Miranda Lambert RodeoHouston, Reliant Stadium March 13, 2012
Miranda Lambert has been "doing this music thing for 10 years now," and her mantra is simple: She's all about girl power and being a sassy southern belle. A Texas-born blonde with attitude up to her ears, she doesn't apologize for being curvy, liking cold beer or occasionally indulging herself with some chicken fried steak. In fact, she celebrates it.
Tuesday night, in front of about 60,000 screaming fans, Lambert and her band played a 14-song repertoire that had the crowd bursting with shrill screams and squeals of delight. Halfway through her set, she even brought the Pistol Annies onstage to perform "Hell on Heels" with her.
The show began with a montage of clips and pictures of iconic and influential women, ranging from Rihanna and Oprah to Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton and Kate Middleton (the Duchess of York), as Beyonce's "Run The World (Girls)" blared on the speakers overhead, setting the mood for a night full of triumphant anthems about womanhood.
Born in Lindale, just outside of Tyler, Lambert is proud to be from a small city, as she made clear with "Famous in a Small Town." She's also glad to be from Texas, specifically. "As we all know," she said to the cheering crowd before singing "Baggage Claim." "Hell hath no fury like a Texas woman scorned."
Not to be "shown up by no man," Lambert implored the crowd to be as noisy as they could be throughout her set. Specifically, she asked them to get louder than when her husband, Blake Shelton, performed a few nights ago.
Most of her songs were tuned down to be well within her range, which we understand giving any musician's touring schedule, but our favorite parts of the evening were when she had to strain to reach the notes. While some of her music sounds a bit too commercialized for our taste, when she hits those high notes with a fierce growl, she truly sounds like a woman who is not be messed with.
Her new single, "Over You," was the gravest song of the evening. In it, Lambert sings about the death of her brother-in-law, and the lyrics tell the story of a woman who begs the question, "How could you ever leave me?" while adding that she will never get over the loss.
At the Grammys, Lambert told the crowd, she was seated next to Lady Gaga, with whom she ended up getting along just fine as the two talked about Italian food, shared a drink and discussed musical competition. Gaga asked Lambert if, in country music, rivalry existed the way it does in pop and rap.
"I told her, 'I like to win just as much as the next blonde,'" she said as her band began to play "Only Prettier."
Before ending her performance with "White Liar," Lambert sang "Gunpowder & Lead." One thing that should never be tolerated, she told her fans, is a man who lays his hands on a woman. Her upbringing taught her better.
"Just in case, though," she said, "At an early age, my daddy taught me how to use a shotgun."
And as the song reached its final chorus, Lambert cried, "His fist is big, but my shotgun's bigger!" and raised her mike stand up off the stage, holding it high in the air, revealing it to be a shotgun that had been acting as a base for her pink microphone all evening.
A fake one, we hope.
Personal Bias: Women wearing cowboy boots and short skirts or daisy dukes coupled with enough cold beer on tap to fill the Euphrates? Count us in.
Overheard in the Crowd: "If you write a bad article about this, I swear I'll go Miranda Lambert on you."
Random Notebook Dump: When did "bitch" become a term of endearment? The rowdy ladies behind us kept screaming, "You tell 'em, bitch!" throughout the concert and, correct us if we're wrong, but that word ain't exactly country music jargon.
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Fastest Girl in Town Kerosene Heart Like Mine New Strings Over You Baggage Claim Famous in a Small Town Only Prettier Mama's Broken Heart Hell on Heels All Kinds of Kinds House That Built Me Gunpowder & Lead White Liar