Sara Evans woke up a sleepy Naperville and its Pfeiffer Hall on Saturday night.
With her brother in the band and two of her daughters “watching Disney” in the tour bus, the ACM Top Female Vocalist for 2006 wound through an assortment of hits from her six albums and a few cross-over tunes to boot.
Evans started with chart toppers “As If” and “Perfect” as part of her 90-minute, 14-tune set. She gave credit to big brother Matt (on bass guitar) who wrote “Anywhere.” She killed the old Rod Stewart tune “My Heart Can’t Tell You No,” before belting out her No. 1 hit “Stronger.” As the reigning country queen of high heels and tight black leather pants, Evans has quite the stage presence for her 41 years. While she didn’t have a great grasp of where Naperville was, her beaming smile and booming vocals more than compensated for her MapQuest failures.
Pfeiffer Hall is more like an intimate recording studio than a rowdy live music joint. Its tendency to get real quiet between songs threw Evans for a loop, thinking the silence meant something was wrong. At one point bringing her daughters on stage to re-sing part of “Anywhere” she warmed up to the smaller venue and hit her stride with “I Could Not Ask For Me.” The nearly filled and non-alcohol fueled house took some urging too get out of their seats, but Evans knows how to motivate. After finishing with “A Real Fine Place To Start” she returned for an encore with an upbeat Tammy Wynette tune, “Stand By Your Man,” and Cheap Trick staple, “I Want You To Want Me.” Who said there isn’t any cross-over in country music?
– Brian Ormiston
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