Playing at RodeoHouston for the first time since her split with Blake Shelton shocked her many fans, Miranda Lambert opened her set with “Kerosene” on Monday night. The song, which is about giving up on love, seemed like a subtle way to let her audience know that she is ready to move on without having to mention her former husband and Voice star by name.
During the song, which was Lambert's first big hit a decade ago, her vocals were muffled, which made it very hard to hear the lyrics. The sound techs quickly fixed the problem and she soon sounded a lot better, proving to the excited crowd of 60,118 why she is one of country music's biggest female stars.
Before the show started, I looked around NRG Stadium and was legitimately dissatisfied with the lack of cowboy hats and sequin tops in the crowd. I tried to reason with myself and decided that most people were saving their rodeo best for the weekend.
The lights went down and the fireworks began while a one-minute montage of the rodeo played on the big screen. Nothing will pump you up more for Lambert than fireworks and a montage. The five-time rodeo veteran came out on stage, dressed in a denim dress dripping in fringe and matching cowboy boots, and her “Ran fans” erupted.
Between songs, a stagehand handed Lambert a beautiful semi-hollowed guitar, and she readied for the next song. Sadly, she only used the pink guitar once. If I had the opportunity to play a guitar that beautiful, I would use it for every song, even if the tune didn’t call for it, but I guess that’s why I’m not a country star.
After a few, Lambert played a new song called “Sweet By and By,” which she said she had never performed live before. A couple of songs later, she launched into “Baggage Claim” and called on the women in the audience to join in. They went wild as Lambert belted out the last lyrics: “Come and get your shit.”
In between songs, Lambert played the crowd like the consumate professional she is. At one point, the Longview native said, "This feels like home.” Then, she quickly adjusted by declaring, “No, it is home!”
She went on to say that she and the band were headed to London in the morning for a series of European concerts and drew big applause when she said, “We’re gonna show them how Texas does it over there.”
Lambert showed an easy rapport with her band, occasionally playfully hitting and teasing them, which the crowd seemed to enjoy. Whenever she launched into a solo, the guitarist performing it would get into the obligatory power stance and squint his face as if he were concentrating really hard on what he was doing. A guitarist with a soul patch, who looked like he probably played in a ‘90s rock band, perfected the stance and facial expression so well that it looked effortless.
The bassist danced a lot but often by himself. I have a feeling that Lambert may have told him that if he’s going to do that he better do it in the corner. My favorite member of the band was the tambourine player-turned-hype girl. She played the tambourine as if her life depended on it. It didn’t hurt that she was wearing a sequin top that really stood out as she moved and danced.
However goofy the band appeared at times, they still gave the impression that they genuinely enjoyed their work and were thankful for the opportunity.
The most moving moment occurred when the lights dimmed and Lambert played “The House That Built Me” while fans pulled out their cell phones and lit up NRG. The crowd went berserk as Lambert finished the song.
Lambert & Co. ended with “Gunpowder and Lead” as the audience kept cheering while some sang along. Lambert thanked the crowd and said, “See 'ya next year,” as she left the stage and the crowd roared.
As the song ended, Lambert was escorted to the tunnel and the fireworks began again. Her catch-phrase “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History” appeared on the big screen and I realized that if the singer hadn't made much history on this night, she certainly showed the large crowd a damn good time and proved she is having a good time, too.
Fastest Girl in Town
Heart Like Mine
Sweet By and By
All Kinds of Kinds
Smokin' and Drinkin'
Mama's Broken Heart
The House That Built Me
Little Red Wagon
Gunpower and Lead