by Julian Spivey
The second stop on Miranda Lambert’s Highway Vagabonds Tour made its way to the JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Friday, Jan. 27 with the country songstress providing a set that showed off some of her newest work with many greatest hits thrown in.
Lambert’s set which was about 20 songs and lasted around 90 minutes managed to keep the audience rocking throughout with kickass songs like “Kerosene,” which she triumphantly opened with, “Mama’s Broken Heart” and ending her set with “Gunpowder and Lead.”
It was what was in between these empowering tough girl anthems that seemed to show off where Lambert is at in her career now – releasing her first album The Weight of These Wings, a double album effort, since her high-profile divorce to fellow country music star Blake Shelton in 2015.
Lambert seems to be in a bit of an introspective mood since her divorce with songs off the new album like “Vice” and a bunch of other fantastic songs she unfortunately didn’t have room for in her set on Friday night. But, and maybe me and some of her fans are reading too much into this, it’s some of her older hits like “Over You” and “The House That Built Me” that really seem to have a second life for her now. You can sort of see it in the way she almost tears up when performing them.
An interesting moment during the show came before and after the performance of one of her new tracks “For the Birds,” a sort of list-y song about stuff she is and isn’t for, when she said prior to the performance that there’s probably nothing we all agree upon, except for we’re all going to like being with each other tonight – which wasn’t completely true, because I hated being in the same building with opening act Old Dominion, but I digress. After the performance, she emphatically said “Tweet this bitch!,” leaving some in the audience to wonder if it was about new President Donald Trump or ex-husband Blake Shelton (both egotistical Twitter addicts). Maybe neither?
Among the newer stuff Lambert performed was “We Should Be Friends,” her recently released second single from The Weight of These Wings, “Highway Vagabonds” and “Keeper of the Flame.” I really wish she could’ve found space for “Ugly Lights” and a few slower numbers from the album in her set. As someone who’s seen Lambert a few times previously I honestly wish she would’ve dedicated her tour to playing the entirety of the new album, but I understand many of her fans want to hear the hits and she has plenty of those.
My favorite performance of the night was “The House That Built Me,” my personal favorite Lambert song, which always seems to be my favorite of hers in concert for that very reason. Among her other performances that I really enjoyed were “White Liar,” “Heart Like Mine” and “All Kinds of Kinds.”
Some of the stuff I really could’ve done without from her were “Little Red Wagon” and “Pink Sunglasses,” likely her worst song to date, but the crowd seemed to greatly enjoy both performances, so I guess I’m in the minority there.
After finishing up her set with the raucous “Gunpowder and Lead,” Lambert returned to the stage sans her band with just her guitar to perform the incredibly emotional “Tin Man,” from the new album, which absolutely blew the packed JQH Arena crowd away and ended the emotional, and inspirational, concert on a high note.
While Lambert’s set was terrific, the same couldn’t be said for openers Old Dominion or Aubrie Sellers. Old Dominion truly doesn’t belong on tour with someone of Lambert’s talent level. It seems the two being on the same record label is really the only reasoning for this. However, I will say the majority female crowd in attendance didn’t seem to mind the group.
Sellers, the daughter of country living legend Lee Ann Womack, is incredibly talented and I highly recommend her debut album New City Blues. The only problem is I couldn’t hear a word of her almost 30-minute set over the pounding music, which really ruined the anticipation I had of hearing her. I will say I’m not sure if this was the tour’s fault or the arena’s, because I watched Sellers from the upper deck of the arena before moving down below for the other sets, which sounded much clearer. If it’s an issue with the arena, they need to stop selling tickets for the upper bowl, because they’re honestly screwing the patrons.