I fully expected Martina McBride to play a Christmas song or two during her show at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi on Saturday.
After all, she’s no stranger to recording Christmas music and it was the last night of the “Love Unleashed Tour” for 2016.
It was also two weeks before Christmas, so the stars were perfectly aligned for some Christmas numbers. And while McBride definitely came through with great renditions of “Let It Snow” and “Please Come Home for Christmas,” the third and final Christmas selection was quite a surprise.
In 2013, McBride released a holiday album called “The Classic Christmas Album,”which featured McBride doing a duet with Elvis Presley on his classic “Blue Christmas.”
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She recreated the song Saturday night, complete with a video of Elvis singing it on his “ ’68 Comeback Special.”
McBride, through the magic of green screen, also appears in the video wearing what she referred to as “Priscilla hair and makeup.” It was the first time Elvis sang in Biloxi since the 1970s. The King was supposed to make an appearance at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in November 1977 but he died in August of that year.
The mid-set Christmas numbers were just one of the highlights of the “Love Unleashed Tour.” McBride packed an arena-sized show onto the stage of the Beau, including a large video screen behind the stage. She played a set that spanned her career, from “This One’s For the Girls” to “Diamond” and Reckless” from her latest album.
McBride got her first standing ovation of the night with a powerful rendition of “Anyway.”
Her next standing ovation came after a powerhouse performance of “A Broken Wing,” which has become something of McBride’s signature song.
She also threw in a couple of covers, including Lynn Anderson’s (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” and the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”
It was a perfect way to usher in the holidays in South Mississippi.