story & photos
by Alexis Ann
When Sunny D’s Shine All Night Tour visited Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, March 13th, country artists Sarah Buxton, Trace Adkins and Martina McBride delivered an evening full of delight and wonder – just as the name suggests. Trace and Martina – two of country’s biggest voices – co-headlined the tour. Wow!
Sarah Buxton, the two-time top new female vocalist nominee for the Academy of Country Music, opened the show. You might recognize her from the new single “Outside My Window” and Keith Urban’s cover of her song “Stupid Boy.” Sarah’s self-titled debut album was released on February 23. The album sold 8,000 copies in its first week, making Sarah the highest-selling debut for a female country artist since Julianne Hough in 2008.
Country tonker Trace Adkins opened his set with “I Got My Game On” and continued with his hits like “Swing,” “Songs About Me,” “Chrome,” and “Rough and Ready.” Later, he slowed down and performed “You’re Gonna Miss This” – AMC Song of the Year. He switched back into high gear with fan favorites “Hot Mama,” “Ladies Love Country Boys,” “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.”
For his encore, a gospel choir joined Trace as he showed off his powerful baritone with “Muddy Waters” and Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” complete with fiddle solo.
Martina’s set began with a techno remix of her hits. On screen, a giant disco ball took shape as Martina appeared on stage. She launched into her hit “Ride” from her newest album, “Shine” – singing the line that gave birth to the tour name “shine while you have the chance to shine.”
The petite singer with the enormous voice continued with hits “When God Fearin’ Women Get The Blues,” “Happy Girl,” and “Wild Angels,” Martina’s first number one.
Martina’s performance included songs from her entire career., spanning nearly two decades. She mixed it up by singing “The Way That I Am,” one of her earliest songs, and continued into her newest “Wrong Baby Wrong.”
Martina then launched into her version of “Lean on Me” and a stunning acoustic cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night.”
On screen, stars twinkled over a cityscape. In the background, a steel guitar played the haunting intro to a familiar song. As the moon set over the city, Martina rose into the air seated on a crescent moon, serenading the crowd with the heart-wrenching, “Concrete Angel.”
Martina landed on a stage at the back of the house and gave fans there a taste of the front row. She dropped to her knees as she sang “I’m Trying,” a song about a woman’s unwavering love for her husband despite his battle with alcoholism. Then she blended “Love’s the Only House” and “Blessed” before singing “This One’s For the Girls” as she returned to the main stage.
Martina showcased her strong and pure voice with the final two songs of her set, “Broken Wing” and “Independence Day.” The crowd went wild and she returned for an encore of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ‘69.”