A light snow added to the festive mood in Chicago Friday night, as fans were filling the sold-out Chicago Theatre for the final night of superstar Martina McBride’s 2012 16-city Joy of Christmas Tour. Holiday revelers young and old celebrated the season, while Martina and her 12-piece band brought their love of the holidays to theaters and other intimate venues across the country.
At each stop, an athlete, popular radio personality or local celebrity read “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” story, while Martina sang “You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch.” Chicago Bears bone-crunching linebacker Brian Urlacher was the perfect Grinch on the final night of the tour. Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson, Pittsburgh Steeler Brett Keisel, tv personality Storme Warren, hockey great Jim Dowd and others shared the stage with the Grammy winner.
Martina McBride on stage at the sold out Chicago Theatre. Photo: RKN Photo
“I had so much fun this year bringing back The Joy Of Christmas,” said Martina. “I felt like I was spreading the Christmas spirit to so many people! We are already booking dates for next year and I can’t wait to do it all again!”
Young ballerinas from local studios and schools danced at each concert. A large video screen behind the stage depicted wintery street scenes, busy shoppers, snowy mountains and a home video of the McBride’s on Christmas morning. Martina delighted the crowed with at least six wardrobe changes each night, and a unique “duet” with Elvis Presley put fans in the Christmas spirit.
Chicago Bears’ Brian Urlacher on stage with Martina McBride at the Chicago Theatre.
Photo: RKN Photo
“Only a true Grinch would have been unmoved by this show, a dream of Christmas as so many wish it could really be,” reviewed The Chicago Tribune. “It was touching. It was funny. It was fun. McBride is a sincere cheerleader for high hopes and better times ahead. She’s earned her place in the Christmas pantheon, parked by the fireplace next to Bing and Andy.”
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote about the concert: “Inside the Milwaukee Theatre, a multi-generational audience of revelers was greeted with all the trappings of the Christmas season as Martina McBride crafted a classic holiday extravaganza. Performing a two-hour set of yuletide tunes in front of 12 formally dressed musicians, this was purely a holly jolly affair.”
Don Kronberg, President of NiteLite Promotions, summed up the tour: “The most powerful voice in Country Music wraps up the biggest Christmas tour on the road with an exclamation! Congrats Martina!”
Martina McBride (c.) is presented with a plaque depicting a photo of her sold-out concert at the Chicago Theatre. Pictured with McBride are (l. to r.) Brandon Gill, Morris Artists Management; Don Kronberg, President of NiteLite Promotions; Mike Betterton, Morris Artists Management; Rod Essig, CAA. Photo: RKN Photo
Following a short break over Christmas, Martina will hit the road as George Strait’s special guest on his The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, which begins January 18, 2013 in Lubbock, Texas.