The country queen played to her audience perfectly

Carrie Underwood live 2023
Carrie Underwood [Jeff Johnson]

Carrie Underwood is a certified rocker.

The country music queen help rock icons Guns N’ Roses kick off their North American tour this week in Canada. Underwood, a certified mega-headliner in her own right, served as the band’s special guest at their shows in Moncton, New Brunswick and Montreal, Quebec. When she took the stage before a crowd of pure rock ‘n’ roll fans, Underwood understood the assignment. In addition to her own hits, she sprinkled in covers of Joan Jett, Motörhead, Led Zeppelin, Pat Benatar, Heart, and The Rolling Stones to satisfy even the purest of rock fans that were in attendance.

She kicked off her sets with a rowdy cover of Joan Jett’s anthem “Bad Reputation.” From there, she proceeded to play “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar, “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin, Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades,” and i-Ten’s “Alone,” which was made famous by Heart’s 1987 version that Carrie performed during the season she won American Idol in 2005. Check out all the videos below.

Later on in the evening, Carrie returned to the stage and joined Guns N’ Roses for “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Paradise City.”

Carrie Underwood’s relationship with Guns N’ Roses began in 2022 when frontman Axl Rose joined Carrie at Stagecoach in California. The pair performed “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Paradise City.” The collaboration was a long time coming, according to Underwood.

“It was many years in the making,” she told Rolling Stone. “I had asked before if he would ever come sing, or if I could come to him somewhere. We had a couple almost maybes, where it almost maybe would have happened but for various reasons it wasn’t the right time. But [for Stagecoach] I sent him an email and said, ‘We’re so close to you,’ and explained why and what he meant to me. So, I told him that…and he came!”

Since their Stagecoach performance, Axl and Carrie have linked up on stage a few more times. Lately, Carrie has been playing some GnR songs live on her Denim & Rhinestones headlining tour. She’s opened shows with “Welcome to the Jungle” and also covering their power ballad “November Rain.”

While her relationship with Axl and Guns N’ Roses is well-documented, Underwood’s rock roots can be traced even further back. She previously collaborated with another iconic rock frontman – Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. At the 2011 ACM Awards, Steven joined Carrie for her hit “Undo It.” Then, the duo launched into the Aerosmith classic “Walk This Way.” In July of 2022, Underwood covered Ozzy Osbourne’s 1991 hit “Mama, I’m Coming Home” on her Apple Music Sessions EP. “It’s one of my all-time favorite songs,” she said at the time. “I’ve always thought it felt a lot like a country song, and I’ve wanted to cover it for a long time.”

Perhaps Carrie should go ahead and cut a full rock album, like Dolly Parton is.

Underwood’s next jaunt with Guns N’ Roses is on August 26 at GEODIS Park in Nashville, the capital of country music.