A night out away from the hustle and bustle of home was way overdo for this mama. The last time I spent an overnight evening away from my kids was over three years ago when I was hospitalized for a few weeks with complications of pregnancy, and even then my son was technically with me (in my uterus, at least) and let’s face it, an extended hospital stay is no one’s idea of a fun vacation. So my sister and I decided that the 2.5 hour drive to Pensacola to see Miranda Lambert in concert as part of her Platinum tour on September 11 would be a great way to spend a night away from it all. We bought the tickets the day they went on sale and looked forward to it for months. So was it worth all the anticipation? Let’s see:
The concert kicked off at 7:30 pm opening with Thomas Rhett.
Before going to the concert, I had never heard of Thomas Rhett. I am actually not a very big country music fan. I knew of Miranda from watching The Voice, but other than the really big name artists, I don’t know much about country music. But I certainly know who Thomas is now. He was engaging, energetic, and utterly charming. He engaged with the crowd in a way that made you feel he was singing directly to you. Like probably most women there, I was mesmerized by him. I may be a 33 year old wife and mother of two, but there is a part of me (the womanly part at the core of me) that wanted to have that man’s babies, at least until he left the stage and the spell wore off!
His songs were catchy and fun. He sang Beer With Jesus, Get Me Some of That, and It Goes Like This, among others. He also sang Parking Lot Party, a song recorded by Lee Brice but apparently co-written with Thomas Rhett. His set lasted about thirty minutes and we were so sad to see him go. The coolest thing about Thomas? You can tell that he genuinely cares about his fans. As he was singing he would grab someone’s cell phone from the crowd, snap a selfie of himself, and then hand it back to them, all without skipping a beat. That’s what he is doing here:
I’m pretty sure those lucky girls will never wash their phones again! Bottom line, if Thomas Rhett comes in concert near you, run to the ticket booth and get your tickets. He won’t disappoint.
After Thomas there was some waiting around while equipment was switched out, and then around 8:30 pm Justin Moore hit the stage.
Like with Thomas Rhett, I had never heard of Justin Moore before that night. His stage presence wasn’t as engaging as Thomas’. He actually came off fairly arrogant and kept referring to the fact that we all came there to see him. He seemed to think he was the headliner, instead of the opening act. His music was well sung, though. He sang If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away and Small Town USA, as well as a few others.
He thanked the crowd for his first ACM award, which he assured everyone looked awesome on his mantle back home. Then he asked Thomas to join him on stage to sing Small Town Throwdown. Joy! Thomas bounded back on stage to many cheers and sat, legs dangling, on the side of the stage where he proceeded to engage with fans and snap selfies of himself with their phones until it was his turn to sing. As the song progressed, Justin seemed to get a clue that the crowd was enjoying Thomas slightly more than him and began grabbing fans’ phones and snapping selfies of himself as well. The song was energetic and fun and then, sadly, Thomas left the stage and we were left with just Justin again.
The highlight of Justin’s set was when he sang, he said as a tribute to our country’s fallen soldiers, his cover of Motley Crue’s Home Sweet Home. It was beautifully sung. Really, I got goose bumps.
Once Justin’s 45 minute set was over, we were entertained by the Jukebox Mafia while Miranda’s crew set up.
Jukebox Mafia was set up at the other end of the civic center, across from the big stage. They sang mash ups of popular songs and it really was quite entertaining. They are from Nashville and told the, um, heartwarming story of how they came to be a part of the tour. Apparently they were playing a popular bar in Nashville and a couple was sitting listening front and center one night – a couple that turned out to be none other than Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. After the show, someone came up to them and informed them that Miranda wanted to see them in the parking lot. As the lead singer of Jukebox Mafia put it, when Miranda wants to see you in the parking lot .. you run! In the parking lot she told them that she likes them and is going to take them on tour with her.. And that was that. So now their motto is “God bless Miranda Lambert!”. They are a talented group of guys, check them out on Facebook sometime and see for yourself.
Then finally, around 10 pm, it was time for Miranda to take the stage. The megatrons played the video for Miranda and Carrie Underwood’s Somethin’ Bad as way of introduction, which got the crowd in a tither. Then there she was … Miranda Lambert!
She stepped on stage and got right to it, kicking things off with Fastest Girl In Town and Kerosene. My first thought upon seeing Miranda was that her wardrobe was less than flattering and her hair looked as if she had just rolled out of bed and came onstage. We spent our hard earned money to come see her, she could have at least dressed up a little for us:
She was energetic and high spirited, but she didn’t talk to the crowd much. She thanked us for coming out and said a few words here and there, but for the most part she just bounced around stage and sung. She performed all of her hits, including Platinum, Over You, Baggage Claim, All Kinds of Kinds, Famous In A Small Town, The House That Built Me, Automatic, Mama’s Broken Heart, White Liar, and Gun Powder And Lead.
Now the mommy in me is going to come out for a minute. Only for a minute, I promise! There were a lot of young girls that came out to see Miranda perform. I saw girls as young as seven or eight on their daddy’s shoulders, holding up their I Heart Miranda signs. And Miranda, well, she sure threw the word s#!t around a lot. She even performed the song Old S#!t, from her new Platinum album, and every time she came to the chorus I cringed at the thought of all those young girls in the audience. Of course, this is not really Miranda’s fault. She doesn’t exactly hold herself out to be anyone’s role model. Like I said, it’s just the mommy coming out in me. I’m done now.
Near the end of the set, she handed the guitar pick she had been using to a little girl who was close to the stage, and then went to the back of the stage and grabbed a handful of picks, which she proceeded to toss into the audience. I wasn’t lucky enough to snag one, but thought it was a nice touch.
Of course, there’s the question that everyone wants to know when they go to a major concert: was she really singing the songs live? Or was there some lip syncing going on? I really believe she was singing the songs live. Check it out for yourself:
Want to see more? OK, how about a little Baggage Claim?
Still not sure? OK, one more. Here’s a little of Mama’s Broken Heart:
After singing Gun Powder And Lead, Miranda thanked us and left the stage. A glance at my watch (and by watch I mean cell phone) showed it was 10:54 pm. No way could she be done, it hadn’t even been an hour yet. We all waited with bated breath and sure enough, she came right back to the stage, where she sang a cover of Merle Haggard’s Misery And Gin and ZZ Top’s Gimme All Your Lovin.
And then it really was over. She sang for a little over an hour. Now don’t get me wrong, she is stock full of talent and put on an energetic concert… but I was expecting more of a show. Maybe it’s because I went to Carrie Underwood’s Play On tour concert, also in Pensacola, back in 2010. Ah, Carrie. There were no less than seven wardrobe changes, a light up dress, a piano coming up from below the stage, and singing from a flying car (yes, a flying car!) . Now that was a show. And did I mention that she sang for three hours? THREE HOURS!! So you can see why Miranda’s one hour of stage time was a disappointment. Maybe Carrie has spoiled me for other performers, I don’t know. Miranda was entertaining, but what can I say? She’s no Carrie Underwood. But it was a nice mama’s night out, no regrets there!
Have you seen Miranda in concert? What did you think of her performance?