Miranda Lambert All Business During Certified Platinum Tour Stop in Knoxville
Miranda Lambert's Certified Platinum Tour stop in Knoxville, Tenn. was country's version of a punk rock show. The reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year played song after song after song, barely stopping for the obligatory "Hello Knoxville!"
In fact, it wasn't until the encore that Lambert stopped the music, returning to the stage with RaeLynn and backup singer/guitarist Carolyn Dawn Johnson for a cover of the Dixie Chicks' 'Cowboy Take Me Away.' Before beginning, she expressed how much she misses the Chicks, and gave notice that getting more females on country radio is a goal of hers in 2015.
In that sense, the Certified Platinum Tour stop opened and closed the same way. Before taking the Thompson-Boiling Arena stage, video with images of famous women in world history (Amelia Earhart, for example) played over the stage-wide screen that hung like a bathroom mirror behind her band. It was a message of female empowerment that transitioned gracefully (and awesomely) into Lambert sashaying down the platinum steps to sing 'Fastest Girl in Town.'
'Kerosene,' the song that put Country America on notice back in 2005, came next before she slowed down a bit with hits like 'Heart Like Mine,' 'Baggage Claim' and the title track from her latest album, 'Platinum.' There was no stopping for air before fan favorite 'Priscilla.'
Lack of conversation didn't mean a lack of connection with her audience. The singer was fully invested in each song, performing ballads like 'Over You' as tenderly as she ever has. After covering Wilson Pickett's 'In the Midnight Hour' -- if there was a low point, this was it -- Lambert reached back for 'Famous in a Small Town' and 'Mama's Broken Heart,' the latter closing with the singer spinning around and around recklessly as her guitarist took the spotlight for a turn.
The Pickett song, 'Cowboy ...' and ZZ Top's 'Tush' were the covers, the latter closing the 90-minute set. When she sang 'Gunpowder and Lead' before exiting stage right, one was left to wonder if her encore could match the energy of that song. Her cover of the Texas rockers' hit answered that question emphatically.
Justin Moore played immediately before Lambert. The 'Point at You' singer has plenty of arena headlining experience, and wasted no time in getting the crowd to sing along with hits like 'Small Town USA' and his cover of Motley Crue's 'Home Sweet Home.' His set was slightly less energetic, but his style is more country gentleman than fire and brimstone.
RaeLynn opened, displaying the confidence and sass she showed viewers on 'The Voice.' Her cover of Meghan Trainor's 'All About That Bass' was received warmly. Her presence doesn't fill the stage quite like Moore's and Lambert's, but the new songs from her 'Me' EP prove she's a female vocalist set to contend immediately. Female empowerment was again the message, allowing the night to come full circle before the lights came on a few minutes before 11PM ET.
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