Miranda Lambert

Written by on February 23, 2012 in Cover Story, February 23, 2012, Live Reviews - Comments Off on Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert

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John Paul Jones Arena- Charlottesville, VA

Miranda LambertI’m not ashamed to admit it.  I LOVE me some country music.  I get it honestly, my Daddy listened to country music along with a little rock in there every now and then and we all learn by example.  Tonight, I got treated to some GREAT country music by one of the hottest ladies on the country music scene, Miranda Lambert (www.mirandalambert.com).

The show was opened by Jerrod Neimann and Chris Young who are also very popular in the country music world these days.  I was pleased to see Chris Young as myself and my husband watched him win “Nashville Star”.

The main event this evening, however, is Miranda Lambert.    This woman has taken country music by storm and has become at times a “bad girl” and at other times a “country sweetheart”.  Her songs talk to people, tell a story, can get you dancing in the driver’s seat, and bring back memories.  I think I like her so much because of the person she is.  She bucks tradition and doesn’t mind telling you that she’s not going to conform to what everyone in the industry wants you to be, she’s gonna be her own person and if you don’t like it then tough shit.  I love that.  With so many influences out there in the media, it’s refreshing and empowering to see a woman comfortable in her own skin and not afraid to be herself.  I was looking on ITunes while I was doing my research and saw this post from a fan and it sounded so appropriate to me, it reads, “her music is like home, like talking to your best friend, crying when you need it, laughing when you should and loving raw and real”.  That’s an awesome way to describe it and kind of hits the nail on the head for me.

Ok, so on to the concert.

Miranda LambertThe show started out with a video montage of past and present female  icons from Loretta Lynn to Betty Boop to Beyonce all playing to “Run The World (Girls)”.

The curtain falls and the night starts off with “Fastest Girl in Town” off her newest album “Four the Record” and right off the bat she’s jamming on her pink guitar like a rock star, singing to the audience with a pink microphone mounted on a 12 gauge shotgun .  This is followed by one of her huge singles, “Kerosene” after which she greets the crowd “Hey Ya’ll!”, “How’s everybody in Charlottesville doin?”, “We’re glad to be here”.   Next up was “Heart Like Mine” from Revolution and “New Strings” from Kerosene.  The next song was written with her husband Blake Shelton, called “Only You”, which was about the death of his brother in a car crash and she says “music can move you to emotions you never knew you had” and you can see that raw emotion in this song, at the end she says “I didn’t cry so far so we’re good”.

Next were “More Like Her”, her huge hit “Baggage Claim”, and “Fine Tune” which she sang on a fainting couch with an oldie style microphone that distorted the sound like it was from the older days.  She follows that up with “Up Around The Bend” by CCR, “Maintain The Pain”, and “Dead Flowers”.  During “Dead Flowers” she pulled this little

Miranda Lambert

girl out of the audience, she couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9, was clearly a fan with her tee shirt proclaiming that very thing with Christmas lights on it.  She put this little girl on stage and knelt beside her and sang to her as if she were the only one there.  When she was finished and had returned her to the audience she told the crowd “You’re making my week – thank you”.  Next up was “Famous In A Small Town”, “Only Prettier”,  Tom Petty’s “Free Girl Now”, & “Mama’s Broken Heart”.  She took time out after that song to address the crowd by saying “our love of music brings us together, love everybody as they are no matter what”, she went on to say, “it ain’t easy being blonde in this business, they want me to act a certain way, be 100 pounds, which I ain’t.  I’ve made a career at being just a little bit different”.    She went on to play “Kind of Kinds”, and then told the crowd that this week had been an awfully hard one because she lost two very important very people in her life, her husband Blake’s Father passed away and they had his funeral that week and she found out only a couple days before our show that one of her friends had passed in a car accident.  The next song was “The House That Built Me” which showed pictures of her as a child and other family photos from her childhood, the audience was singing so loud and she was overcome with emotion.  She stopped singing and she couldn’t go any further as she began crying but the crowd held her up by singing back to her so loudly.  They were showing their love for her and trying to help her through the pain.  It was a very moving moment.  After getting herself together as best she could, she finished up the night with “That’s The Way The World Goes ‘Round”, “Gunpowder & Lead” after which she proclaimed she was proud to be a “redneck chick, a deer hunting, beer drinking, chicken fried steak eating redneck chick”.  Lastly was “White Liar” and she took leave of the stage.  The crowd began stomping their feet and hollering and of course she came back out and said “Encores are so dumb,
you knew we were coming back”.  She performed Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Woman – Do Right Man”, after which she was joined by her tour mates, Jerrod Neimann and Chris Young and together they capped of a great night of country music by performing Waylon Jennings “Honky Tonk Heroes”.

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This was a great night filled with even better country music.  I noticed that there are subtle differences in the audience at a country concert and an audience at a rock concert.  The audience actually sits down a couple of times, couples slow dance together and don’t care that anyone watches them, they get just as rowdy sometimes even more so and just as intoxicated (believe me I’m not saying anything is bad about that either).  Fans of country music are just as dedicated to the artists whose music they love and can relate to.  I also got to see that little girl that she sang to while we were making our way out of the arena and you can bet that she got the memory of a lifetime tonight and had the biggest smile on her face.

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Miranda Lambert has proven over and over again that she belongs in the spotlight of country music.  I can say that as a fan of hers that I not only like her music but I like the way she puts herself out there.  She comes off as if she’s saying “I am who I am and if you don’t like it then tough shit and I’m not gonna change for anyone” and I love that about her.  She’s not only beautiful but strong, confident, and incredibly talented in my opinion.  It was a pleasure to be at her concert tonight, I left an even bigger fan than I was before.  I’d like to first off thank Miranda Lambert and her staff for allowing us the opportunity to see an absolutely fantastic concert tonight and also a thank you to the staff at John Paul Jones Arena (www.johnpauljonesarena.com).


Review by Melissa Gibson
Photography by Stephen Gibson Photography