. Martina McBride's One Night tour came to the Big Apple with a bang.

McBride rocked the house with her supercharged soprano for more than 2 hours with a generous 24-song set that included 2 unscheduled encores. She has taken to playing smaller venues after her arena tour with George Strait earlier this year. It has allowed for a diverse setlist, which changes almost nightly. The result is a relatable greatest hits type selection with plenty of numbers featuring her breathless ballads and signature vocal pyrotechnics.

She began predictably with One Night, the opening track on "Eleven," which she penned for the sole purpose of opening her shows. Teenage Daughters got a surprising hard rock kick in the pants from Greg Foresman's heavy guitar coupled with some aggressive drum work.

The band has benefitted from the recent addition of Carolyn Dawn Johnson, who once upon a time had a few hits in the U.S. and was brought in to complement acoustic guitarist Marty Schiff, Martina's brother.

McBride used her first number one, Wild Angels to take a fun full stage romp. McBride's youthful exuberance and boundless energy belie her 45 years. Her classic beauty combined with Joan Jett sass make for a cross between demure songstress and sexy rocker. This was most evident on Watcha Gonna Do, a last minute addition to the album and a stage number chock full of attitude.

An emotional moment occurred during the poignant I'm Gonna Love You Through It. Two cancer survivors clad in pink T shirts spontaneously approached the stage and held hands with the singer for the duration of the song. As always, A Broken Wing proved to be a performance that won't just give you goose bumps, it will change your blood chemistry.

Tearful as she left the stage to a thunderous standing ovation, she said, "I'm going to remember this night for a very long time."

The Beacon always seems to bring the best out in every artist who performs there. When one of the finest voices in music takes to its hallowed stage, it makes for a very special evening.