There aren’t too many women these days who are as vocal about their NRA membership, white liars or raising hell, all while rocking out on a pink electric guitar.
But on Tuesday night at the Budweiser Event Center in Loveland, Colo., that’s just what country badass Miranda Lambert did. The rowdy cowboy crowd seemed to soak in every redneck minute.
As part of the 2010 Country Music Television (CMT) Tour, Lambert holds the headlining position while Eric Church and newcomer Josh Kelley take the opening slots. They were both just as electrifying as Miss Lambert herself.
Hailing from Lindale, Texas, Lambert has had a banner year. She got engaged to fellow country star, Blake Shelton, in May and won Song of the Year, Music Video of the Year and Female Vocalist of the year at the CMA Awards in November. She is nominated for three Grammy Awards for her latest album, “Revolution.”
Kelley opened with “Georgia Clay,” “A Real Good Try” and “Ain’t Lettin’ Go,” but it was Eric Church who really got the crowd buzzing.
In his signature aviators and greasy ball cap, Church lit up the stage with a hard rock guitar jam. The popular “Before She Does,” introduced the crowd to Church’s outspoken lyrics, proudly proclaiming “I believe that gas is too damn high / An’ there’s nothin’ more American than Mama’s apple pie,” which elicited resounding cheers.
The countrified outlaw rocker played favorites like “Hell on the Heart,” “Sinners Like Me,” and “Guys Like Me.” When he modified the lyrics to: “So God sends Colorado girls like you, for guys like us,” it made nearly all the girls scream.
The fiery Church played through his set, pounding his chest when he sang a lyric he felt strongly for and throwing fake boxing jabs to punctuate chord progressions by his band mates. The light show around him though was completely off. Neon pinks and yellows danced around him similar to a Katy Perry concert.
He predictably ended with “Smoke a Little Smoke,” his latest hit that has a funky guitar riff intro and lyrics like, “Act like tomorrow’s ten years away / And just kick back and let the feelin’ flow / Drink a little drink, smoke a little smoke.”
About five minutes before Miranda Lambert was set to take the stage, the crowd started getting antsy, stomping and cheering for her to come onstage. When she finally did, she started off singing “Only Prettier.”
“Well I’ve been saved by the grace of Southern charm / I’ve got a mouth like a sailor and yours is more like a Hallmark card / And if you wanna pick a fight / Well I’m gonna have to say ‘goodnight’ / I don’t have to be hateful / I can just say ‘bless your heart,’” she sang.
With her pink acoustic guitar, Lambert took control of the entire stage and injected her feisty and flirty self into “Kerosene,” “Famous in a Small Town” (which lead nicely into Hal Ketchum’s “Small Town Saturday Night”) and “New Strings.”
She entertained with her raw energy and played on the right emotions when singing more slow songs like “Love Song,” “Dead Flowers” and “More Like Her.”
Lambert made a point to let her band members shine, letting each of them take the spotlight at different jams during the night. Her playfulness with each one showed off her mature musicianship as she played her pink electric or acoustic guitar, depending on the nature of the song.
At times, she seemed to get too close to the microphone which muffled words and took away from her vocals, but it did not seem to affect the crowd’s enjoyment.
Her sky-rocketing popularity in the country world comes as no surprise because of her performance onstage. Her vocals impressed, her playing was wildly dance-inducing and her charming redneck and sassy personality was the cherry on top. As if she didn’t wow the crowd enough, she high-fived a little girl in the front row, then invited her up on stage, picked her up and held her while she sang. The little girl in cowboy boots waved to the raucously cheering crowd.
After an encore song of “Silver Wings,” by Merle Haggard, Lambert was joined by Church and Kelley for one final song. The three brought their twangy harmonies together for a cover of The Band’s “Take a Load Off,” and the crowd was sent off by a recording of the appropriate “Happy Trails.”
Read the CU Independent’s interview with Eric Church.
Contact CU Independent Entertainment Editor Taylor Coughlin at Taylor.firstname.lastname@example.org.