Judging by the nearly two dozen songs she performed Friday at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena as part of her “Livin’ Like Hippies” tour, country singer Miranda Lambert’s tunes can be divided into three categories.
There are the let-the-good-times-roll songs that let Lambert show off her firecracker personality.
On songs like “Highway Vagabonds,” “We Should Be Friends” and “Pink Sunglasses,” all from Lambert’s 2016 double album “The Weight of These Wings,” and the encore “Little Red Wagon,” an Audra Mae tune that Lambert covered on 2015’s “Platinum,” Lambert commanded everyone’s attention as she strutted across the stage.
Lambert’s energy during these songs was infectious, almost daring the crowd to try to resist dancing along with her.
The second category of Lambert tunes could be classified as the tearjerkers.
Tunes like “Vice” and “Tin Man,” both from “The Weight of These Wings,” “The House That Built Me,” from 2009’s “Revolution,” and “Over You,” from 2011’s “Four the Record,” showed Lambert’s tender side and found her mostly standing center stage, singing as if every heartache were fresh.
“I make a promise to myself every time I walk on stage,” she said before playing “Tin Man.” “The most important thing is to make everyone feel something, so thank you for going on that journey with me.”
“Sometimes those feelings include sadness. … I had a (expletive) year in 2015,” Lambert continued, referring to her 2015 divorce from country singer Blake Shelton. “But I wrote some really good songs from it.”
The audience seemed to sing and cheer even louder during these songs, almost as if to offer Lambert a shoulder to cry on and let her know she had their support.
The third category of songs, and perhaps the most fun to see live, are the “hell hath no fury” ones.
On songs like “Kerosene,” from the 2005 album of the same name, “Gunpowder & Lead,” from 2008’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” and “White Liar,” from “Revolution,” Lambert seeks revenge on every ex who’s done her wrong.
The way the audience responded, it’s clear they would have been more than willing to join Lambert as she paced around the stage singing about taking matters into her own hands.
Lambert has come a long way since her divorce, with an ACM Album of the Year award for “The Weight of These Wings” and a new beau (roots-rock singer Anderson East). If Friday’s performance was any sign, she has regained her “backyard swagger.”
When performing “Little Red Wagon,” Lambert changed the line “I live in Oklahoma,” a reference to her life with Shelton, to a triumphant “I got the hell out of Oklahoma.”
As Lambert and her band – Spencer Cullum (steel guitar/mandolin), Jerry “Boo” Massey (guitar/vocals), G Maxwell (drums), Danny Mitchell (keys/vocals), Mike Rinne (bass), Gwen Sebastian (background vocals), Alex Weeden (guitar/vocals) and Scotty Wray (guitar/vocals) – left the stage, the message “Music Is Medicine” flashed on screen.
It’s clearly helped Lambert bounce back, and in turn, her fans had received a dose of healing themselves.
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