Concert Reviews

Miranda Lambert Ignites the Crowd at Wolstein Center


Before Miranda Lambert came to the stage on Saturday night at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, a lone image of wings and guns was projected on the stage backdrop. The symbol, which the singer also has a tattoo of on her left forearm, was to commemorate her success as a performer, but it also represents the two sides of her body of work. The softer side that is heard on “The House That Built Me”  and the pistol-packin’ side that is is evident in “Gunpowder and Lead.”

Lambert’s stop at the Cleveland State University arena was the 14th on her 23-city Livin’ Like Hippies Tour. She came to the stage as the nearly sold out crowd erupted in applause and screams. She kicked off her set with a cover of John Prine’s, “That’s The Way The World Goes” that was included on her 2009 album, Revolution. Prine’s original version in 1978 was a bit more reserved, but Lambert electrifies the song making it a show starter that was an indication of what was to come.

The 21-song set covered a range of emotions that showed her vulnerability on songs like “Vice” and “Over You” and then brought out energy and sass with  “Pink Sunglasses” and “We Should Be Friends.”

Lambert was dressed in a denim skirt, a black shirt with full-length blue fringes on the sleeves and tan cowboy boots for the the 90-minute performance. She looked to be having the time of her life on stage, smiling and showing a playful spirit. She worked well with her eight-piece band, but performed “Tin Man” acoustically and for once seemed to open up a little more personally to the crowd when she introduced the song.

The surprise on the evening came when she brought out her Pistol Annies bandmates, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. The group performed “Hell on Heels” and “Takin’ Pills” from their 2011 album of the same name as the former. The trio has been rumored to be working on their third album, and this may be the way to help gain more attention and if not, it was a great addition to her shows this past weekend.

Lambert and her band also added a high-energy cover of the Joe Walsh song “Rocky Mountain Way” late in her set. From the opening riff, the song had the crowd ready to rip and roar. Lambert strutted around the stage and gave the song it’s due justice with her powerhouse vocals. Her steel player, Spencer Cullum, Jr., also added a great recreation of Walsh’s iconic guitar solo on the classic rock song. Lambert used the opportunity to introduce her band to the crowd and her guitarist had a chance to shine during the extended play of the tune.

The show was all but over when Lambert returned to perform one last song, “Little Red Wagon.” The encore number again gave her a chance to let go and have fun while the crowd sang along to every word.

The shows opening sets were handled dutifully by The Steel Woods and Jon Pardi, who has been the special guest on every stop of the Livin’ Like Hippies Tour. The mix of artists again showed Lambert’s ability to put forth a great range of musical styles that all came together in a triumphant showcase.

The Steel Woods filled their short set with great vocals, musicianship and just powerhouse guitar work. Their Southern Rock sound was definitely not lost on the crowd, many whom may have never heard the group before this tour, and left them feeling a bit more exposed to some great music.

Pardi definitely had some fans in the crowd as was evident by the number of folks dancing and singing along during the 12-song set. The California native has garnered more and more airplay with his album, California Sunrise, which is also nominated for the ACM for Album of the Year. Pardi brought out his hits “Head Over Boots,” “Heartache on the Dance Floor” and “Up All Night.” He saved his biggest hit to date, “Dirt on My Boots” for last.

The Livin’ Like Hippies Tour definitely delivered on the pre-show hype that has surrounded it since the tour was announced late last year. A great blend of musical styles that definitely made folks forget about life for a while and just get lost in the music. As Lambert left the stage the message “Music is Medicine” flashed on the screen that was the backdrop during the show. The statement may be a sentiment about Lambert’s life itself – but the show gave her fans a dose of healing themselves.

Miranda Lambert Set List 3.3.2018

“That’s The Way The World Goes Around”
“Highway Vagabond”
“We Should Be Friends”
“Heart Like Mine”
“Bathroom Sink”
“Over You”
“All Kinds of Kinds”
“The House That Built Me”
“Gunpowder & Lead”
“Ugly Lights”
“Mama’s Broken Heart”
“Tin Man”
“Hell On Heels” (w/Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley)
“Takin’ Pills” (w/Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley)
“Pink Sunglasses”
“Rocky Mountain Way”
“White Liar”
“Little Red Wagon”

Miranda Lambert 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)
Scotty Wray (guitar/vocals)

Miranda Lambert, Jon Pardi and The Steel Woods at the Wolstein Center at CSU (3.3.18)

Jon Pardi
Jon Pardi
The Steel Woods
The Steel Woods
The Steel Woods
The Steel Woods
Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert


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1 Comment

  1. Kelli Comer

    March 12, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Miranda was so great! I’ve seen her several times and this was her best performance yet. Pistol Annies was such a pleasant surprise! 🙂

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